Saturday, February 22, 2014

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Located in the East Village of NYC, Momofuku Noodle Bar is the first Momofuku restaurant and serves ramen and a roster of dishes that changes with the seasons. Reservations are only taken for the fried chicken meal for 4-8 people, otherwise, the noodle bar is a walk-in only restaurant.

Keith and I headed up to NYC for the weekend to celebrate his birthday.  We met up with our friends, P & A, for dinner on Saturday.  I had already planned ahead and set reservations for the fried chicken meal, so we were seated right away without any issue.  This was great since A is pregnant and I didn't want her to have to stand waiting that long.  Also, she was so excited to eat some fried chicken!

Momofuku's pork buns originated here, so Keith had to order some and the waiter convinced us to get the shrimp buns too.  Both were excellent and a great way to start off the meal.  I especially liked the spicy mayo that gave another dimension to the bun.  Additionally, A was really craving so she ordered the brussels sprouts that were infused with Thai flavors like coconut, peanuts, and Thai basil.  I don't normally care for brussels sprouts, but I tasted these and thought they were tender and had great flavor.

various sauces
The appetizers were nice to hold us over for the main attraction - the fried chicken.  Priced at $125 for your entire party, the meal includes two whole fried chickens, one southern style and one Korean style.   The southern style chicken is fried with a buttermilk and Old Bay batter. The Korean style chicken is triple fried and served with a light spicy glaze.  The chicken is served with with mu shu pancakes, baby carrots, red ball radishes, bibb lettuce, four sauces and an herb basket.  Everyone was able to eat as they please, from making wraps with the pancakes to eating the chicken straight-up. 

Photo via Momofuku website
There was equal preference between the spicy and southern style chicken amongst our group, but Keith preferred the spicy.  He found the southern's crust to be on the dry side, yet thought the sauces helped.  It seemed there were more larger pieces of meat in the southern style than spicy - but I am not sure if that was just our batch or if that is normal.  Keith did not eat any of the pancakes, but I liked using them to wrap the chicken.  We would have preferred a slaw or pickled radish to the veggie basket.

Lastly, though satiated with chicken, A was still craving dessert and ordered the Pretzel Cake Truffles.  Three delightful morsels arrived and were surprisingly moist with the perfect sweet and salty combination.  Needless to say, A was a happy camper.

All in all, we had a great meal at Momofuku.  I saw some of the ramen bowls that other diners ordered, but the star items were by far the steamed buns.  The fried chicken was great too, but not that convenient to book a month in advance.  There was more than enough food to feed 6 people let alone the 4 of us, so P & A took home leftovers.

Total Rating: 3.98
Food: 4.5, Price: 3.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 2

What I ate:
Shrimp Buns
spicy mayo, pickled red onion, iceberg

 Brussels Sprouts
coconut, peanuts, Thai basil

Fried Chicken
southern style and spicy Korean style

 Pretzel Cake Truffles 

Plus Keith ate:
Pork Buns
hoisin, scallions

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

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