Momofuku That Pork Butt is Good!

It’s summer and that generally means getting a reservation at the hottest NYC restaurants is slightly easier to come by. So when my friend said she scored a table at momofuku ssäm bar for eight lucky friends to join in celebration of her birthday, I made room in my calendar and my stomach for the famous bo ssäm.

Momofuku, which means “lucky peach” in Japanese, may not represent chef David Chang’s infamous temperament and may sound more along the lines of a certain expletive said with one’s mouth full, but both its literal and derivative meaning is symbolic of what made this chef and his quickly growing empire a success. Say what you want about David Chang, the man knows a thing or two about putting gratifying grub on the table. After a love of ramen led him to live in Japan in search of the secrets behind centuries-old Japanese noodle technique, Chang opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in a small frills-free nook in the East Village. Accepting nothing less than perfection {and letting anyone who worked for him know it}, what started as a simple nod to a food most people turn to late-night or when the wallet is running low, Chang launched a movement fusing Japanese cuisine with his Korean background and always respecting the importance of putting high-quality, greenmarket ingredients in his dishes. And thus, the Momofuku empire was born.

Tongs and Butt

So back to this wonderful thing called bo ssäm served at noodle bar’s sister restaurant momofuku ssäm bar. Sit down, wear stretchy whatevers and be prepared for some pork butt goodness. bo ssäm is served for a party 6-10 and must be reserved ahead of time — that, of course, is because the whole pork butt gets slathered in brown sugar goodness and slow roasted for hours to create a deliciously crispy outer shell and meat tenderized so much that it falls off the bone if you just look in its direction.

So here’s what happens: a bowl of beautifully leafy bibb lettuce, kimchi, rice and a dozen oysters arrive at your table…but be patient, these are not appetizers, but the makings of a perfect momofuku flavor marriage. And then the butt — warm, crispy, sweet and tender — is delivered with several tongs, so you and your crew can go to town pulling away at the perfectly cooked meat to create a pork wrap. There are no rules, only chopsticks. Start stacking and wrapping and creating an interesting roll of flavors — salty, vinegary, sweet and savory. Don’t get overexcited or violent with the tongs, there will be plenty of pork to go around and probably even some to take home.

Momofuku Bibb Lettuce and Kimchi

The makings of the Momofuku bo ssam

Momofuku Milk Bar Ice Cream

If you have actually saved room for dessert, head next door to Momofuku Milk Bar for a real treat. Here’s just a taste of what we tried — Cereal Milk Ice Cream {yep, tastes like your leftover cereal milk}, Compost Cookie {chock full of pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats,  butterscotch, chocolate chips}, Confetti Cookie {rainbow sprinkles, rainbow cake crumble} and my favorite the Blueberry & Cream Cookie {dried blueberries, milk crumbs}.

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookies

The Skim: Go hungry and ready for the unexpected. David Chang has brought us a level of quality and flavor that is what we should come to expect in a memorable dining experience — perhaps that is why there are newMomofuku locations popping up every few months — that is news as sweet as a peach!

Map: {207 2nd Avenue @ 13th Street}
Phone: (212) 254-3500


Filed under Eat Here!

2 responses to “Momofuku That Pork Butt is Good!

  1. Funny you should mention it– I actually found a recipe mimick for his famous bo ssam from Hungry Nation and have made it twice since then. It’s absolutely phenomenal and on my wish list to try next time I’m in NYC!

  2. all I can say is wow….and I have to make those compost cookies!!

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