It’s been a few years now since David Chang has risen to iconic status in the culinary world and he’s showing no signs of slacking off on his proven authenticity and genius. New York’s Momofuku Noodle Bar has become a city staple- drawing in locals of all walks of life as well as ardent fans from around the world, including Hollywood elite who have been grossly annoyed by the restaurant’s no reservation policy.
The only exception to the reservation rule is the Fried Chicken Meal. What’s the big deal about a fried chicken, you say? Let’s think far, far away from KFC and imagine the most succulent, moist and deliciously marinated deep fried chicken you’ve ever come across, served two ways with an assortment of equally addictive array of dipping sauces. If there’s one thing that David Chang is truly a master at, it’s making us forget all about calories, restrictions and all that good nonsense.
Momofuku’s menu proudly presents New York’s best handmade ramen with juicy toppings like sweet and savory pork belly and smoked beef brisket. With only one vegetarian noodle dish (which is in and of itself a fantastic explosion of flavors with hot ginger and fresh scallions), Chang and his team have boldly made a statement about serving real food, great food with no apologies for using whatever ingredients they feel like using to produce such results.
The ramen here has that very particular bite that few but the remaining true ramen masters can achieve. There’s a delicate smoothness to the exterior texture but it’s when you bite into the noodles that the firm but moist resistance gives such an orgasmic swirl in your mouth, marrying with the savory flavors you’ve inevitably slurped up along. Lest we not forget the rest of Momofuku’s menu that deserves just as much attention as the noodles.
Roasted pork and shiitake mushrooms are glazed with sweet and nutty hoisin, piled into a mantau type bun (Chinese white bun) with slivers of scallions and crunchy cucumbers. It’s not a large menu but there doesn’t need to be when every single dish is executed with as much care and precision as Chang and his team give. I love a restaurant, especially if it’s in a fast-paced metropolitan city that can command my attention so completely that I have ceased to remember where I am. Because it’s that good. And David Chang is that awesome.