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Momofuku New Space

I went to Momofuku Noodle Bar in its new space last night. They've added a lot more than just seats. The menu has been significantly expanded and now includes several offal offerings such as tripe with bacon and fried veal sweetbreads. They've also FINALLY included the carbonated unfiltered sake that they have over at Ssam bar. The menu is now so well rounded that you don't need to order a noodle dish in order to have an excellent and complete meal. I always liked Ssam bar because as great as the Ssams are, you don't need to order this signature dish in order to be satisfied. Noodle Bar has now achieved the same.

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  1. Thanks for the report! I need to go back there soon and check it out.

    1. went there tonite to finally try momofuku ramen -- unfortunately it was not great (i'll say good but i really am quite easy to please w/ramens, my bf says "fair")
      the noodles were def. on a mushy side, and we agreed that these would have been good intro ramen -- non-descrip broth, but pretty nice toppings and lots of them (contrasting that with some ramens we had in japan that had 2-3 slices charshu w/some menma if we were lucky but super assertive broths for example)
      we were in a hurry so didn't really have time to consider/consume any other items on the menu (btw didn't see sweetbreads or other offal on the menu cards there but can see them on menupages) -- pork buns did looks good and some other items look intersting on the menu so we'll be back
      and yes the space looks very nice -- soothing blond wood everywhere

      1. let's not forget the soft serve! right now the flavors are espresso and sweet cream (with brownie filling the inside of the cone) but they have plans to change it to pumpkin and cream cheese with carrot cake crumble for the holidays.

        1. Went last night for the first time. (Never visited the old one.)
          Pork buns: Good, but a little TOO much pork belly for my taste. Very rich. I don't know why people complain about the price of these, though, b/c there is like 5x more pork in one of these than in your standard chinatown pork bun.
          Grits with shrimp and bacon: best dish I tried. grits were sweet & corny, consistency was loose and porridge-like, topped with 5 big shrimp, bacon, soft egg, and scallion. Mix it all together and it is kick-ass comfort food.
          Spicy tripe: OK but not great. Spicy enough, but lacked the depth of flavor I thought it would have.
          Octopus salad with seaweed & carrot: So/so. dressing a little too sweet, octo kinda overcooked.
          Cabbage with Garlic sausage: OK, not revelatory but a welcome vegetable. Cabbage could have been sweeter IMO to offset chili and garlic sausage
          Momofuku ramen: Sucked. Noodles way overcooked and flavorless, salty and nearly flavorless broth, more pork belly which was fine but at that point I was done with pork products.
          Had also that carbonated sake, which was very tasty.
          We got there early and were seated right away. By the time we left (at 8:00) there was a line. No way I would wait in line for the food. Only thing I thought was good enough to return for was the shrimp & grits, which was very tasty.

          3 Replies
          1. re: laguera

            Does anyone else find it totally weird that the ramen, which started the Momofuku empire, is by far the weakest thing they serve? Always mushy, always overcooked. So many other dishes there are so great, even the other ingredients in the ramen, but the noodles are always limp!

            1. re: hungrycomposer

              When my friend and I went to Momofuku Noodle Bar a few Saturdays ago, we had sweatbreads, tripe, beef tongue, hamachi, brussel sprouts, a bowl of the Momofuku Ramen, two cones of the soft serve ice cream, a carafe of carbonated nigori sake which all came in about $50 per person. Yes, I agree the noodles at Momofuku are consistently overcooked. Yes, I agree the Tripe sounded better on paper than it actually was. Yet none of that really matters to me. The fact is that you're getting affordable, interesting food with unique flavors and good portion sizes in what I think is a fun and friendly environment.

              1. re: Med618

                I agree, but I'm amazed that they haven't raised their standard in noodles to the level of the rest of their food. How was the tongue? I rarely get to eat it unless I find tacos de lengua...

          2. I went today and thought the pork ramen was delicious. I would be interested in knowing some good spots in Chinatown for ramen at half the price :)

            1. I got hungry reading this and strolled by for a late night snack: the steamed buns were porky and rich and incredibly delicious as always, then we had country ham and gold nugget potato hash with a fried egg: salty, tasty, oniony, but a little steep at $12, I would have loved a piece of toast...
              We were seated in the best spot, at the bar in front of the kitchen. The cooks are friendly, hardworking, patient when answering questions, but our waiter was dismissive at best. Can't say I go there for the service.

