When I’m sick, when I haven’t eaten Asian food in awhile or when I just don’t know what to eat, I always turn to noodle soup. It’s a great go-to food for me because there are so many different variations. Depending on which country or even which region, there are so many kinds of noodle-soup combination. While researching food choices in New York, countless food blogs named Momofuku Noodle Bar as one of the top places to visit.
I wanted to visit because of my love for noodle soup, especially ramen but I must admit the main reason I wanted to try it was to satisfy my curiosity – why is there so much hype surrounding Momofuku Noodle Bar?
Momofuku Noodle Bar was the first restaurant from David Chang’s successful Momofuku chain of restaurants. With Korean and Japanese influences, it introduced New York City to the joys of ramen and pork buns.
I had some huge expectations for this restaurant; before arriving, I already knew what I wanted to order – Momofuku Ramen.
I have a bit of a pet peeve when my dining partners order the same thing as I do. Yes, I’m a bit possessive but it’s not that I don’t want to share my food, quite opposite exactly. I LIKE to share food and the only way you can do that is if your dining company orders something different from you. So before we sat down, I called dibs on the Momofuku Ramen.
A close up – the Momofuku ramen is a modern take on traditional ramen, made with pork belly (there was one piece, am I naive to think that I would get more?), pork shoulder, poached egg, seaweed, chinese cabbage and bean sprouts in a light broth with chewy noodles. While I wouldn’t say it met all of my expectations and I am still unsure what the hype is all about, I did enjoy our visit.
Looking around, I saw many diners share the fried chicken, and eavesdropped while a local sharing our table sat with his friends and raved about the chilled spicy noodles (sichuan spiced sausage, spinach and cashews). When his order arrived, my interest was peak. Too much food, too little stomach space.
Momofuku Noodle Bar – 171 1st Ave, New York, NY (East Village)