Monday, November 12, 2012

New York: Fried Chicken Dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar

Sandy was hitting Manhattan Sunday night, so we contemplated about whether or not we should head out for our reservation at Momofuku Noodle Bar for the Fried Chicken Dinner.  Eventually we decided to make it to our reservation since we were gonna be stuck indoors for the majority of the next day.  Might as well get the most out of our trip before Sandy shuts everything down! 

The Fried Chicken Dinner is Momofuku Noodle Bar's large format dinner like the Bossam Dinner at Ssam Bar.  They give you a plate of Southern-style fried chicken and Korean fried chicken, and you can make your own wraps or just eat it straight up.  Of course, it is served family style, for 4-8 people, at $100, and you have to make a reservation for it!

Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 1st Ave 
Between 10th St & 11th St
East Village
New York, NY 10003

Oct 28th dinner menu.

menu 1
We found out the fried chicken itself is probably not enough food, so Edwin and I decided to get everything on this part of the menu, except for the dried noodles :P

pork bun
Momofuku's famous Pork Buns, with pork belly, scallions, cucumber, and hoisin sauce.  I posted about it before and mentioned how it is very similar to Taiwanese guabao.

pork belly
The super fatty and delicious pork belly.

shrimp bun
Shrimp Bun.  I didn't try this at Ssam Bar last time.  It's essentially a fried shrimp cake, with spicy mayo, pickled shallots, and iceberg lettuce.

shrimp cake
Fried shrimp cake.

I didn't think I'd like it since I don't like mayo-based sauce, but it's actually very good!

shiitake bun
Usually there's a 3rd bun on the menu, and they change it up all the time.  That night, they had the Shiitake Bun.

 Fried shiitake, scallions, cucumber, and hoisin sauce.  Very similar to the pork bun, but flavor's totally different.  Crunchy shiitake is great, although a few pieces were overcooked so it was a bit bitter.

momofuku ramen
The Momofuku Ramen.  Soup base is much lighter versus tonkotsu-based broth.  Ramen noodle is great, but I wasn't too crazy about the soup.  

poached egg and pork
Pork shoulder and poached egg topping.  Pork shoulder was more like shredded pork.  Kinda got lost in the soup though.  Poached egg was awesome since once broken apart, the yolk slowly immerses itself with the soup.

Pork belly.  Same as the Pork Bun.

spicy miso ramen
Spicy Miso Ramen, with smoked chicken, scallion, and sesame.  This was a big disappointment for Edwin and me.  Couldn't taste much of the smoke flavor from the chicken, and it just wasn't spicy enough.  Not much miso flavor either.

After the ramen, they started to bring out everything for the Fried Chicken Dinner.

hoisin sauce gochujang
Hoisin sauce and gochujang.  Chinese + Korean combo here.

Scallion sauce.  This was probably my favorite from the bossam dinner at Ssam Bar.  Glad to see they provided here too.

soy sauce dressing
Soy sauce dressing with garlic and jalapeno.  A little bit of sweetness too.

Herb basket (basil, mint cilantro) with baby carrots, red ball radishes, shiso leaves, and bibb lettuce.

Mushu wraps.  They provide these so you can make your own wraps.

fried chicken
The fried chicken arrives!  The two types: Southern-style fried chicken & Korean fried chicken.

Southern-style chicken is fried with a buttermilk and old bay batter.  Extremely hard crust.  It was like biting into a shell.  We wanted it to be crunchy, but not break our teeth off..  Seasoning was good though.  Drumstick and smaller pieces were pretty juicy but some of the bigger pieces were really dry.

Korean fried chicken is triple fried and served with a light spicy glaze.  I definitely prefer this over the Southern-style.  The glaze is mouthwatering and goes really well with all the sauces.  Crust is not as hard, more on the crunchy side probably due to a lighter batter?

making the wrap
Making a wrap with the mushu wrap.  Chicken, cilantro, scallion sauce, basil...

I added a bit of the hoisin sauce to give the Southern style a little Asian flavor.  It was the only wrap I made though.  When the wraps got cold, it became extremely chewy and hard to eat, so we didn't eat much of it.

It was a meal we were looking forward to, but I think the hype killed it for us.  We were expecting a lot out of the ramen, but none of it really delivered for us.  We're spoiled with all the ramen spots in California.  The Fried Chicken Dinner sounded awesome, but it was just too good to be true..  I gotta admit though, Momofuku knows how to make some bombass buns.  I would order all 3 that I tried in a heartbeat.