Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Momofuko Noodle Bar: Review

Its not like I haven’t been there quite a few times. I mean an affordable locally sourced refined noodle bar, what could be better? One of my favorite things is the raw bar, changing constantly with new fish and an assortment of oysters. The night I went, we tried the hamachi with beet sauce, freshly grated horseradish and thinly sliced apple. While I thought the hamachi, apple and horseradish complemented each other perfectly, sweet, buttery and spicy, the beet sauce was overpowered by the other strong flavors. While alone, the beet sauce was quite flavorful, it didn’t impart much to the overall dish. Yet the fish is so fresh and buttery it is well worth trying something from the raw part to start your dinner.
They are also known for their buns, containing chicken, pork or shitake mushrooms. Each variety is enfolded in a soft white delicate bun, containing the right amount of plum sauce, lightly pickled and thinly sliced cucumbers and of course very tender pulled meat with a delicious crispy crust.
But, this is a noodle bar, and that is where they excel. Home made noodles and extra flavorful broth makes these soups warming, ultra savory and complex. A deep roasted pork flavor is brightened by picked veggies and thinly sliced scallions. The noodles exemplify the chef’s dedication to the craft. Perfectly textured, and soaking up broth, these noodles can stand equally by themselves.
The one thing Momofuko lacks is consistency. The broth is sometimes too salty (or altering significantly from visit to visit) and despite how quick the plates arrive, sometimes two soups will come 10 minutes apart (at least they did for our order.)
Momofuko is a new breed, kind of like a designer dog. Refinement is key. Traditional Asian fare is lightened, re-worked and out comes Momofuko. Chef David Change is quite inspirational for me, a recent culinary graduate; he has created a mini-culinary empire. Not that I want a mini-culinary empire, well that would be nice. I am so envious (in a good way) of a young culinary grad who has big ideas, excels in his profession and is dedicated to the craft.

Momofuko Noodle Bar
171 first ave. btwn 10th & 11th
NYC

Let me know, what noodle shops are your favorite?

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15 comments:

Dee said...

Will subscribe in a bit.
Momofuko sounds brilliant. Noodles are everywhere here, but it's either very posh or very salt of the earth. I don't think we have noodle bars in this sense. Hmm... I sense a mini-culinary empire opportunity here :)

Manger La Ville said...

If I had enough money in my piggy bank...I would totally invest for a SF location.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I want to go but I won't on principal because one of their locations doesn't allow taking pictures. Thanks for the review. It's the closest I'll get to trying the food until they lift their photo ban.

Manger La Ville said...

They let me take pictures, but I always feel so weird doing it. It is hard, to some extent, I understand not taking pictures of the food. But at the same time, I am not sure what they think is going to happen.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

They allow pictures at the Noodle Bar but not at Ko. Same owners so by principle, I won't go to their other locations.

Manger La Ville said...

Oh..I understand. What I was saying was I understand why he doesn't allow it at KO. I mean it is unfortunate how people can just blatantly steal each other's menus/plating and it could potentially ruin the dining ambiance. But on the flip side, what is the difference between taking a picture of food and of your friends. And I mean people should allow to take pictures if they would like. All I was saying is I see it both from a restauranteur's perspective and that of a fellow blogger/

Lori Lynn said...

I'm craving ramen now!

The best place in the Mitsuwa Marketplace Food Courts for Ramen is Santouka. Have you been?

Manger La Ville said...

No- I would love to try- where is it?

Emiline said...

Well, now I want to go here! I'm sorry I missed it.
I think I would enjoy it.

cook eat FRET said...

i love that place
the pork belly buns were absolutly stellar

Vera said...

The food sounds very good. I wish I live nearby :)

Zen Chef said...

Yum, i love momofuku's pork belly buns. I wish i could have a bite right now. :-)

chicky*bits said...

Thanks for visiting! You'll have to let me know how your buns turn out :)

As for noodle shops, girl, do I have a list for you! Have you tried Ramen Setagaya, Ippudo or even Menkui-tei? They are all within a 5 block radius of one another... maybe you can do a 'ramen round-up' to determine your favorite one week?

Ric said...

better service:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/7654267.stm

Sabina said...

I want to go there!!