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East Village/ LES >
Asian Fusion >
Momofuku Ssam Bar
Posted by e.villager on 11/18/2007
So I finally made it to this place.. it is only a few blocks away from where I live and always super packed with people waiting to be seated. I waited over an hour after the girl told me our seats would be ready in "30-40 minutes" The small, crowded waiting area in the back of the space is uncomfortable and loud but the small selection of quality beer and wine was a plus, and you can see the cooks at work. The food was nothing spectactular especially at these high prices. The pork sticky bun was good, but not out of this world. Also had the Momofuku Ssäm and the fried skate. This fish was very plain with very little on the plate except for a piece of fish which tasted dry and nothing special. The Ssäm (or asian burrito) was interesting, but below expectations. The side of the wrap with rice was noticably warmer than the side with pork meat which tasted fatty and undercooked. Overall probably a place I would go back to for lunch but not much else.
Posted by terry on 11/16/2007
i'm familiar with the criticisms of the momofuku noodle bar, and chief among them is that comparable dishes can be found 20 blocks south for half the price. it never bothered me there, as the food is always good, and $12 or $13 for a bowl isn't crazy to me - i could always leave full and happy. the ssam bar, unfortunately, is another story. we tried it in the first month of its opening, when the ssam was pretty much it for menu options. i wasn't wowed, but the price was right. now, however, beyond the standard namesake "sandwich," there aren't really any deals to be had. the apple salad we shared to start was the highlight of the meal, and while not cheap at $13, it was delicious, topped with bacon (ubiquitous as ever in the momofuku universe), lychee fruit and gelatin, roasted peanuts and a cilantro-like herb. really excellent, and if the rest of the meal had held up, i'd have no complaints. for entrees, we had the lemongrass pork sausage ssam and pork short rib clay pot. the sausage ssam was dry, and had surprisingly little flavor apart from the mint which was served as a condiment. the portion here would've been reasonable at $17 for a superior product, but this was not. the short rib clay pot with fingerling potatoes was like a stew, but much more challenging to eat (bones necessitated the removal of the rib from the bowl). this dish was wholly unremarkable, contained exactly two potatoes, and, i felt, considerably overpriced at $25. our server was very good. we ate at the counter. he was attentive but not overbearing, and had a great command of the restaurant's menu offerings. there's definite potential, as evidenced by the salad, and glimpses we caught of other small plates coming out of the kitchen. i'll probably return once the menu rotates again, in hopes that this potential will be fulfilled.
Posted by MPaddict on 10/18/2007
Definitely a hyped up downtown hip spot, as witnessed by the crammed waiting area in the back (on top of the kitchen). Food was great, the hamachi and the hanger steak ssam were great, and the deconstructed pork buns were pretty tasty, but a little light on the hoisin. We sent back the momfuku ssam (pretty dry... not so pleasing on the palate), but the rioja was delicious and it was great overall.
Posted by Anonymous on 10/05/2007
Just a quick note....Part of the fun of going to Momofuku was creating your own meal. Although the selections/tooppings/additions did not change, you could could try new combinations everytime you went it. I guess this presented too much work for them, or was not as financially beneficial, but my days at Momofuku are over.
Posted by The authority on 09/18/2007
Fast, easy, feels like a chipotle (low on atmosphere) but the food is soooo good.
Posted by nerual on 09/01/2007
To “still hungry”. Just eat a little bit more and you won’t be still hungry. It sounds like you and your girlfriend split 3 dishes. I’m a petite woman and I eat more than that, just by myself. Get the skate. Get the tomato salad. Get the cauliflower. Get the hamachi (which has a tasty and visually appealing swirl of edamame/horseradish puree). In October, you’ll be able to get the legendary brussel sprouts. Get the banh mi - get anything that comes with veal head terrine. The trout is always good and there’s some bacon in it too. Don’t forget to save room for strawberry short cake for dessert. You won’t be so cranky if you’re full!! I hope you take my advice - no need to thank me, it's my pleasure - you're very welcome.
Posted by rayski on 08/26/2007
The only way to feel better about my experience is to write an honest review and forget I ever went. Very disappointed that I paid a fair share of money and left hungry. When I saw the first dish arrive w the little swirl/design around the food I knew I was in trouble. That s when I should have left. The steak dish was tasty , but insultingly small. The pork dish was like some patty thang. Oh well. I did read the reviews and was not surprised , but my girlfriend wanted to go. The service?? If you think good service is taking your plate before you are done is good, then they were great!! I was trying to figure out how not to leave hungry. Went to Caracas for fried bananas and flan to make good!!!