What more can I say? Anyone who has a chance to try one (or two, or ten) of David Chang’s pork buns would say the same thing. We had hoped to go to Momofuku (it means lucky peach in Japanese) Ssam Bar, but as they were closed for a week, we settled for Momofuku Noodle Bar instead. We were there for pork buns and soup, anyway.
I’ve got to admit that I’m amused by Chang’s perspective on serving vegetarians, and this played out when a family member asked our server about the steamed buns with shiitake, only to be told you’ve got to go pork at Momofuku. Of course! Each bun boasts a tender, juicy, fatty, fat-laden, fat-filled fa(n)tastic piece of pork belly, along with hoisin sauce, scallions and cucumber. Simple, delicious and addictive at $9 per pair.
We’d see more of that pork belly in the Momofuku ramen. along with pork shoulder, fish cakes (I’d prefer them sliced a little thicker), green onion, bamboo shoots, and poached egg. The stock was good and the noodles weren’t bad, though I’ve yet to find noodles as good as I find them in Tokyo, where you can get two bowls for the price of one at Momofuku.
And I enjoyed my bowl of bibim gooksu: chilled somen noodles with kimchi, sesame, and a fried egg providing a mix of coolness and heat on a hot summer day. We’ve got some wannabe places in Seattle, but we’re missing a Momofuku-like restaurant that’s winning the ramen wars in New York’s East Village while serving up some incredible pork buns to boot.