Tonight I had dinner with my old friend Michelle at Momofuku Noodle Bar, a Japanese/Korean/American noodle bar in the East Village. Diners sit on bar stools around an open kitchen a hip and intimate space. What the place lacks in real authentic Asian street-cred and ethnic-neighborhood bargains, it more than makes up for with tasty food, good fun, and great service. We had some steamed pork buns, sliced hamachi sashimi with blood orange, and a pork and kimchi stew with rice cake (tteok). The hamachi was divine — perfectly fresh, tender and fatty, offset with the slightly tart blood orange slices and seasoned with olive oil and sea salt making it more reminiscent of Italian crudo than Japanese sashimi. The kimchi and pork stew was on-par with the Korean stews I have all the time in Koreatown, but with higher quality pork that was melt-in-your-mouth tender. The pork in the steamed buns was similarly tender, fatty, and delicious. I didn't get around to actually try the signature ramen this time, but I will definitely be back.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
163 First Avenue (Between 10th and 11th Streets)
New York, NY 10003