Review: Momofuku Noodle Bar, David Chang’s ramen and pork bun mecca
The Noodle Bar, the least expensive of the three new Momofuku restaurants next to the Shangri La hotel downtown, is run with extreme efficiency by a team of super-hipster servers (our lunch waiter had an arm tattoo that read “Cochon”). You can easily get in and out in 40 minutes at noon, when the massive space is at capacity, without ever feeling rushed or neglected. As at the original East Village, New York, location, classic pork ramen is the specialty. The rich broth holds a tangle of chewy alkaline noodles and is thickened by a slow-poached egg. It’s a full meal for just $15. The famous steamed buns, which have been duplicated on menus all over town, are pillowy and sweet, the pork belly slicked with hoisin and freshened up with thin slices of cured cuke. There are small hometown touches, too, like a locally tailored drinks list that includes Distillery-produced Izumi unpasteurized sake and Steam Whistle.