It’s 12:40pm and my first bite for the day is a hot dog from a street vendor on the side of the waiting line for the Circle Line boat tour. Nothing much to say. It was a hot dog and it kept us from whining on our two-hour tour. Now the only goal of the day besides the American Girls store, was that dinner be a good one.
Starving, early dinner needed, they don’t take reservations, it was on our list, it seemed the choice was clear – Momofuku Ssam Bar here we come.
Steamed Buns – pork belly, hoisin, cucumbers, scallions
All we hear all dinner long was “more pork buns!” Juicy, succulent pork belly, salty hoisin, crispy pickled cucumbers, soft pillowy buns. Stella said, “a party in my mouth.”
Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Ham (Madisonville, TN)
Thin salty slices of ham served with crispy baguette and red eye gravy mde of house made mayo and coffee infusion. Tasty!
Sichuan Beef Tendon – green mango, peanuts
Thinly sliced beef tendon, Sichuan peppercorns, baby spinach. Mouth numbing peppercorns, yet otherwise, light and clean flavors.
Grilled Hamachi Collar, scallion, lime and soy vinaigrette, shaved daikon
Tender Hamachi, yummy citrus soy. We got every last bit of that piece of fish!
Cavendish Farms Quail – sticky rice, morels, sour mustard greens
One small quail was not enough. Served with a soy broth, the quail was perfectly cooked, crispy skin, tender and moist on the inside and I loved the mustard green addition and thinly sliced Chinese sausage.
Attached to Ssam Bar, was Milk Bar, where we picked up a slice of Crack Pie and a slice of Candy Bar Pie to go and a helping of cream cheese frosting soft serve ice cream to eat on the way. Stella reports the soft serve was creamy and sweet. Very sweet! Crack Pie, if it is named ‘crack’ for its addictiveness, is aptly named. Super buttery center, crispy nutty crust, one bite will hold you over until you start desiring another a few minutes later.
Just a couple blocks away was Momofuku Noodle Bar. We had to swing by and check it out to complete the trifecta. Since we ate early enough in the evening, and I being greedy, decided to get an order of their Ginger Scallion Noodles to go for a late night snack. Who knew if we would get back there, right? Getting back to the hotel, I couldn’t help but take a bite. They were just as I had imagined they would be. Yummy pickled shiitakes and bamboo shoots, salty cucumbers, ginger scallion sauce, fresh chewy noodles.
Having made several items from the Momofuku cookbook now, I am happy to report the food is replicable at home and the recipes are accurate. I always wonder if they might be hiding something from you when you follow a restaurant cookbook. But they have done an excellent job in not only sharing the recipes, but also in the telling of the back story and all the tips along the way. I look forward to all the other recipes I will be trying in the future!