Sunday, November 22, 2009

Momofuku Ma Peche 11-20-2009

Location: 15 West 56th St, mezzanine of Chambers Hotel
Time: 11:50pm
People: SaSha, BeBe and myself

Feelings: Ma Peche, Momofuku's much anticipated midtown location in Chambers Hotel is scheduled to open in 2010. However, they started serving the limited lunch menu at their mezzanine area last week. To accommodate the nice folks at, the special lunch menu is $10, which includes one Vietnamese entree and a soda. With $1.85, you can also add a peanutbutter cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar. They also have room service for the hotel guests as well as breakfast and all day lunch/dinner menu.

With all the hype around the new "pop up" restaurant with limited menu, SaSha suggested we get there early. She was right: we barely beat the flocks of David Chang fans. Within 10-15 minutes of arriving, the place was packed. I strongly suggest to get there before noon.

The space is quite loungy and modern, and you would never expect to see $10 lunch specials at such a posh environment. The service was friendly and quick without a hint of arrogance.

There are four choices on the $10 menu: two types of banh mi (three terrine or chicken), rice noodle with pork ragout and saw leaf herb, and goi calamare (squid salad). Obviously, the $10 menu does not offer many vegetarian or vegan friendly options here as other Momofuku joints. After living as a vegetarian in carnivor world and having little objection to meat flavor, I have become quite an expert of eliminating any meat product from the dish. So I was confident that I was able to pick the pork out of the rice noodle dish instead of asking them to leave out the pork while preparing. Three of us noodle lovers all ended up ordering the same rice noodles in the end.

It was stereotypical Momofuku: strong flavor, high quality ingredients, and simple. The flavor of the sauce was something I would like to eat everyday. It is comforting yet still sophisticated, and I would definitely have licked the bowl if I had ordered it as room service, eating it all by myself in a swanky room of Chambers Hotel. The noodle was perfectly cooked, and some got curled up like ziti and contained the delicious sauce in the hole. Heavenly!

I would recommend anyone and everyone to experience a bit of luxurious Momofuku experience at the reasonable price before the year ends. This does not last forever!

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