Momofuku Noodle Bar: East Village, Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
So many of my friends had raved about Momofuku Noodle Bar for both the ramen and the pork buns and I had to try it. I had to really think about this one because I’ve had some pretty spectacular ramen from Tokyo and Kyoto so that is the standard that I was used to. Truth be told, ramen is like any other food: it can agree and not agree with many people depending on what type of flavors they like. There are so many kinds of instant ramen but the one at Momofuku was the standard donkatsu based soup. We ordered the following things:
- Momofuku classic ramen (tonkatsu): served with chasu, naruto fishcake, bean sprouts, egg
- pork buns: served with specialty spicy Korean sauce on the table
Momofuku classic ramen
- very filling: good quantity to share if you are a light to moderate eater and you plan on getting appetizers (like pork buns) to share
- good flavor to the broth, not overly salty (which is typical of most Japanese ramen)
- lots of fillers for the ramen: I do like this part actually because it creates “variety” within the dish
- thin ramen. I’m not sure if this is actually ramen or simply egg noodles. It wasn’t as “chewy” as most ramen noodle that I’ve had. I can’t say that it’s BAD per se, but it wasn’t typical of the ramen that I was used to eating
- broth is thin. I’m used to the ramen broth that has been cooked for days and days with tons of pork bones and chicken bones. This, while not lacking in flavor, wasn’t as “hearty”
Pork Buns: I really like pork buns. It’s probably one of my favorite “snack foods” to eat. I especially like pork belly and so when my friends rave about this, I definitely have to try it.
- comes with two buns so it is shareable between two people.
- good portion of meat: not skimpy on the pork belly
- too simple and lacking in flavor: if you didn’t put the sauce on the meat, it didn’t have much to it at all.
- meat was too dry. I realize that they do grill/sear the pork belly, but the spicy Korean sauce isn’t one that soaks into the meat because it isn’t super thick. It tends to run a little bit more actually.
Some people really like the pork belly bun at Momofuku. I’m a little bit more partial to the traditional style Taiwanese pork belly bun. A really good bun to get is the Chairman Bao at BaoHaus truthfully. That is a solid Taiwanese style pork belly bun. It is also bigger in size and has just better flavors overall. In summary:
- Momofuku Classic Ramen: ***.65 (3.65 stars)
- Pork belly buns:***.35 (3.35 stars)
It’s still definitely worth checking out. We got to sit at the kitchen bar and so we could see what plates were being prepared and how the kitchen was ran. It was like clockwork. They were definitely working extra hard because Chef Mario Batali was in the house as well! He was actually just two people ahead of me in line when the restaurant opened for lunch and is a good friend of the owner and chef, David Chang. You can find Momofuku Noodle Bar here:171 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
b/t 10th St & 11th St
Let me know what you think! Remember, everyone’s palate is different. To each their own!
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