the Momofuku restaurants
I am going to NYC in May and am already starting to look at what dining experiences I want to have this time. I've been in the city several times, but never dined at any of the Momofoku-restaurants so I intend to do at least two of them on my next visit. Therefore I'm wondering how different is the offerings between them and have many of them should I do? I will have seven lunches and seven dinners in NYC.
Momofuku Ko takes reservations 10 days in advance including the current day for dinner, 14 for lunch, and serves a tasting menu only. It's $125pp for the dinner tasting and $175pp for the lunch tasting. The lunch tasting is longer/more complicated than the dinner one. Counter seating only. Their signature dishes are a shaved frozen foie gras with Riesling gelee, and a slow cooked egg with caviar and onion soubise. They only take reservations on their web site and they don't tend to stay available for long.
Ma Peche takes reservations on their web site. It's the only Momofuku restaurant in Midtown. They have a regular a la carte menu & also a chefs counter tasting called Kappo. It's less pricey than Ko but more pricey than the others and doesn't have the same downtown vibe. Excellent cocktails. They also do a great job with foie gras, pork, vegetables, lamb, etc.
Noodle Bar & Ssam Bar are more casual and downtown. They don't take reservations for small parties, only bigger groups doing large format meals.
Momofuku Noodle serves ramen, steamed buns, and some snacks & smaller composed plates. The ramen is solid but not the best in town. I prefer the other dishes.
I love Momofuku Ssam for a casual and creative dinner. Excellent cocktails as well. I actually just ate there a few days ago and had sole great raw fluke, chanterelles with shaved bone marrow, kale with XO, country ham, and steak with peanut/fish sauce/Brussels sprouts/pork rinds.
I would ballpark Momofuku Noodle to be about $25pp, Momofuku Ssam to be about $40-50pp, and Ma Peche to be $70pp.
Ko and Ssam would be two good ones to choose, but I haven't done Kappo at Ma Peche yet. Noodle, Ssam, and Ma Peche all do serve the famous steamed pork buns.
If I were you, I would definitely do Ko and Ssam. Noodle is just fine (for the pork buns, chicken wings) but the ramen is very mediocre compared to many other places in the city.
Definitely get some soft serve, cake truffles and cookies at Milk Bar. I'm eating a compost cookie as we speak.