[REVISITED] The Insatiable Palate Review #18: Momofuku Ssam Bar (East Village, New York)


Momofuku Weekend Just Got a Little Brighter

I recently booked my second Bo Ssam trip to Momofuku. I rarely wake up before 10AM on Saturdays and Sundays, but I knew I had to get my hands on the eight pounds of glistening pork shoulder. AGAIN.

As soon as I booked my trip for April 28th, I publicly announced an open invitation to my friends. BAD MOVE. My friends started leaving Facebook messages and many of them were too late. The ten spots filled up quickly. I felt horrible. It’s such a typical Scumbag Jason thing to do.

So today, I want to invite these people, who aren’t able to attend Bo Ssam, to Ssäm Bar Weekend Lunch. The three course (~$25) pre-fixe is one of the best deals & meals in East Village. 

Corvina, kumquat, mitsuba, green peppercorn

My Koreans friends are probably familiar with ChoGee, often dried and fried at your local BCD Tofu Houses. Although the portion is somewhat very small compared to the size of the pork buns, the freshness of the raw fish speaks for itself.  The slices of kumquat elevate the quality of the saltwater fish. It’s so refreshing.

Steamed Buns, Pork belly, Hoisin, Cucumbers, Scallions

In many Asian countries, when a hideous-looking baby is born, strangers and family friends will refer to him/her as “healthy.” They reserve the word “beautiful” for attractive babies.
Hence if Momofuku Pork Buns were reincarnated as Asian newborns, they will be the most gorgeous babies in the country. They’ll manage to be healthy and beautiful at the same time. LOOK, they’re glistening!

Fried Duck Dumplings, Sriracha Mayo

The Momofuku fried dumplings are in a different world compared to the fried dumplings from the sampling ladies at H-Mart. H-Mart are so delicious, but these dumplings are filled with generous duck fillings. After the first bite, I realized they resemble delicious Korean fried chicken. The skin is so light and crispy.

Duck Sandwich, Iceberg, Crystal Mayo, Peppadews 

The sandwich is a generous serving of duck slices groped by slabs of toasty bread. It reminds me of an upscale interpretation of the Italian from Potbelly Sandwich Shop. It puts Subway sandwiches to shame.

Prince Edward Island Mussels, Apple Cider, Jalapeno, Pork Jowl

Of the three entrees at Ssam, I felt disconnected to this dish. Although the mussels are filled with generous portions of meat, the jowl fat began to loosen and made the pork tough to swallow.


Grapefruit Pie, Candied Grapefruit, Grapefruit Cream

But it’s okay. The grapefruit pie makes up for any damages caused by the mussels. The pie has a subtle sourness that makes it so wonderful.  Even with the addition of the candied grapefruit, the dish doesn’t taste artificial to me. This is a total turn on.

Pear Sorbet, Pumpkin, Cornflake Crunch, Blue Cheese

The pear sorbet hits high notes as well. The cornflake crunch makes the sorbet shine, but is often overpowered by the finishing notes of the cheese. Fans of blue cheese are in for an absolute treat.

It’s ramps season so I definitely want to Momofuku Ssam for weekday rotisserie duck over rice. But the weekend pre-fixe is so delicious that I want to go to that too. My waistline wants to take me to the gym.
Looks like Momofuku rotisserie duck and weekend pre fixe it is….

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