I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, my favorite ramen in New York City is at Ippudo
. But after my fantastic meal at momofuku ssäm bar
, I knew I wanted to give momofuku noodle bar a chance to redeem itself.
I started my meal off with the daily special - eggplant with Sichuan peppercorn, squash, and Thai Basil. It was okay. A little salty, but the flavors were nice. The textures of both the eggplant and the squash were quite good, but the more I ate, the thirstier I got.
Next course, pea shoots with escarole, sesame and kimchi vinaigrette. Maybe this was my fault, but after the eggplant course, it felt like a variation on the same dish. Only spicier, saltier, and less refined.
Next up, the absolute best part of the meal. They had three bun options for the night so I got the Shiitake buns. Holy crap these were good. Meaty, savory, richly flavored, with huge amounts of umami and the perfect amount of soy salty goodness. I could've eaten a meal of several orders of only these buns and left a very happy girl. I am desperate to recreate these at home, and until I do, this will be the dish I dream about.
And last up, pork belly ramen. The noodles were very good, the egg was runny yolk perfection, but again, there was a heavy hand when it came to salt and msg in the ramen. Overall good, not great.
I'll admit, I was disappointed to have just an okay meal. My expectations for all of the momofukus are quite high and while ssäm bar exceeded my expectations, noodle bar fell short. The prices are reasonable though, and it is worth coming if just for the buns.
My advice? If you are looking for great ramen, go to Ippudo. But if you are hungry and near momofuku noodle bar, you'll enjoy your meal. Just make sure to get Shiitake buns. If I go back, I'll be trying all the buns!
momofuku noodle bar
171 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003
Labels: NYC, Restaurants