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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 :)