Momofuku Noodle Bar
I am not a fan of cold weather. Anyone who knows me knows I love summer heat. But one thing I do look forward to when the weather drops below 50 degrees, is ramen.
I must say that I am very lucky to live close enough to Momofuku that I can easily walk over and see if there’s a wait without going completely out of my way. But recently, I seem to have perfected the timing of showing up at off-peak hours. One of my most successful trips was last year on the night before Christmas Eve (the eve of Christmas Eve?). My boyfriend had just arrived from Boston and was starving. I thought it was a long shot that they were even open, but they were fully operating with no wait at all. Another time, we decided on a 85 degree August day to stop in for lunch, definitely not their prime time.
We almost always order the same exact meal. I’m not usually a fan of doing this at other restaurants I frequent, but everything we get is too good to not order every time. We start with the Beef Brisket Buns ($13) and I always get the Momofuku Ramen ($17). The buns are perfectly fluffy and not overly doughy. The brisket falls apart as you dig in and has the perfect compliments of horseradish mayo, pickled red onion and cucumber. I also love that they’re not overly stuffed and messy, which always makes the handling difficult. Last time we were here, I commented on the fact that we always order the same meal which led us to switching it up to the Shiitake Buns ($13) with hoisin, scallion, cucumber. Also, awesome. The ramen comes out surprisingly quickly and is filled with pork belly, pork shoulder, scallions, fish cakes and the essential soft egg. Also photographed above, the Chicken Pho ($16) served with cilantro, fried shallots and jalapeño oil.
Pro tip: I love sitting at the counter and watching the cooks assemble each bowl. But I will warn you, it can get sweaty over there.
The overall experience is great and works for a quick weeknight meal for two or a weekend activity with a group. You are seated at communal tables most of the time, which if you’re anything like me, is great for entertaining eavesdropping. Everything is simple but efficient. Not a ton of facetime with the waiters, which isn’t really necessary with such a straightforward menu. And although I was not very excited about this change in weather, it does allow me to visit Momofuku more often!
171 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003