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Posted by Jill on 03/16/2008
With all the hype, and with nobody on line to get in, we decided to eat here on a Friday evening. Even though there was no line we still had to wait 10 minutes to be seated because, as the hostess said, "it would be easier for us if you sat at the counter" even though there were 2 seats available at a table. When we sat at the "wrong" 2 counter seats we were asked to move because "it is easier for us if you sit in these seats." While we know that all businesses do things to make it easier for themselves and to maximize profit, there is a way to present it so that you don't feel like you've disturbed them or put them out of their way. The food was average and to make it more affordable and because the portions are pretty big - we shared one order of buns and one ramen so at least we didn't feel ripped off at the end.
Posted by Anonymous on 02/25/2008
If you're a magazine editor, or one of the mindless flock that come here because it's always in magazines, then this place is amazing. Prepare to be surrounded by other people "in the know." For the rest of us, this place does not live up to the hype. Prepare to wait in line to eat boiled pork fat put into an Asian taco. Then that's followed up by boring, unremarkable ramen. This place is not recommended, with either a good publicist or friends in the magazine business.
Posted by Anonymous on 02/23/2008
Save your stomach, wallet, and heart from this horribly overrated, and expensive restaurant. Went in for the full experience, got seated almost immediately. The restaurant is hip and cool with great music and immaculately clean. However the service was poor, we sat at the bar and order one of everything and it took over 45 minutes for our entrees to come out. Given the prices we expected fresh and tasty food. Unfortunately we got neither. The best thing on the menu are the steamy buns, though for $9 you get could a full meal at almost any other decent Asian or American place. The Asia-Southern fusion is a disaster. Such concoctions as Qual and Grits, Shrimp and Grits, and Deep Fried Chicken miss the mark wildly. Why pay over $20 for two scoops of grits and a 2 Oz cut of meat that's weight is all in the skin and bones? (We sat at the bar and I watched the make the food, the only seasoning used was salt, butter, and lots of oil.) Their ramen noodles tasted like spaghetti noodles, if you are going to sell this as "ramen" at least buy the real noodles and don't overboil them. The "soup" is simply scooped out of a common vat and then your meat choice is thrown on top. No seasoning, paste, or taste added. To add insult to energy the service is neither quick nor friendly. Why this place was crowded is beyond me, just goes to show that perhaps if you do fusion you don't need to be good or even decent in either type of food, but can simply be "original" with a hip restaurant and subpar food.
Posted by Anonymous on 01/28/2008
Went on a busy, cold MLK day for lunch. Wait for 2 counter spots was about 15 minutes. We had the Grilled Octopus Salad, which I really liked for the yummy char, though the other salad bits were a bit too drenched for my taste. Then the Momofuku Ramen, with the pork belly, shredded pork, poached egg, and some other veggies. The broth definitely was a lot less salty that others have described (I didn't find it salty at all, whatever other flavors they use in the broth really came through), and the ramen were very fresh tasting. How they get that scrumptious pork belly to not break down in the broth is amazing big plus for me was not having any greasy after-taste, even after that yummy, fatty pork. I have a pretty hearty appetite, but that generous bowl of ramen was more than enough for me - my husband was ecstatic to help me finish it. True, you'll find cheaper, but the cheaper places that I've been to are often a little questionable in the hygiene department - you kind of hope for the best and make sure everything you eat is fully cooked Momofuku is above and beyond in that regard. It's worth a treat for a day.
Posted by FS on 01/21/2008
I don't understand the hype. Place was too small and crowded to a point it became a hassle. Food was just ok and a bit overpriced for ramen. If you're looking for service then don't go to this place - they make you feel that you are bothering them when you ask them for additional things(the staff and mgmt should take a service 101 course from the food and service industry). Not a pleasant experience and won't come back.
Posted by Nevergoingagain on 01/17/2008
I have been eating at all of David Chang's restaurants since they have opened. I love the food, but I don't like the attitude. On one occasion my father asked for a few extra slices of cucumber with his bun and was refused. He even offered to pay for it and they still said no. Recently I went for lunch and they happened to have the pig tails, which are a favorite. I had my lunch and about half way through asked for an extra order of tails to go. I wanted to bring them to my father. The waitress asked the chef and he said that they don't do that. The waitress informed me of this and I asked whether they do anything to go. She said that they do, but there are several items on the menu that they do not do for take out. I can understand if a restaurant doesn't want people coming in off the street and asking for things to go that may take a while, but I was sitting and having lunch. If I had asked them to wrap up leftover tails would they have? It is not like I am in Le Bernardin asking for take out. This is a noodle bar. It is a level of snottiness that should not be accepted by people paying to much for noodle soup. People who work in the hospitality industry should never lose sight of their goal. The place has tasty food, but the attitude makes it not worth going.
Posted by JoeDM on 01/09/2008
Everyone knows the pork buns, those are great. The vegetable dishes are all winners, really fresh and well prepared. The house ramen is a bit too rich for me, VERY porky and sort of over the top. Maybe try one of the non-pork ramens. Overall, really high quality ingredients for traditionally low food. A NY original for sure. PS - For this quality ingredients, it is NOT expensive. Not sure where those comments are coming from. This is not a fast food joint serving pre-packaged ingredients.