Momofuku Ando is the name of the man who invented instant ramen noodles. David Chang, of the “refined meathead” school of cooking, named his restaurants Momofuku, one assumes in tribute. On the other hand, Chang also says in his recently published cookbook, “It is no accident that Momofuku sounds like mother-f—.” Whatever the story is, I consider myself an unrefined meathead. So maybe a trip to Momofuku Noodle Bar could help civilize me.
Our group of six arrived just as they opened. We were seated right away, which was a small miracle. Shortly after we sat down, the power went out. So much for getting refined. It was feeling more primitive than prim. But the loss of light just added to our excitement, creating a sense of shared experience between us and the rest of the huddled diners.
Luckily, the lights came back on in a few minutes. Eliza ordered the prix-fixe lunch special, which started with this nearly microscopic morsel. I snapped a photo of it with my electron microscope.
Behold the steamed pork buns. These were some of the tastiest things I’ve eaten in recent memory. Sweet, fatty, doughy. How can you go wrong?
Eliza’s meal came with a fried skate bun, which she graciously shared. It reminded me of a McChicken sandwich, and I mean that in the best possible way. The McChicken was one of my childhood favorites.
The main event: momofuku ramen, featuring pork shoulder, pork belly and a poached egg. After traipsing through the New York winter, burying your face in this steaming bowl is like an answered prayer.
Eliza’s was the clam ramen.
Eliza’s meal finished with a nice little dessert: chocolate and peppermint ice cream with a chocolate chip cookie mixed in. She had a few bites and handed it over to me. By this point, my animal tendencies had taken over completely. As we headed back out into the cold, I felt renewed. If this is what it’s like to live life as a refined meathead, I may just have to move to New York and finish my education.