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The Hungry Nomad: Momofuku Noodle Bar- East Village (New York City, USA)

August 7, 2012

Momofuku Noodle Bar- East Village (New York City, USA)

After hearing and reading about all the food award nominations for Momofuku of course I had to try it. We went on a Friday night and waited in line for 45 minutes to be seated. The restaurant is small, intimate and casual. I really liked the wrap around bar concept where people are seated at the bar facing each other and the bartender. 

We immediately ordered a bottle of sake and a few of their buns: beef brisket and shrimp buns (see menu). 


The beef was served in a doughy bun with horseradish sauce, pickled red onion and cucumber. The shrimp was served with pickled shallot and spicy mayonnaise.



For our entrees we decided on two noodle dishes: the Chilled Spicy noodles- a serving of egg noodles with sichuan spiced sausage, spinach cashews and the spiciest chili sauce. Our waiter warned me of the spice level but I like to think I have a high tolerance for spiciness, so ignoring her warning I ordered the dish anyway. It arrived looking colorful and fresh. I was so eager to take the first bite. I wish I had a cartoon photo to depict how I must have looked after the first bite. My mouth, nose and entire head was on fire. My sinuses watering immediately, I decided to ignore the signals and take a second bite hoping that maybe my taste buds would adapt. They didn't. I called over our waitress told her its too hot and that I would have to order something else off the menu. The manager came over and told me that they would not take it off the bill since it states that it is spicy in the name of the dish. I didn't argue. In fact I never asked for it to be taken off. Oh well, I'm sure they have had to fight that question more than a few times. I don't know why they would make it so spicy beyond being edible. Our taste buds in North America are not adapted to that amount of hot chili oil in one spoonful. Oh well, on to the next dish. 


I ordered the Momofuku Ramen as a replacement hoping that the broth would soothe my burning tongue and lips. It arrived shortly after. At this point, I was over the entire meal but felt obligated to take a few spoonfuls of the ramen if only to be able to write about it on my blog. For $16 it was quite the disappointment. 


Overall, I was not impressed with the menu or the food. There was no originality and being from Vancouver I've definitely had better buns and ramen in my day. It has always been hard for me and other Vancouverites to find good Asian food outside of Vancouver- we are truly spoiled to have some of the best in Van City. But back to MoMofuku. I heard someone call it hipster food. And I would have to agree. There is nothing particularly amazing at this Noodle Bar. But the atmosphere is lively, the decor modern and simplistic and the food will definitely fill you up. 

(As a sidebar- the photo quality is low as I didn't have my SLR handy- all photos were taken by my iphone with poor lighting). 

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

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