Momofuku Ssam (NYC) - a new breed of restaurant

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    carendt242's Avatar
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    Default Momofuku Ssam (NYC) - a new breed of restaurant

    if you like food at all, and read food magazines of any sort, you will never stop reading about the three Momofuku restaurants in NYC - Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam, and Momofuku Ko. they take a new approach to restaurants - very high quality ingredients, casual if not boisterous atmospheres, and a taste comes first attitude - all served at very attractive prices for the quality. i do think these restaurants are harbingers of a new style of restaurant.

    i promised Turbology we'd eat like kings. the owner, and chef, reads my blog (ChuckEats blog) - an email here, an email there - we got a reservation at the no-reservations Momofuku Ssam. we walked in, sat down at a table, and once they learned who i was, we got the red carpet treatment - special seating, meet & greet the chef, and an offer to cook - you never turn that down.

    we ate a ton and it only cost $100/person - and we didn't get a discount that i can discern. not everything was excellent, but some of the food was truly outstanding - an incredible bargain. highly recommended for NYC.

    what we ate (and i'm missing 2-3 things):

    glidden point oysters w/ kimchi consomme - nice little kick

    diver sea scallops w/ pickled cherries & lemon - pristine scallop where the lemon complemented the scallop's sweetness and the pickled cherries & lemon provided a balance of tartness.

    sliced long island fluke w/ yuzu kosho, peaches - the peach sauce was beautiful - the fruit paired really well w/ the fish

    cracked empress jonah crab claws w/ yuzu mayo - simple but so effective - the yuzu mayo was delicious

    santa barbara uni w/ tapioca, whipped tofu, & scallions - possibly a bit too busy but a dish that could work really well w/ a bit more work

    steamed pork buns - they are very famous for these things, quite yummy, a must-order item for every Momofuku trip.

    maine shrimp & watermelon salad w/ lime basil, mint, and vietnamese fish sauce - my favorite dish of the night, a 2-Michelin star worthy dish, incredible balance of flavors

    tasting of country hams - a platter of 4 different hams, from different regions and aged differently

    crispy pig's head torchon - a little too heavy for this part of the meal for me

    roasted stone bass w/ jersey corn, chanterelles, pancetta, & lima beans - a nice piece of fish w/ some tasty veggies, fairly straight-forward

    crispy lamb belly & roasted loin - the loin was an excellent piece of lamb from the reknowned Four Story Hill Farms. the belly was a fried - way too heavy at this point.

    a pork dish - forget the details but it was a rare breed of pig that had a wonderful taste.


    the waits are long and i can't help you w/ that - but a Momofuku restaurant is always included on my NYC itinerary.

    - chuck
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    Turbology's Avatar
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    Thank you Chuck for arranging this and your expert culinary play-by-play; it was a pleasure to meet you and I'm still frustrated that we couldn't find the telephone booth speak-easy haha!

    It was quite an event and as Chuck said, really hard to beat for the price and amount of food we both ate. The few savory items Chuck left out weren't really memorable enough to mention, but the desserts deserve some recognition.

    Other savory dishes we tried...

    sichuan beef tendon - tatsoi, pickled green mango: this had me intrigued from the chef's description as sinewy cuts can be delicious when prepared properly, but the texture was overly gelatinous and the seasoning wasn't outstanding. The mango was good.

    eckerton hill farm's tomato salad - fried tofu, opal basil: quartered fresh tomatoes of several varieties, the smaller tomatoes were relatively flavorful but the larger ones were a little lacking. Fried tofu cubes offered an interesting texture juxtaposition.

    seasonal pickles: a melange of various kimchee and pickled root vegatbles; I was looking forward to the pickled Japanese pears but they turned out to be so acidic that they were almost inedible. Cucumbers were the one highlight (if a cucumber can be a highlight haha).

    Desserts...

    tristar strawberry shortcake - corn, kendall farm's creme fraiche: this was far and away one of the better dishes of the entire meal. I am generally not a dessert guy, but Chuck convinced me that I had room. We were both concerned that the berries would be bland, but their flavor was outstanding and their juice soaked the corn shortcake just enough not to make it soggy.

    blondie pie - cashews: intensely rich, I can liken this to eating raw cookie dough. Our server insisted it was her favorite on account of that same richness, but by this point, we had wrestled down the torchon and lamb belly so it was a bit much (that's not to say we didn't finish it).

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    carendt242's Avatar
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    damn, we did eat a lot yes, that strawberry dessert was exceptional.

    - chuck
    01 996tt - GT700
    forged pistons, forged rods, clubsport intercoolers, upgraded fuel system, gen 1 fabspeed loud exhaust, sachs stg 3 clutch, 964 light-weight flywheel, b&m short shifter, motons, oz superleggera III wheels, strosek rear spoiler, lots of carbon fiber inside, custom lamborghini titanium metallic paint

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    Chuck man that is sick hah, red carpet treatment for real.

    Wish I knew you were going to be in NY, would have loved to meet up at a lounge or some place, with a few other guy's too!
    02 RUF R-GT2 590++ (Track Beast)
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    Quote Originally Posted by iLLGT2 View Post
    Chuck man that is sick hah, red carpet treatment for real.

    Wish I knew you were going to be in NY, would have loved to meet up at a lounge or some place, with a few other guy's too!
    sorry, i was pretty busy w/ meetings and entertaining. next time i'll try to carve out more free time.

    - chuck
    01 996tt - GT700
    forged pistons, forged rods, clubsport intercoolers, upgraded fuel system, gen 1 fabspeed loud exhaust, sachs stg 3 clutch, 964 light-weight flywheel, b&m short shifter, motons, oz superleggera III wheels, strosek rear spoiler, lots of carbon fiber inside, custom lamborghini titanium metallic paint

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    Quote Originally Posted by carendt242 View Post
    sorry, i was pretty busy w/ meetings and entertaining. next time i'll try to carve out more free time.

    - chuck
    No worries, just give me the word next time!
    02 RUF R-GT2 590++ (Track Beast)
    07 E60 M5
    03 G35 Nismo Daily
    Challenge Stradale *Hunting*
    01 996TT RWD/Stage 2+ turbo SOLD!!
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    Chuck,

    I'm pretty sure we ate this too.

    grilled bronzini - charred leeks, crispy salsify: from what I recall this was the better of the two fish dishes; I think the skin was more done on this one and the flesh had a nice, mild snapper-esque quality to it.

    I'm curious to see what the renovations are all about...

    :: momofuku ::


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    Haha and next time I will be sure to bring a decent point-and-shoot just in case Chuck doesn't have his so we can document the culi-orgy beyond words.

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