Well, I finally made it to Momofuku Ssäm Bar. It was my birthday and with many Rhones, steins, and Jagers well consumed we decided it was time to throw ourselves into the hands of David Chang and his partners in crime. Eight of us strolled in on our ankles around midnight, proudly wielding a white truffle (a birthday present from Asam and Seraph), presented it to David, and asked him to feed the eight of us until we could safely assume the edges would be dulled of what otherwise promised to be hangovers as sharp as the cutting edge of the awesome Masamoto knife Wife gave me earlier in the night.
I was way too well served to fairly critique the meal, but I feel safe declaring that based on how fun this food was drunk it is probably quite good sober. Here are pictures, some shot at particularly jaunty angles, of what it looked like. Over the course of the meal there was heat, sweetness, sourness, unctuousness, lightness and depth, a lot of dishes were consumed running quite a spectrum of flavors and textures.
Of the two oysters, I preferred the one with the red in the dressing. I woke up wishing I could eat another couple pounds of the roasted pork shoulder in bibb lettuce leaves with pureed kimchee. The lightly pickled vegetables were great, the mushrooms my favorite for their distinct ginger zing. Dishes like veal head terrine, fried cauliflower salad, and anything involving apples and bacon start at good and can only be made better. I remember these as better. The truffle played in two dishes, a roasted poussin that was near perfect, and a dish with wide gauged chewy, gummy Asian noodles with a poached egg that besides being first-rate was exactly the unique type of experience I look for. The hamachi was the first truly original uncooked fish appetizer I have encountered in a long time of eating uncooked fish appetizers. As for the pork buns, well they are possibly the greatest après-Jager food there is.
Barron Point Oysters (WA) – w/ preserved lemon
Caraquet Oysters (Canada) – w/ cucumber, melon
Cured Hamachi-horseradish, edamame
Steamed Buns-pork belly, hoisin, cucumber
Grilled Spanish Mackerel-salted plum, pickled daikon, ponzu
Warm Veal Head Terrine
Winesap & Northern Spy Apple Salad – Benton’s bacon, lychee, peanuts
Fried Cauliflower–pickled chilies, delfino, mint, fish sauce
Mutsu & Macoun Apple Salad – crispy pork jowl, arugula, soy bean sauce
Roasted Poussin – acorn squash, crispy onions (and our truffle)
Noodles, poached egg, and our truffle
Col. Bill Newsom’s Country Ham (Princeton, Kentucky)
Edward’s Wigwam Smoked Ham (Surry, Virginia)
Finchville Farms Country Ham (Finchville,Kentucky)
Bo Ssäm-Berkshire butt (except I swear when it was presented it was called a shoulder, whichever it was it was great), dozen oysters, kimchi, rice, bibb lettuce.
It was my birthday so I am sure if you ask Wife, Thursday, Bear, Soho, Octopus, Code, or O’Groom you may get a better feel for nuance and subtlety. But as far as my old drunk self goes this place hit me like a happy hammer, and I’ll be back.