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Momofuku Noodle Bar - weekday lunch

buttertartz Oct 10, 2012 07:07 AM

How early do you need to arrive to avoid waiting for a table during the work week? Does going early on in the week make any difference? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Shorttyred RE: buttertartz Oct 10, 2012 07:22 AM

    I went on the first week at one - they told me it would be an hour. I went back to work and they texted me. It was actually closer to forty minutes. This was of course the Friday of the first week, so I'm not sure this was representative, and I'm fortunate enough to work five minutes away.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Shorttyred
      julesrules RE: Shorttyred Oct 10, 2012 07:53 AM

      Was this to eat alone or in a group? Wondering if they have any bar-type seating that might open up faster for single diners.

      1. re: julesrules
        peppermint pate RE: julesrules Oct 10, 2012 08:18 AM

        There are some communal table and some bar stools facing the kitchen and the front window - all well suited for singles.

    2. Shorttyred RE: buttertartz Oct 10, 2012 11:01 AM

      This was for three, but we sat at the bar over looking the kitchen (which was fascinating). There was a single beside us.

      1. w
        Wino In Training RE: buttertartz Oct 11, 2012 10:01 AM

        Just went today, got there about 11:45 and sat down immediately. It was rammed by noon though. To be safe I would say between 11:30 and 11:45.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Wino In Training
          ace123 RE: Wino In Training Oct 12, 2012 07:50 AM

          I was there at 1pm on a weekday last week, no line up.

          1. re: ace123
            themiguel RE: ace123 Oct 12, 2012 08:10 AM

            Yeah I had friends show up at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, no lineup. Im not sure this bodes well for such a heralded brand. AFAIK Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC has lineups 24/7

            1. re: themiguel
              EarlyDrive RE: themiguel Oct 12, 2012 12:56 PM

              I went to the NYC Noodle Bar on a Sat @1 a few months back -- walked in and got a table no problem, no lineups.

              1. re: EarlyDrive
                themiguel RE: EarlyDrive Oct 12, 2012 01:01 PM

                I stand corrected.

          2. re: Wino In Training
            fickle RE: Wino In Training Oct 12, 2012 11:16 AM

            Went right when it opened today at 11:30. All seats were taken by 11:45. There was quite the lineup by 12 noon.

          3. jlunar RE: buttertartz Oct 20, 2012 08:12 PM

            Weekend lunch - no line. no wait. I was there from12:15-2.

            We couldn’t let the meal pass without ordering the two staples of the Momofuku empire: pork buns and the pork ramen. I’d had the pork buns at Ssam Bar in New York, and these were relatively the same; consistency is good. Nice soft bun, fatty pork, and pickled slices of cucumber. The ramen’s onsen tamago is pretty perfectly cooked, we see the familiar pork again (not a bad thing), and broth and noodle, while a little bland, are acceptable. For these cornerstones, neither hit me as particularly memorable. Certainly not bad, but I am left a little flummoxed by the furor that surrounds them.

            The chilled and spicy noodles were interesting. Almost a salad in composition; crunchy candied cashews are generously strewn over spinach and ramen noodles. Large hearty chunks of sausage give it heat and salt. Of all the dishes, I felt that this was the most original.

            Roasted rice cakes in a red chili sauce, with confit onion, sesame, and scallions. If you’re familiar with Korean cuisine, you’ve eaten this dish. The traditional versions I’ve sampled tend to be pretty boring in both texture and taste after the first bite or two. Momofuku’s rice cakes – chewy and occasionally crispy – appealed greatly to me. The roasting in Dave Chang’s dish really adds a lot of depth to it.

            Chicken & Egg is one of two dishes containing rice, and given the description we had from our server, it’s the only true rice dish (Kimchi Stew only comes sided with a bowl of rice). Loved the torched skin on the smoked chicken and we have another appearance of that nicely poached egg – the onsen tamago – in this dish. What killed the dish for me was the mushy rice it sat on. Must have been an off batch – I can’t imagine that this is the norm. I should have mentioned this to the server, but I was in new company and didn’t want to be “that guy.”

            I liked the smoked chicken wings – they were quite tasty in the thick and sticky soy sauce. I did feel like more smoke would be tastier, but that’s a minor gripe. Nothing out of the ordinary here, but it was a tasty and a good snack. Would order this again. Also, after looking at all the photos, I realize they must go through a metric ton of scallions.

            Intro/outro/photos: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2012/10/20/mo...

            6 Replies
            1. re: jlunar
              dubchild RE: jlunar Oct 20, 2012 09:13 PM

              Didn't you find the chilled and spicy noodles with candied cashews, a sweet sauce and the raisin (or whatever they were), to be a little too sweet? As much as I liked the roasted rice cakes themselves, I found the onion confit to be more like onion jam. I should mention I have a sweet tooth, but I found these items to be overly sweet.

              1. re: dubchild
                jlunar RE: dubchild Oct 20, 2012 09:46 PM

                Maybe they dialed back the sugar? The cashews were the sweetest thing in that dish and I didn't feel like t he rice cakes were too sweet at all. I didn't think the onion was jammy at all, but pretty well integrated into the sauce - sorta like strands/noodles in sauce. It was spicy enough to overpower sweet.

                1. re: jlunar
                  dubchild RE: jlunar Oct 21, 2012 09:06 AM

                  Did your noodles contain raisins or some sort of dried berry?

                  1. re: dubchild
                    jlunar RE: dubchild Oct 21, 2012 12:32 PM

                    Nope, not that I could see/taste. Though I didn't eat all the way down to the end of the bowl (was sharing), so if it was buried, I might not have hit it.

              2. re: jlunar
                autopi RE: jlunar Oct 20, 2012 09:26 PM

                i liked the chicken & egg dish, but thought it kind of backpedaled on the flavor a bit. i thought the pickles could have been a bit more assertive, the smoke & salt as well. it sort of all blended together in a nicely composed, but kind of indistinct, bowl of flavored rice (which was a bit on the soft side).

                1. re: autopi
                  jlunar RE: autopi Oct 20, 2012 09:48 PM

                  Hmn. I found the smoke on everything pretty light - maybe too light. I hope their rice isn't what I experienced - it was verging onto congee. I'd give the dish another shot for sure b/c that seemed really off to me. I think the quick pickle was the weakest part in that dish.

              3. f
                FrenchSoda RE: buttertartz Nov 7, 2012 12:46 PM

                Does anyone know what the week-end evening line-ups are like these days?

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