Sometimes a name pops up over and over again until you notice it. It's in the NY Times, you hear it on the street, and finally, your friend Meredith says it in a conversation and you think "huh, I'd like to go there." For me, that name was momofuku.
Momofuku is the "brand name" for Chef David Chang's restaurants. He has a noodle bar, a regular bar and another restaurant. Momofuku means "lucky peach" (apparently) and the noodle bar is the newest addition to the string of restaurants. It's in the East Village on 1st Ave and 11th st.
We ventured over there on Thursday night, a little apprehensive and confused as to why we were going back inside on the first nice day of the year. "Can we go somewhere with a patio?" Katie asked when we invited her to dinner. "No," we replied. "We're going to monofuku noodle bar." Sometimes you just have to stick to your original plan, despite reasonable requests to the contrary. I'm not sure why.
We started off with some carbonated sake. Did you know that they can do that? I sure didn't. It was very good, nice and light and sweet. "It's kind of like an egg cream!" Katie said after taking a sip. Here she is, posing with her drink:
Next, we split the steamed pork buns, which the diners next to us reccomended highly. They were warm and filling.
It was like an Asian pork taco. The sauce and cucumbers were slightly sweet and the pork was delicious!
Katie ordered the grilled octopus salad. I assumed that there would be cut up octopuses, but instead there were whole baby octopuses! I thought that was pretty cool.
They were nicely cooked, not rubbery, like the octopus I've had in the past (side note - if you told me a few years ago that I would be a person who had eaten octopus multiple times, I would have laughed in your face. How things change...). Here's the whole salad.
Unfortunately, the salad was served long before the other main dishes which left us all eating at different times. Not the most horrible thing that could have happened, but kind of annoying nonetheless.
Here's the momofuku ramen that Meredith ordered.
It had pork, an egg, ramen (obviously), scallions and something else that I'm forgetting the name of with pink swirls.
I decided to order the only vegetarian dish on the menu (it was the only noodle dish without broth, and I didn't feel like broth) - ginger scallion noodles with roasted vegetables.
I especially liked the cauliflower. But the real treat came at the end.
That is Cracker Jack and Peanut Butter soft serve ice cream with crushed Butterfingers. "Oh," Meredith said as she took the first bite, "This is what Tasti D lite would taste like if it had fat and sugar in it."
Overall, the food was very good. The service was a little odd though. We were seated under a draft and when we asked to move, they offered us the table that was six inches away from where we were. We decided to stay. At least once, a waitress came and stood right by our table (essentially in our personal space) for a minute and then moved without acknowleding us at all. I think she was just trying to move out of the way of another waiter, but then she lingered and it was weird. Maybe it was an off night, service wise. I would go back again - the food was good and reasonably priced. I'll just cross my fingers for a warmer table.