              1. I dined there about 3 weeks ago and had a bit of everything BUT the Ramen. By far the best dish I tried was the Veal sweetbreads. Absolutely incredible. Perfectly cooked with a firm yet not overpowering coating. Served with a slightly sweet dipping sauce - these are perhaps the best starter I've tried all year.

                1. I've been a big fan of this place. But I feel like they changed the noodles - the ones now are eggy-tasting, which I feel interferes with the taste of the ramen overall (whereas before they were just toothsome rice noodles?). Disappointing.

                  1. Is this change with the noodles fairly recent ? I've had the Momofuku ramen twice (once with pork, another with chicken), and was reasonably satisfied with the noodles (of course they aren't very interesting, but I've felt the other components of the dish — broth, protein, the egg — are wonderful).

                    The space is great. The poster of The Band !

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cmballa

                      I've never been to Momofoku Noodle Bar, but have enjoyed on multiple occasions, the Ssam Bar.

                      If you're saying that they have a poster of The Band (Robbie, Levon, Rick and the gang), then it's time for us to pay a visit.

                      1. re: RCC

                        They do, it's a giant, blown-up group portrait, in the front by the entrance.

                    2. "The menu is now so well rounded that you don't need to order a noodle dish in order to have an excellent and complete meal."

                      I went with a bunch of friends on Thursday night around 7:00pm and did the same. The wait was about 40 minutes for a group of six. After a short wait, we were treated to a delicious dinner of many appetizers, including fried pigs tails (kind of like really bony chicken wings crossed with tender spare ribs), actual chicken wings (well spiced and perfectly roasted, a very minimalist take and not what I was expecting), steamed buns with shiitake (good but not as good as the pork ones), brussels sprouts with bacon (still think I like the Ssam Bar ones better), fried sweetbreads with dipping sauce (A+! Would eat again!), and beef tongue with mustard (there was a patty like component which was warm, and some thinly sliced pieces, which were cold, it was really good and served with house made mustard sauce).

                      I also had a really good rice cakes dish with oxtail ragu that I neglected to share with my boyfriend, which he pointed out several times. He had the fried chicken special -- it's fried but not breaded, and has a tasty ginger-scallion flavor, but a half chicken seems like way too much for one person to eat. Our dessert was excellent. Twist of chocolate and caramel in a cone, and nice, crunchy, toffee-esque banana bits on the bottom. Mmmmmm!

                      Funny thing to note: it is quite loud in the restaurant, especially when it's full, but I witnessed a personal Momofuku first. Someone actually turned the music DOWN at some point.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kathryn

                        I finally got around to trying the new place. I have to say, I did not like the ramen. I went to the old space a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Did they change the ramen? The broth? I got the assorted pickles and the momfuku ramen as a nice complete lunch. Loved the pickes, but not the Signature Dish. It was distressingly expensive too, for what amounts to a simple bowl of soup. ($15!) I'm okay with paying more for quality, but it's about 2x as expensive as Rai Rai Ken, Setagaya, Minca, etc. And absolutely not twice as good, authentic or not.

                        I'd go back for other things there, but if I just want a ramen fix I'd sooner go to setagaya or rai rai ken.

                        1. re: egit

                          Don't go to Momofuku for their noodles!!!

                          Yes, the name is deceptive, you'd expect mind-blowing noodles from a "noodle bar", but it's their non-noodle dishes that really shine. Best pork belly ever. I think they should change their name...

                      2. Went to Momofuku tonite and was so disapointed by the ramen that it lead me to make a comment on this site. You are better off eating Maruchan Cup O Soup (seriously!!) Its so salty that you are literally dehydrated by your second bite. When i sent it back i was told that its the way its supposed to be. The nice waitress felt so bad that the cooks could not change it that she served us some ice cream which was also SALTY!! do these people have a vitamin deficiency?? All this being said the pickles were as good as any Japanese Grandma's.