Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 First Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets
New York, NY 10003
The Momofuku restaurants are popular in NYC, with the crown jewel of the empire Momofuku Ko having some crazy reservation process which I won’t go into detail here but heard about secondhand. It’s like a Black Friday for 16 seats apparently?
But yeah, let me set the scene. It’s Halloween, so costumed kids are running around the East Village, invading stores for free pieces of candy. AmyC suggested that she, Lily, and I grab a bite here at Momofuku Noodle Bar since we had attempted to a million years ago and were denied (the wait was nuts) and instead went and waited for a table at the just-as-packed Yakitori Taisho (yum).
Surprisingly we didn’t have to stand around at all. It was still a bit on the early side, close to 6:30pm. All the tables were snapped up but there were slots open at the bar. We squished around a small end table, next to a dweeby pair. I had to overhear their bland talk without choice; I’m not about communal-type seating.
Our sever was a sweetheart: friendly and willing to answer questions. That always helps a dining experience. If you are not into noodles, never fear, as the menu features alternatives, mostly of a Korean nature. Our trio shared an appetizer of the steamed pork buns. These pork buns were not like the buns you would find in Chinatown. They were very artsy, avant garde, as the bun part resembled a silver dollar pancake and was folded over to protect the pork and slices of cucumber (!). The pork was fatty and tender and delicious. No dim sum prices however.
AmyC opted for the more deluxe Momofuku ramen with pork and a poached egg, while Lily and I went for the more basic ramen option with chicken; you could opt for shredded pork. Now, ramen broth is usually a bit salty, but this soup was off-the-hook salty. We like to slurp down all the liquid but had to refrain because otherwise we’d be nursing bottles of water the whole rest of All Hallow’s Eve. I was disappointed. The chicken pieces were salty too. To make up for this gaffe, I did wholeheartedly approve of the actual noodles. We’re too used to the dried stuff so when we eat actual, real noodles, it’s jarring, though in the best way possible.
Photo by AmyC