Momofuku Noodle Bar
David Chang is truly one of those chefs that has changed the way that other chefs think about food, imho. He has taken flavors, ideas, concepts and reinvented the way they are put together and served. There is a reason for his success, it is not only the people he works with that help execute his vision or the vibe at each of his restaurants, at the end of the day, the food is just simply delicious.
I was treated to a meal yesterday at the Noodle Bar. We had a combo of a variety of things. Keep in mind that the prix fixe, 3 course lunch there is only $20. A price not to be beat based on what you are getting which is a trip down culinary lane.
We began with crudo. 6 pieces of thinly sliced raw fluke that had small strawberries placed inside and around the fluke with thinly small slices of lemon that had been pickled and a few pieces of greens. The sweetness of the strawberries with the sour of the lemon tossed together with the fish was sublime. We also had raw tasmanian sea trout, a neon orange color, that was sliced a tad thicker over a cinnamon yogurt and a rhubarb tasting gel. Also good and the yogurt was different and clever.
Next out were 2 deconstructed salads. A round plate with thinly sliced green and yellow zucchini, each gently folded on the plate. A few thinly sliced pickled beets perfectly placed on the squash with a light tofu vinaigrette over the top and a tiny pieces of pine nut brittle. The sweet brittle changed the entire complexion of the dish. I really love a sweet nut in a salad, makes your whole mouth explode. The other dish was thinly sliced pieces of rare duck over miniature brocolli rabe ( it was probably something else but I can't recall ). There was something else on the plate but I can't remember.
2 more dishes came out. A bowl of roasted scallops served with a fresh crisp vinegar dressing, pieces of cucumber, sorrel and freeze dried into a potato chip pieces of nori. Simple. This round came with a ridiculously rich over the top seared foie gras. Foie gras served with a thick boiled down cherry sauce and sauteed greens. It is wasn't for the fact that I was with people I have yet to get to know, I would have licked the plate clean.
Keep in mind, all the dishes were not that big but I admit, I was starting to get full. Next out was a bowl of roasted rice cakes. Reminded me of the signature Nobu dish of rock shrimp. This is much better. The size of your thumb, cylindrical rice cakes that are chewy on the outside and soft in the middle, fried and tossed with roasted onions and a red chili pepper sauce and then topped with sesame seeds. They are ridiculously addictive. Once you eat one, you can't stop.
Last out was ramen. I seriously considered ordering one of these soups to go for the road to eat again later. A bowl of carmel broth with a few pieces of braised pork belly and pork shoulder, a thin slice of daikon over a bowl of thin noodles and a perfectly cooked poached egg glistening on the top. Mix that all together and you have heaven in a bowl.
Dessert was essential. A small cup of a swirled cherry/lime twist like soft ice cream topped with a crunchy coconut granola concotion. The perfect end.
Honestly, all I can now think of is how soon I can get back to the Noodle Bar for another meal. Another bonus is the menu changes daily so I get an opportunity to taste more innovative brilliant dishes. Can't beat it.