momofuku noodle bar: a perfect chain

it’s not like i haven’t written about other parts of david chang’s empire before, but the momofuku noodle bar is one of my all time favorite places in new york. we’ve been going there for ages. it’s where i went with serious noodle cravings when i was pregnant (both times) and we still go there for some great comfort food. we always always get the ramen. it may not be traditional, but it sure is the most perfect food i can imagine. using only the freshest ingredients, the eggs are only just poached, the pork is juicy, a little fatty in a good way, and the other more mysterious goodies are just a bonus. the broth is a little meaty, and the noodles are cooked to that exact consistency which is firm but not squishy, chewy but not brittle. j. and i have have eaten at the noodle bar at least 20 times, and every time this bowl of ramen is exactly like the others. there aren’t many other places i can say of where there’s such consistency in preparation and just pure goodness.

as he’s grown the restaurant more over the ages, david chang has added a bunch of other options to the momofuku noodle bar menu. all are intriguing if not always successful. these side dishes are market driven, a little edgy and sometimes as delicious as the noodles. on our last visit, the sliced hamachi with a sweet blood orange sauce, a few olives and some ginger was light and bright. of course, we always get those pork buns when we go too — no one seems to do those better than the momofuku chain and i have tried a lot. sometimes a chain can be a good thing. momofuku noodle bar, 171 first avenue between 10th and 11th streets, manhattan, new york city, 212.777.7773

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