Momofuku Ssäm Bar
207 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
Dining date: 3/1/15
Until this trip, I had never dined at a David Chang restaurant. Of course, I’ve followed his quick ascent to be one of the most well-known chefs in the country and have wanted to try one of the Momofuku restaurants. My dad came here, to the Ssam Bar, a year or two prior and really enjoyed the meal (raving particularly about the pork belly buns and rotisserie duck). He recommended we come by for a brunch visit so that my mother and I could try it. We Californians were prepared to brave the snow and cold to do it.
The Ssam Bar was Chang’s second restaurant opening in 2006 (after the noodle shop), serving Korean-American inspired food. The restaurant is currently ranked #64 of the best restaurants in the world.
steamed buns pork belly, hoisin, cucumbers, scallions
These steamed buns were really good. The pork was exceedingly tender, luscious with sweet hoisin and some crunchy cucumber slices. Very rich but full of flavor.
o.g. momofuku ssam pork shoulder, black beans, kimchi, poached egg
Tender braised pork shoulder and rather salty black beans formed the bulk of the flavor profiles in this bowl, boosted by the kimchi. Plenty of nori strips, poached egg and thinly sliced radish kept things interesting texture-wise.
rotisserie duck over rice duck scallion, ssäm sauce, crispy shallot, chive pancake
This rotisserie duck was really good. A duck & pork sausage was inserted in between the fat and breast and the whole thing was cooked over a rotisserie to a perfect medium rare. Tender and very flavorful, I certainly enjoyed this with a bowl of rice and some chive pancake. Not bad for $15. Apparently the restaurant offers a large format version of this, served on a huge platter with a bunch of sides. A number of tables seemed to have it. Next time.
fried duck & waffles maple, pear, mascarpone
Pieces of duck were juicy and flavorful yet maintained a crispy exterior. Each bite was paired with a fluffy waffle slice with honey and marscapone and a bright slice of pear. Some nice bites and a welcome take on the brunch classic.
I was pleased with my first Momofuku restaurant experience. There wasn’t anything fancy about it, but the food was simply delicious. I would come back and I’d love to try the whole rotisserie duck ssam; however, there are just too many other damn restaurants to try in this city I’m not sure I’ll ever get the chance.