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I ate up Momofuku Ssäm Bar!

Well, that’s obviously an exaggeration.


But during my stay in the city I at least had lunch or late lunch there 3 times and had quite a share of the menu. This adds up with all my previous visits at Ssäm Bar and Noodle Bar during my last trips. And I have to confess: I am still a fan of David Chang’s creative fusion food that is so full of sense. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to eat at Momofuku Ko, which is the fine dining restaurant. But for now here’s what I ate at Ssäm bar:

shigoku oysters (can) – kimchi. Beautiful, refreshing, stimulating, even provocative? This simple oyster shows how right fusion food can be when someone gives it a bit of thought and thinks a step ahead! Maybe I’m wrong but I believe that good fusion food needs a lot of thinking, it needs good ingredients and the right preparation. And in the end it looks as simple as this oyster with kimchi. Bravo!

hawthorne valley buttermilk – fuji apple dashi, market herbs, pine nuts . A nice composition for spring or summer. Slightly sour in taste, somehow intriguing, but genuinly refreshing in the end.

steamed pork buns – hoisin, cucumbers, scallions. A momofuku classic and everybody’s darling. I read in their cookbook how this dish has been created by accident and the whole team thought it would fail.

spanish mackerel – buckwheat, kimchi turnip, asian pear. Nice fish quality, but here the cooking wasn’t perfect as it was still a bit raw inside. But that doesn’t scare a sushi-lover – I still enjoyed it!

market greens – xo sauce. On that day it was Swiss Chard. Simple and exactly what you’d expected it to be.

fried baby artichokes – pistachio, sunchokes, bottarga crunchy and tasty artichokes. Again some delicious fusion food, or is it just modern Italian? Anyways it was great: crunchy fried artichokes full of flavour and bottarga. Wait! Bottarga?
I’ve seen it quite often on menus in the city and wasn’t quite sure what it is in the end. So here’s a short excerpt from what wiki told me:

Botargo, also called bottarga (Italian) […] is a Mediterranean delicacy of cured fish roe.

Sometimes called the poor man’s caviar, botargo is the roe pouch of tuna or grey mullet, or sometimes swordfish. It is massaged by hand to eliminate air pockets, then dried and cured in sea salt for a few weeks. The result is a dry hard slab, which is coated in beeswax for keeping.

It is usually used sliced thinly or grated.

In Italy, it is best-known in Sicilian and Sardinian cuisine; its culinary properties can be compared to those of dry anchovies, though it is much more expensive. Bottarga is often served with lemon juice as an appetizer or used in pasta dishes. In Lebanon it is served sliced, where each slice is covered with a piece of raw garlic and the whole is immersed in olive oil then eaten with flat bread.

yes, it makes sense, and fits perfectly in this dish!

braised brisket (creekstone farm, ky) – rice noodles, thai basil, cilantro.Probably the most Asian of all dishes. And somehow also very NY with braised brisket. Anyhow, truly yummy and probably the most filling of all dishes I had there.

Time to leave…

… ’cause its spring in the E. Village

Momofuku Ssäm bar
207 2nd ave. nyc 10003
corner of 13th + second

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