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East Village/ LES >
Asian Fusion >
Momofuku Ssam Bar
Posted by notafan on 01/22/2007
Pork buns -- tasty, but not a significant improvement over the Chinatown original with duck/scallion/sauce. Rice cake -- being Korean I've tasted the inspiration for this dish, and I can say that this is definitely different in a good and inspired way. Please don't be so stingy with the rice cakes though. Ssams -- hanger steak was too rare especially given that the pieces were too big to be bite sized, but the accompaniments (pureed kimchee, mysterious green sauce, onions) were a delightful update on the trad Korean ssam (which, by the way is NOT a burrito so please tell your waitstaff to stop referring to it as such). Pork ssam was really gross. I just don't get the flavors of this dish -- salty + sweet yet still somehow blah. Also, why does it have to be stuffed with 99% pork and nothing else? Service: The atmosphere was fine, but sitting at the bar was kind of an odd experience as we happened to be right across from the dishwasher. So for what seemed like a good part of the meal, a member of the waitstaff was loading and unloading dishes fairly close to us. Kind of disturbing.
Posted by Anonymous on 01/12/2007
Went to Momofuku (original) lastnight - the steamed pork (made of whole pieces of pork belly) buns were moist and delicious. The Ramen noodles were horribly chewy. We sat at the bar opposite the chefs....and you come out smelling like the kitchen..... with a nice layer of grease to go with it. My husband asked for some pepper and the waiter had the cheek to say try it first - hey is he paying to eat or are we.... The next day we decided to try the Ssam bar - went there around 2pm, place was empty. There was an unappetizing smell as you walked in which made one immediately think that the food must not be good and indeed it was disappointing. The Steamed pork bun here was made of shredded pork shoulder (dry as a desert), the burrito was so-so. Not sure why there's such hype about this place.
Posted by lauren on 01/04/2007
The daytime ssams are fine enough, but the sit down menu is the stroke of genius for which this restaurant should be known. The banh mi sandwich is a perfect marriage of its ingredients (served on SSB bread - best bread in town). The two apple salads are unique and delicious and the squid salad is lovely. My absolute favorite is the sea urchin: whipped, slightly spicy tofu that is so airy it nearly floats above some crisped rice, some sweet tapioca and uni that melts in your mouth. This sea urchin dish is not to be missed. Also: raw oysters, artisanal hams, mackeral salad, chawan mushi and sparkling wines plus good beers. Friendly, casual atmosphere, with bar and table seating.
Posted by Anonymous on 01/01/2007
OK - so I loved their original place and was excited to hear that a second location had opened. What a disappointment! The place looks great but that is about all. The menu is teeny, the food tastes like it has been sitting around in a cafeteria for hours and the prices are way too high given the quality. My food wasn't even vaguely warm. I will NOT be returning.
Posted by Anonymous on 12/17/2006
Think of burritoes with an asian twist and that's what you get at Momofuku. The food is fresh, tasty, and vibrant. I had the original ssam which I split with a friend and we were both full. It basically is a wrap with white rice, lima beans (?), kimchee, and pork. Somehow it's so simple and yet so brilliant! I also made room for one of their pork buns which one of my friends thought was reminiscent of peking duck (and the bread and cucumbers that it usually comes with). That was also, fresh and oh-so-delicious. Service is basically non-existent b/c you order at the front and carry your food back to your table or the bar The ambience itself is very modern, minimalistic, and sleek. All in all, I'd definitely go again!
Posted by Christina on 11/20/2006
I was starving when i staggered into momofuku ssam bar. I have an unusual addiction to the og berkshire pork buns, and I was also curious as to what this korean burrito phenomenon was. I ordered the original burrito (or whatever it's called) and the pork buns, and my favorite white ale. It was a little over $20, which I was impressed by but then when I got my meal I realized all this food would easily fill two if not three people. I, being the hog that I am, ate the whole thing with absolute gusto. I ate the entire huge burrito/ssam - pork, edamame, kimchi, rice, beans...filled with such deliciousness I had died and gone to pork heaven. And the buns...oh, the buns. I think I might like these more than the original. The coleslaw, the delicate little puff of bread and the tender, shredded, pork, and that yummy sauce they put on it. Next time I'll get the same thing but will make sure that there is someone to split it with me (except for the buns. I'll keep those to myself thank you!). I didn't eat for two days after that pork explosion.
Posted by tikrise on 10/25/2006
I had the pork burrito for the first time last night and I thought it was pretty amazing. Very tender and succlent pork and tasty fresh ingredients. I do like the idea of the lettuce burrito, it helps to lighten what would be heavy dish. At $13 for the dish, you would think this was an expensive burrito but this is definitely large enough to share btwn 2 people or make two meals out of it.... and I'm a big eater. Side note to Missed opportunity: Fermented black beans (which was in the burrito) is definitely an asian ingredient and is most commonly used in Chinese cooking.