Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC
Chef: David Chang
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Neighborhood: East Village
Price: $100 for the Fried Chicken Dinner for your entire party (4-8 people)
For my party of 8 people: fried chicken dinner + sides + drinks + tax + tip = $30-35 per person
Address: 171 1st Ave, NYC 10003
After a couple weeks of trigger training on Momofuku’s online reservation system, I finally snagged an 8 person reservation for Momofuku Noodle Bar’s special fried chicken dinner. I have been to David Chang’s other four Momofuku establishments (so I had plenty of practice with their unique/frustrating online reservation system), and Noodle Bar was the last one on my bucket list.
I still have dreams about the 8 lb slow roasted pork shoulder Bo Ssam dinner from Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and I was eager to try the chicken version at Noodle Bar. From the website: “The fried chicken dinner includes two whole fried chickens, one Southern style and one Korean style. The dinner comes with mu shu pancakes, long spicy peppers, baby carrots, red ball radishes, shiso leaves, bibb lettuce, four sauces and an herb basket.”
We showed up right as the restaurant was opening, and we sat promptly down at the long cafeteria-esque table. We decided to order some drinks and couple sides as we waited for the chicken to come out. An hour later, we had finished both chickens and we were completely stuffed. I was definitely glad to have come with the maximum party size of 8 people (the minimum number is 4) as it was the perfect amount of food.
Overall, this was a fun and chill dinner to enjoy with a group of friends. Ambiance is very casual and service is friendly. Most servers within the Momofuku empire tend to provide very candid menu recommendations. The best part was that it only cost $30-35 per person all inclusive for the ridiculous amount of food we ordered, including some drinks. I thought the dinner was was a terrific value, and for a David Chang restaurant, that is a very rare thing. Don’t get me wrong – I have been to all the restaurants in the Momofuku empire (Ko, Ssäm Bar, Milk Bar, Má Pêche + eating the deep fried Chang Dog at PDT) and I have enjoyed my experience at all of them. However, I usually leave feeling the food was not worth the premium paid, with the exception of the Bo Ssäm dinner at Momofuku Ssäm Bar and the crack pie at Milk Bar.
Fried chicken verdict: I still think Bon Chon Korean fried chicken is the best fried chicken I have ever tasted with its soy garlic or hot chili glaze, triple fried crispiness, and moist juicy chicken… it is completely addicting!
I would be interested to return to actually eat noodles at the Momofuku Noodle Bar. The huge bowls of ramen looked pretty delicious as I watched patrons slurp away at the counter. By the time we left around 7pm, there was a line of people out the door which was reminiscent of Ippudo’s notorious lines.
Roasted Corn – miso butter, fingerling potatoes, scallions
One of their most popular sides! Very savory and delicious without being too heavy
Sautéed Bok Choy – pork broth, cipollini, chili flakes
meh no offense but I can cook this better
Steamed Pork Buns
Let me clarify… these are steamed pork BELLY buns. Look at all that marbleized fat sitting on a fluffy white bun, juices dripping everywhere, melting in your mouth…
Steamed Chicken Bun
I didn’t try this but my friend said it was good. They also have steamed shiitake buns here.
FRIED CHICKEN DINNER
Everything is replenishable, except for the chicken.
Herb Basket – baby carrots, red ball radishes, shiso leaves, thai basil, bibb lettuce
Basically here to help balance the grease. Somehow eating a raw radish will help unclog the fried chicken effect on your arteries.
The Sauces – jalapeno, scallion, chili, and hoisin
Two Whole Fried Chickens: one Korean style and one Southern style
Our table was pretty divided about which style we preferred, but we all agreed it was really good. I personally didn’t care much for the Southern style as I thought it was a bit boring and dry but the Korean style was very flavorful and spicy. I felt the chickens were both a bit dry inside,and so I definitely used a lot of the sauces to kick it up a notch.
It was a wonderfully messy meal. Initially, there was the intention to use utensils but we quickly abandoned that idea and just started grabbing at the giant pile of chicken with our hands. We ate the chicken in every method possible: by itself, doused with sauce, or we shredded the meat and cripsy skin to wrap in the mu shu pancakes and lettuce.