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Momofuku Ssam Bar
Posted by Ethnic Foods on 04/25/2007
Ssam Bar: all hype and no depth. I ordered the Berkshire Pork Steamed Buns, Edwards Wigwam Smoked Ham, and Momofuku Ssam. The aforementioned pork buns were wrapped in a doughy covering whose consistency can only compare to Play-Doh. This bun held two slices of pork, or should I say fat. The concoction tasted fine, but does animal fat ever taste bad? Then came the smoked ham, which was akin to prosciutto. However, salt overwhelmed the meat and all other flavors it was purported to have. Ssam Bar apparently has not been tasting its own food because a lonely bread slice came with the extra-salty ham (and only the bread made said ham edible). I was willing to forgive these two dishes if the namesake lived up to its hype, but the Momofuku Ssam also fell flat. Texture wise, the ssam's ingredients did not mesh well: hard, undercooked edamame along with cold, wet rice and a too thin burrito skin led to a ssam that fell apart upon first bite. Flavor wise, the ssam was just okay--fast food burritos would crush this weak contender. Altogether, you just have to wonder why the hell these dishes are on one menu. Who places subpar "Korean" and "Italian" inspired dishes on one menu without a strong link? Bottom line: skip Momofuku Ssam Bar a.k.a. don't believe the hype! I have no problem paying Manhattan prices for my meals, but I expect Manhattan quality. It looks like Ssam Bar spent its money on decor rather than its ingredients/chefs and is only in a position to "Wow" Mid-Westerners.
Posted by yucko on 03/30/2007
Let me just start out by saying that the Tofu Saam is the worst thing I've ever put in my mouth. It was bland but sweet, greasy (how did they manage to make tofu greasy right?), and so soggy! For anyone watching their figure...this is not the place for you because their main ingredient and forte is pork fat. I mean not that I don't enjoy a slab of bacon once in a while but I think it is actually drained and dripped on every plate there. It doesn't suit my taste and neither yours unless of course you are craving a few thousand calories. As for service, it wasn't bad but you can tell that this place lacks management and they probably lucked out with the attractive hosts and waiters. This place is supposed to be Japanese-Korean fusion but it is just not worth the $$ because everything is overpriced!
Posted by stephiebee on 03/22/2007
My roommate and I came here over the weekend. They serve a bunch of funky beers, wines, and sakes, but the only colas at the bar are Dr. Pepper and diet Dr. Pepper! We started with alcohol and finished with Dr. Pepper! We also had: Bread & Butter, Grilled Rice Cakes, Steamed Buns and the Chicken Momofuku Ssam. Everything here was very flavorful and nicely presented. Yes, it’s very different food for some people but I found it delicious. I ate the whole bowl of grilled rice cakes and didn't share a bite with my roomie. It was crowded so we sat at the bar. The waiters were a bit rushed, but the food was still outstanding. And I don't even eat pork. Bottom line? I could eat it everyday for a year and still want it the next day. Yum, yum, yum.
Posted by Anonymous on 03/02/2007
nearly gagged on my pork ssam! way too fatty and waaaay too greasy. gross. my boyfriend loved it though! good luck!
Posted by Disappointed on 02/20/2007
Although the food was good I have eaten at places where the food is better. My only major complaint is our bill was $80.23 for 2 girls that only had ONE glass of wine. Yes, we had 4 dishes, but the portions are VERY small compared to other restaurants. I think this place is over-priced...way too over-priced for the type of place. I could spend a little over $100.00 at a nice fancy Italian place with appetizers, a decent portioned meal and a bottle of wine. Instead I paid way to much for mediocre fare...Not to mention...I am not really sure why they call this place Korean? I don't think the food is all that authentic and I thought it was a little strange when none of the workers were Korean either...
Posted by Anonymous on 02/18/2007
Not being a pork-eater certainly limited my options here, but I have to disagree with most of what has been said by others--definitely worth a try. I started with the hamachi (nice and light sprinkled with something crunchy) and had the chicken ssam. It was truly delicious--juicy, edamame gave a bit of crunch, kimichi gave a bit of kick and stickly rice made it almost creamy. I would skip the mochi sampler dessert, though. disappointing--most of the favors being rather tasteless (sweetness aside). I plan on going back for more ssams.
Posted by Anonymous on 02/08/2007
The ssams may actually be the weakest part of Ssam Bar. My advice is to only go there after 6pm, where the regular sit down dinner menu is served by a friendly and knowledgeable waitstaff. That's when the sleek decor starts to make sense. Go for the luscious country ham -- it melts on your tongue. Dab a bit of rib-eye gravy for a slight kick. Then feast on a delicious banh mi with house-pickled vegetables and veal head terrine on crispy Sullivan Street Bakery bread. Next, indulge in some heart-attac-inducing pork belly buns. If you like pork belly, you'll love these. (The day time buns are shoulder and not as good.) If you're still hungry, consider the steak or the chawan mushi, or maybe the rice cakes or sweetbreads. Or the cured hamachi with furikake. The dishes are improving all of the time, and they are all very inventive and tasty. I'm convinced that David Chang is a genius. Finish off with the best fresh mochi in town with wonderful flavors like mango, passionfruit, lychee, chocolate espresso...