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May 13, 2008 11:06 AM

Bo Ssam at Momofuku - what else do we order?

Having Bo Ssam for 8 at Momofuku tonight. What else should we order aside from the main attraction? This is my first time to any David Chang joint, so any must-trys would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Steamed buns with pork belly (they two to an order). Benton's Country Ham. Both are classic Ssam Bar dishes.

    Diver sea scallops, with house-made furikake, lemon puree, pickled cherries, for something lighter.

    Rouge poussin (baby spring chicken) with morels, peas, and ramps while it is still on the menu. It is excellent and won't be around for long. Because they're baby chickens, you might want to get two of these. They're so juicy and flavorful.

    Asparagus with miso butter, poached egg, while it is still in season.

    Finish with the rhubarb shortcake with whipped creme fraiche.

    Ask them to pack up the leftovers. They do a great job, including the salt and the sauces and lettuce. Makes a great lunch the next day.

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      I totally second everything that kathryn mentioned. If they have the roasted cauliflower or brussels sprouts (probably out of season now) with fish sauce, you should get that too! The apple salad is good as well.

      The Benton ham is one of my favorite there. I got so addicted to the ham that I actually ordered the ham directly from the Benton's family so that I can satisfy my craving at all time!

      1. re: kobetobiko

        All apple dishes including the apple salad and apple kimchi, as well as the fried cauliflower, and fried brussels sprouts are all off the menu. It's spring! The only winter holdover still is the mushroom salad, I think.

        1. re: kathryn

          Wait, so no more veggie dishes other than asparagus? I thought apple and cauliflowers are all season ^_^"

          1. re: kobetobiko

            We also had the Bo Ssam the other night. The vegetable specials were asparagus and bok choy. You really do not need to order anything before the pork, as there is a tremendous amount of meat.
            (We had 8 people and two of us took home large packages of pork leftovers; make sure to request that they add the sauces if you do this, as they did not add these in our packages)

            Although we would have had plenty of food with the pork alone, we did get two orders of those incredible pork buns, along with a terrific mushroom salad and the squid salad. (Squid was not charred, though.) I can't imagine that you can go wrong with anything you order! Even the salt tastes amazing. They told us that Maldon flakes are their regular table salt.

            1. re: erica

              Maldon salt is also my regular table salt in my house! :D

    2. Without a doubt the pork buns as a previous poster mentions and i personally adore the Banh mi sandwich and the warm veal head terrine. Those three things are not seasonal and always on the menu. Short rib clay pot is also delicious but messy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: banjolinana

        I believe the short rib clay pot is no longer on the menu.

      2. I'll second the steamed pork buns. They are heavenly little pillows w/ berkshire pork. I loved the house ramen also. The broth is velvety goodness w/, again, berkshire pork and a poached egg.

        I'm totally jealous.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lynnlato


          Ramen is served at Momofuku Noodle Bar, not Momofuku Ssam Bar. The OP is talking about Momofuku Ssam Bar as snaporaz has reserved a Bo Ssam (whole pork shoulder butt) for dinner.

          1. re: lynnlato

            We had lunch for the first time at Ssam yesterday and I agree about the pork buns. We had:

            Cured hamachi - edamame, horseradish, pea leaves
            Pork Buns
            Crossabaw pork pate en croute - ramp marmalade

            More Pork Buns
            Banh Mi

            Meacham country ham (Kentucky) - served with their "gravy" and Sullivan Street Bread

            Really, everything was so good, we kept ordering! Nice wines by the glass too. I thought the service was a bit, well, shall we say, erratic, but we weren't in a rush. We arrived around 1:45 or so and no wait.

          2. What did you end up eating? I actually went the same day of your post and had an extraordinary hit rate - we went seven for seven on dishes.

            Personal fave was the crispy pig's head torchon - it had a higher meat:fat/collagen ratio than the similar pig foot dish at Incanto in SF earlier this year, and I preferred the texture and flavor of the head dish. Enough fat/collagen to make it luxurious, enough meat to give it body. It was accompanied by an excellent mustard, red adzuki beans that tasted like they'd been poached in pork fat, and small dice of pineapple. Odd combo of flavors on the plate, great on the palate.

            The chawan mushi with snails and the mushroom salad were tied for number two for me. The chawan mushi had a denser texture than most - more like a creme caramel. I think there has to be dairy in it... it didn't weep or break at all. The snails were tender and flavorful. Great dish.

            The mushroom salad was as great as everyone says - deeply caramelized mushrooms (several types, the names of which I missed), with a delicious pistachio puree (there's something else in there, I can't remember what), radishes, and lightly pickled crosnes.

            Also enjoyed the charred squid salad and the steamed clams+ mussels with kimchi, Benton's bacon, and oval rice cakes (both variations on the seafood + kimchi theme), the spicy pork sausage with rice cakes, chinese broccoli, and crispy shallots (the star of this dish for me was, surprisingly, the chinese broccoli, which soaked up the fat and flavor from the sausage and became insanely silky and delicious), and the sichuan beef tendon with pickled green mango (served warm, so it was meltingly soft in the mouth, rather than near-crunchy in the classic Sichuan tendon preparations. Good ma-la flavor, and I enjoyed the change in textures as the dish cooled off, too).

            Sometimes when I see elements in a dish that look disparate but taste great, I'll try to break them down and figure out the unifying elements. I gave up at M. Ssam... how do adzuki beans, pineapple, and mustard go together? Or crosnes, radishes, pistachios, and mushrooms? I admitted defeat, submitted to the general celebration of kimchi and umami, and then followed it up with dessert at Tailor, which I'll post on in just a bit...