Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Comeback Dinner at Momofuku

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Well, it's been a while. First, let me apologize for our disappearing act. Amanda has been busy at grad school in Atlanta. The separation has been challenging, primarily for the blog! While grad school has been keeping Amanda busy, I switched jobs several months ago. Our goal is to get back to business starting with this post!

During our hiatus, when we haven't been busy with networking and working, we've been holding our breath waiting for David Chang to appear in DC. I have personally been peering in the windows at City Center for months waiting for Momofuku to open. We lucked out on Halloween by dropping by the new space that happened to have a table for 4 available.  

The menu at Momofuku is incredibly unique - blending traditional David Chang-style Ramen and pork buns with some unique DC elements, like Virginia ham and Shrimp Louis. We tried a wide variety of dishes from the menu, but stuck to traditional Japanese dishes for our dinner.

There are about 4 different types of steamed buns on the menu.  For appetizers, we tried the shrimp buns and the pork buns - the pork buns being the clear winner. 


Reviews on the shrimp buns were mixed.  Instead of whole shrimp, the buns were filled with a shrimp patty, pickled red onion, shredded lettuce, and a Russian style dressing. Honestly, we weren't crazy about the patty and instead would have loved to have seen jumbo shrimp inside.  

The pork buns, however, were amazing. Despite being filled with rich pork belly, it tasted light and fresh. The crunch of the cucumber and bite of scallions perfectly complemented the sweet pork and fluffy bun.  

My boyfriend ordered the Taiwanese-style beef noodle soup as his main entree. This was definitely a group favorite. It was set up like a ramen, but had a rich beefstock broth with heat on the back end. Generous slices of rare brisket and shredded beef topped the bowl. 

Amanda and I sprung for the Momomfuku ramen. The broth flavor was different than most of the other ramens we've tried in DC.  Chang uses bacon to flavor his ramen, and the smoky flavor definitely came through. The bowl was topped with both pork belly and shredded pork as well as small fish cakes. We liked the meat, but the fish cakes were off putting to us.  The fishy smell was a bit overpowering. We did love, however, the perfectly runny egg and chewy ramen noodles.  

One of the best entrees was the cold noodles with spicy Szechuan sausage and candied cashews. The spicy and sweet balance was amazing, and the cold noodles somehow balanced the heat. We would totally come back for this noodle bowl.  

The meal would not have been complete without dessert from the famous Milk Bar. While people lined up outside to get into the bakery, as a diner at Momofuku you can get their whimsical and delicious desserts delivered table side. That is perfection. 

I ordered the cereal milk soft serve ice cream topped with crunchy corn flakes. The flavor was both rich and subtle and perfectly reminded me of that sweet sip of milk at the end of your childhood cereal bowl. 

Amanda went for the birthday cake flavored milkshake - bits of crumbled birthday cake truffles were blended with vanilla soft serve. It was so rich and delicious, but we had a lot of leftovers. 

Finally, our fellow diners got the Compost cookie, which our waiter aptly described as "containing every kind of chip (chocolate, toffee, and potato)" and the birthday cake truffles - akin to cake balls. All in all, amazingly rich and fun desserts that perfectly balanced the spicy and complex flavor of our dinner.