Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Mabel and I went to Momofuku Ssam Bar yesterday. This is one of our favorite restaurants in the world.

We went about 20 minutes before dinner service, but I don't think we had to. We learned that not that many people are in the city on Labor Day.

Mabel was a little disappointed that sea urchin was no longer on the menu. We decided to get it during this visit after chickening out on our previous two visits. We'll just have to hope it makes a reappearance.

Instead, we got Tello's Chawan Mushi. It more than made up for the sea urchin. I didn't know what Chawan Mushi was, but it turns out to be an egg custard. This one had a hint of maple syrup and was topped with salmon roe. It was awesome.

They replaced the Fried Brussels Sprouts with Fried Cauliflower using the same mint and fish sauce. The Fried Cauliflower was good. I don't really like cauliflower on its own like I do Brussels sprouts, but it was good to eat with this preparation.

We also ordered Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Tartine with Anchovy. For some reason when we ordered it we expected an eggplant and tomato version of tarte tatin, so we were surprised when we saw something that looked like bruschetta when it arrived. It was good nonetheless. We were puzzled until Patricia Wells set us straight. A tartine is an open-faced sandwich, and the one at Momofuku is an interesting take on a classic. Tarte tatin is basically an upside-down apple tart. Huge difference, hence our confusion. Ah how ignorant we are. Tartine, tatin. I guess when I write them side by side like that they look completely different. It's so easy to conflate words in a foreign language. Anyway, now we know for good.

We ended on a really good note. The Roasted Lamb Belly with Swiss Chard was amazing.

So good. So fatty. So good. Each slice was 20-100% fat. Delicious fat. With lamb flavor. Muttony goodness.

Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Ave (at E 13th St)
New York, NY 10003

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