Momofuku Ssam - Terrific Dinner
Two of us went to Momofuku last night. I had been there before and had a great time. My companion's first. Much has been written here, everywhere really, about the place but dinner was just so utterly delicious I feel like I have to post a quick write-up.
We had -
2 orders of the pork buns. Unctuously delicious. Less hoisin sauce as I remember last time. Two meltingly salty slices of pork. Yum
Brussels sprouts w/ mint, scallion in a fish sauce vinaigrette. Crunchy, perfectly charred sprouts in that tangy, complex vinaigrette. Could drink the bowl.
Uni w/ whipped tofu and beet tapioca. This was my favorite of the evening. Uni was beautiful - tender, salty, fresh - such an interesting flavor and one I have only had the chance one other time to experience. Waiter recommended mixing each of the flavors in each bite but I found myself wanting to eat them separately they were so interesting.
Pickled veggies - the turnips, beets and mushrooms stand out.
Kimchi apples, jowl bacon, maple labne and arugula. Not the best dish but still flavorful, refreshing and fun. Wish the apples were cut more uniformly and had a bit more of a kimchi kick.
Plate of Broadbent's country ham. Loved the blackeye mustard/gravy spread.
The flavors stayed with us all night and I find myself lusting to go back there right now. Maybe I'm just a sucker for Chang's palate. Whatever it is - loved it!
Nine of us recently went for the bo ssam and I'm happy to report that it was terrific. We also thought that the Brussels sprouts were a highlight, and the squid salad as well. I'm not sure why Chang seems to have an aversion to vegetables, especially when he prepares them so well, but whatever foils we could find for the pork was much appreciated.
But most of his dishes with pork have few or no vegetables attached. None of the people in my party of 9 were vegetarians, but several commented that more vegetables (besides the kimchi and deep-fried Brussels sprouts) would have balanced the richness of the pork. The squid salad, although not vegetable laden, would have been a decent foil for the bo ssam, with its acid, but we polished it off long before the pork butt arrived.
Actually, this is one of my objections to many high-end restaurants, especially in tasting menus. I'm not sure why vegetables are considered an afterthought.