Momofuku Noodle Bar: my mama’s pork dishes are better

Dear Food Diary:
I finally made it to Momofuku Noodle Bar. What has holding me back all this time? Well, for one thing, I’m not big of “asian fusion” or whatever you call it these days. I rather go down to chinatown or ktown and get the real deal for a tiny fraction of the cost. But the main reason I put Momofuku off my list for so long, was because the first 2 times, rite before dinner, huge fights broke out with the guy I was dating, and well dinner became a big bowl of nasty words and tears. So I guess third time really is the charm.
While I waited for my table, I ordered the watermelon lemonade soju slush (the waitress actually explained to me that “soju” is alcohol! *I’m rolling my eyes*) anyways, the slushy machine took forever to freeze, so I waited and waited, when I finally got it, I wished the machine had broken so I could of saved $5. It didn’t have the aroma of watermelon or lemon, it was tart and had some signs of alcohol in it, but also tasted a little bitter. And at that size, it looked more like a shot than a slushy drink.
Next were the smoked chicken wings the flavor combo of chili, garlic and scallions is a classic, the chicken fell of the bone and I enjoyed the chard skin and the time they’ve spent under fire. They were good, but not awesome or amazing. Maybe because the flavor profile was too familiar.
Now his infamous steamed pork buns, the ones that people rave about. I’ll give it to him, they are pretty darn tasty, but how can they not be? Soft, warm and fluffy bun, juicy fatty pork, hoisin sauce, thinly sliced cucumbers and scallions, all flavors I grew up loving, what’s not to like? I can see why they’re so popular, but the thing is, I have a Shanghainese mama! yep, this chubby’s mama can cook! and she does killer pork dishes that can give David’s pork a run for his money any day. So the question is, would I order it again? sure, only because my mama isn’t around all the time.
One of the daily specials was Pork Tenderloin with grilled peaches. The waiter lied to my face, telling me how delicious it was. The pork was a bit dry and bland, and the peach with onions had a pickled taste to it and gave the meat a hand in the flavor department, but the most interesting part of the dish was the prune mustard sauce, the little bits of seeds popped in your mouth, which was fun to eat, but it wasn’t enough to save the dish from being less than mediocre. I enjoyed the previous 2 dishes better, this was way overpriced at $19.
Up to this point, my dinner RATING:
BUT minutes later, the best part of the meal comes in the form of a bowl.
This Chilled spicy noodle with sichuan spiced sausage, spinach and cashews was by far the best dish we had all night. I had a preconceived notion of how it would taste, but it broke all the rules and the flavors I knew of. I could recognize the different ingredients individually, but together it was pure genius! Unlike any cold noodle dish I’ve tasted. The noodle (a bit oily, but in a good way) is perfectly al dente and as chinese would say “Q” or “very bouncy”. There was just the right amount of heat, then you get the sweetness from the crushed roasted candied cashews, and saltyness from the sausage pieces, all together is just unbelievable, so many flavors and textures in one bite. Crunchy, chewy, meaty, sweet, savory and spicy, this is one of those dishes I would go back again and again for. Maybe this is why foodies adore David Chang. And for that dish alone,
Chubby’s RATING:
171 First Ave
212.777.7773
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