Momofuku.  Momofuku.  Momofuku.

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I’ve tried multiple times in multiple locations, and while not like saying Beetlejuice three times; third time’s the momofuk-ing charm cause I finally got to a Momofuku joint while in my New York State of Mind.  I can’t pinpoint where the Momofuku obsession came in, but I distinctly remember hearing about Momofuku and David Chang years ago and it brought me back to Momotaro, one of my favorite Japanese children stories about the boy in the peach.

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Photo from “Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories”. Illustration by: Yoshisuke Kurosaki

So, while on the birthday bash adventure in NYC, Lia helped me check off another restaurant obsession by going to Momofuku’s ssäm bar!!  Unfortunately, we didn’t make reservations and got stuck in the seats by the front door, which wouldn’t have been that bad except for the people who standing in the open doorway…  HELLLOOO, it’s freezing cold and we’re trying to eat, people!

The other thing that was mildly disappointing was that the drink menu was limited since it was the middle of the day.  Aren’t we in New York?  Doesn’t this place never sleep?  Maybe only midday alcoholics sleep?  So we had a choice of three beverages; Lia got a delicious bloody mary with a lemon wedge dipped in bacon salt and I can’t remember mine…  apple something?  I don’t recall being too impressed.


Bloody Mary with a spicy bacon salt. Needless to say, Lia was in heaven.
Photo by Lia.

After all the walking we had been doing on the trip, I decided that we needed to eat a lot.  I’m only at a Momofuku establishment… never, so I needed to try as much as possible in case it never happened again.  Plus, it was my birthday month dammit.  Happy birthday to me; prepare to roll my ass out of your establishment!

The oysters at ssäm bar were spotted via Instagram a while back; plus with my oyster obsession interest, we had to try oysters wherever possible!  Those at ssäm bar were tasty and while the apricot embellishment was adorable, it didn’t really add anything for me?  I’m still just an oyster purist.  Give it to me clean with a little ocean tang.

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East Beach Blonde Oysters from Rhode Island with apricot and thai basil… mini peaches!

After oysters, this is where Lia and I started separating ourselves.  With her allergies and my meats aversion, we either sync up like an award-winning acapella group or clash like toothpaste and orange juice.

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Smoked salmon buns with horseradish, egg, and sesame

Side note about those buns…  If I could marry a bun, I would marry these buns and wrap myself up in them every night.

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Santa Barbara Uni with silken tofu, trout roe, and wasabi peas

This uni dish was by far the most interesting of the day.  Even now, I can’t decide if I loved it or was freaked out by the texture.  Uni is a texture that needs some getting used to, but put uni and a tofu mash together with some roe and it’s um… tasty yet interesting?

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Peekytoe Crab with apple, green mango, and myoga

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Spicy Fingerling Potatoes made with black bean chili sauce

I shall be replicating these potatoes the next time I need some breakfast recovery food.  Holy crap these were delicious.  Roll me in buns and stuff me with potatoes.

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Broccoli Salad with a smoked bluefish vinaigrette and a crispy duck skin

Pretty sure I ended up eating duck skin, no matter how much I tried to pick around it.  I didn’t die though…

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Fried duck dumplings with romanesco and sriracha mayo…  a Lia dish.

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Grilled Spanish Octopus with long pepper, potato, and lemon… an Ashley dish.

The octopus was grilled to perfection!  Thank god for that.  Nothing like overcooked chewy octopus.

Eight dishes for two non-obese ladies is impressive, right? If not impressive, it’s gross-ly AWESOME… Yeah, you knew where I was going with that one.

After all the food, we couldn’t even think of dessert, which was really sad.  The saddest part was that we walked over to the Momofuku Milk Bar, which has also been on my dining bucket list forever, and we were so full I didn’t even want to wait in line for a fresh cookie.  Regretting that decision now, but I think the people in line were grateful that I didn’t stand there and vomit my lunch all over.

I still need to do the Momofuku Noodle Bar, but at this point it’s bumped down on my hot list.  While the food at  ssäm bar was tasty, it wasn’t what I had it all worked up to be in my head and I am not sure it felt like it was worth the benjamins it cost.  Take me to a food truck for $20 (or wrap me in their salmon bun bread) and I probably would have been just as happy.  Expectations…