27 2016 May

Late Night at Ssäm Bar Momofuku

New York CityTagged david chang, east village, late night, momofuku

On the list of restaurants to try is Momofuku. If it isn’t on your list, it should be. David Chang has several restaurants in New York with others worldwide, each one catering to a genre in Asian taste. I wouldn’t come close to saying it’s fusion or even experimental. I’d like to think of it as the classic journey of an artist, pushing the boundaries of modern mediums. Here at Ssäm Bar I got my first glimpse into his work.

Reservations were a must, especially with our party of eight. Booking a month advanced, there were two openings, 5:30pm or 10:00pm. Of course the later time worked with our West Coast time frame for dinner. So we chose that. And with our group size, we had to go with the $75 prix fixe menu. There were wine pairing options for an additional price of $50 and up. We decided to order off the drink menu, a decision I personally didn’t regret. I had found myself a new favorite drink!

The courses themselves were brought as plates for sharing, family style. Something we weren’t quite expecting, but we’re all friends here. So that didn’t stop us from enjoying every spoonful. Each dish was brought out all at once so no one was left waiting for their dish. The staff was well synchronized on that. However, dinner was long and spanned over 2 hours. It was a good two hours though. By the end of it, we were so stuffed, I forgot to take pictures of the dessert, a Trifle – honey ice cream topped with broken bits of deep fried mantou. Oh it was so amazing that our typical non-dessert eaters were caught finishing the bowl.

Yeah, I loved it, even though half the dishes were a miss for me. Setting aside all the hype, I have to admit, each dish was unique. They were taste combinations I’m not going to easily find, except at other Momofuku restaurants. Great. Did I just sign myself up for more adventures? I better start making reservations.

Ssäm Bar – Momofuku
207 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
+1 (212) 254-3500

Verdict: Come with a small group to order off the menu or a larger one to try the pork shoulder. I’ll see you next time pork shoulder!

Seven Spice Sour @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

Made with yuzu, lime, shichimi and sake, this drink was phenomenal. I stopped myself at three to make sure I didn't replace my meal with a bad hangover. If this place had happy hour, I could drink this all night.


Ox Impressions: 

Artic Char @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

Thinly cut arctic char with beef bonji on creme fraiche topped with chives. Interesting combination and it my first real taste of creme fraiche. Not sure what to make of it except that I know I'll probably never taste this flavor combo anywhere else.

Ox Impressions: 

Country Ham @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

House made ham with a coffee mustard which didn't compliment each other too well. We eventually went straight for the ham.

Ox Impressions: 

Liver Mousse @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

The liver pate was the winner of this combo. The pickled daikon gave it a tangy kick while giving it a crisp bite.

Ox Impressions: 

Chickpea Hozon Dip @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

Pickled veggies for you to dip in the chickpea dip. Carnivores would want to skip this dish.

Ox Impressions: 

Spring Pea Salad @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

Finally a balanced dish our spring pea salad immersed in kohirabi dashi with myoga and shredded scallions. A very tasty dish that makes you wonder if it was a salad or a soup. But before you could decide, it's gone.

Ox Impressions: 

Octopus Escabeche @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

I'm so conflicted with this dish. The octopus texture was so different. It was cooked to the point where it resembled fish, but still had the taste of octopus. Yet mixed in with the tangy base, it almost masked the taste. Still a very different invention I may have to try again.

Ox Impressions: 

Steamed Buns @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

Still holding up to the test of time, these pork belly steamed buns compete well ahead of their cousin, the gua bao. Momofuku's version was more about elegance and balance then in your face flavors you may expect from others.

Ox Impressions: 

Condiments @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

The sides for the main course had us wondering what we've gotten ourselves into.

Whole Rotisserie Duck @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

So everyone was wide-eyed as the waiter placed this humongous tray down. This serving topped with perfectly cooked duck breast, topped with duck confit, surrounded by roti and Vietnamese herbs. And while it sat there the ducks juices seeped into the sticky rice. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "Oh man, how to eat this?" Don't worry, the options are endless and we couldn't finish everything.

Ox Impressions: 

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

I don't think anyone had more than one taste of this. Completely overshadowed by the main course, I'm sure we couldn't appreciate this if we wanted to.

Ox Impressions: 

The Table Setting @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

No need for a place setting. This will be all you'll need.

The Bar and Counter @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

Here's where the incredible drinks are made. Sit there and you can witness their creation.

The Kitchen @Ssäm Bar Momofuku

The open kitchen.

The OxPosted May 27, 2016 By the hungry ox

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