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momofuku ssam bar

Posted: 05/13/14

momofuku ssam bar

Restaurant: momofuku_ssam_bar NYC

Nelson: I figured out that ssam means wrap in Korean. Naturally we ordered wrapped food food here. We start David Chang's most famous dish, steamed buns - pork belly, hoisin, cucumbers, scallions ($10). Look at those large chunks of pork belly. Yum! It was really fatty in a good way with extremely tender meat and only a touch of hoisin. I would have preferred more scallion myself, but it was still good. Similar to a peking duck but with two pieces of simply cooked pork belly. Overall very good with clean defined tastes that keep their subtlety and distinctiveness. To an Asian I these are very familiar tastes, but I can see how non-Asian would go crazy for this dish.
Next are the BBQ bun with crispy pork belly, coleslaw and smoked mayo ($6). This one had stronger tastes (bbq sauce) than the previous one, but I liked it a bit less. The pork belly is cooked differently, not quite crispy and not as distinctive compared to everything else resulting in a more muddled tasting dish.
This is the roasted diver scallops with avocado, black garlic, red radish ($23). While really commonly screwed up, the scallop was incredible because they were seared just right for that malliard reaction taste. I couldn't figure out what made them taste so good, but I'm guessing salt was added to them? Anyway, the avocado puree was ok by itself with a nice fluffy texture but doesn't go that well with the scallop. It's ok, as the scallop can star by themselves.
Another Korean inspired dish is the spicy pork sausage & rice cakes with chinese broccoli and sichuan peppercorn ($19). The flavours in this dish are wild with a lot of spice and a tonne of salt. It was a little too much of both salt and spice for myself. I really liked the rice cakes though as they are fried until they had a hard outer shell that complemented its tasty insides. The sausage is ground and liberally filling in the spaces. A very bold dish, but for me, too intense and overpowering.
Last is the beef tongue sandwich with mustard seeds, bone marrow and capers. ($13). Incredibly it had tempura pickles on the side! Very creative. It was slathered in mayo/relish and overall tasted like a Reuben but with an even heavier taste profile. I liked it better in the provided dip with had chunks of lard floating about. I personally like a regular Reuben better, but this was an interesting and creative take on the classic sandwich.

Overall really creative, fusing Asian tastes with western ingredients. I'm Asian, so perhaps not as mindblowing to me as it may be for non-Asians, but very good nonetheless. Momofuku Ssäm Bar on Urbanspoon


Categories: Appetizer,  Beef,  Korean,  Pork,  Seafood,  Spicy,  

Comments: 1 Comment



  • wow two pieces of pork belly!
    dre @ 2014-05-13

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