Well I should start by saying this is not going to focus on MF’s sweetspot the ramen. There were 6 of us and we booked yes you can book if you are a group of 4 – 8 and you fancy taking down the Momofuku fried chicken dinner.
We did of course have the good sense to sneak in the obligatory pork bun. Yes it was true there was a mountain of friend chicken in our future – but a man needs a benchmark – a leveller if you will. And you know what believe the hype this is a pork bun that has inspired been mimicked (in London town) but in my experience not bettered. Melting soft pork belly, pickled cues, some spring onions all wrapped up in a soft steamed bun – I mean come on whats not to love???
If David Chang ever made it on to the Simpsons, this is what Homer would eat and I’ll let you imagine the rest…
Anyway the very serious digression of a pork bun aside on to the main event.
The Fried Chicken Dinner
You go online, you book, you invite 6-8 close friends, you turn up and the whole deal is $100 – In anyones money let me tell you that is a bargain
So Buns dispatched we waited and then it arrived in all its glory cued in by perhaps the most perfect soundtrack moment for a table, 4 of whom at least, are Radiohead fans bordering on the obsessive.
“Everything in its right place….”
Seriously I couldn’t make this up if I tried. If I wasn’t moved before let me tell you that put a lump the size of a house in my throat.
I haven’t even started on the chicken- cause what you get is simply the best damn fried chicken in the city.and its not just Fried chicken – lest we forget where we are this is pimped up fried chicken ! Oh yes you get 2 versions!
One variety is your classic straight batting buttermilk and old bay spices the other a triple fried K orean version covered in bibim sauce which lends the latter that soft yet crunchy yet sticky texture you get with chinese crispy beef
It was the run away favourite on our table and from what I read on the blogsphere everyone elses too
Its all served family style a good bowl of veg and salad leaves and herbs so you can eat the chicken Ssam style. you alos get a choice of dips / sauces
- Jalapeno /Soy/ Yuzu/ Garlic
- Ginger Scallion
I personally really like these lettuce leaf wrappers and it sort of had me thinking why more places don’t do this a lettuce leaf is infinitely more appealing than the ubiquitous bun and has that pleasing crunch about it. More importantly for a meal which could be a man versus food contender, that lack of bready carb means you can go that extra distance and squeeze in “just one more piece”. Whats more, the veggies provide a great refreshing crunch and much needed counterbalance to what is a fearsome pile of fried food.
To some such greenery, its a sop to our guilty conscience – pah to that I say. without it i’d have struggled after piece 4. Yes indeed by piece 4 that pork bun was looking like one of my less sensible ideas…
I have a confession – which still haunts me – we left a piece of chicken -if you want some advice – don’t follow this example get an extra pair of hungry hands – but don’t leave any for the gods…. that left piece still haunts me in my fried chicken craving dreams.
We were by the end replete, stuffed. Infact we had to walk clean across 20 blocks and all the way up the highline to recover. We weren’t even hungry by the evening … our booking that night at one of NYC’s famous steakhouses had to be cancelled (I mean honestly what were we thinking when we planned this day?”
But I’m not sure anyone really was that bothered.
Everything, quite simply; it’s in it’s right place, well give or take a Rennie or 2.
Momofuku, 171 1st Avenue New York, NYC 10003.