I’m thinking I’m possibly one of the minuscule number of food bloggers in New York City who ate at Momofuku Ssäm for the first time. I know, I’m a sad case. Anyways, it’s always cool to have two friends to eat out with: Julie and Robyn. But before I get to that, earlier in the morning I went to Whole Foods in Union Square for a mid-morning breakfast. Just be warned, this is going to be a looong post since I’m not planning to eat anything interesting for the rest of the week. I think I lost some readers here…oops.
I’m feeling quasi-healthy for some reason but I’m presuming my subconscious is trying to justify my future gluttony with Robyn and Julie. Eeh…who knows really? I bought two items: an 8% milkfat yogurt from Liberte and Kashi‘s Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie. The latter item was definitely weird just because I’m not really into Kashi’s food in general, I just find their granola bars pretty good but nothing else really. Also with the fact that it’s a “healthy” cookie, I don’t really buy into that advertising; honestly I find that it would be bull to buy a lowfat or fat-free, no cholesterol sugar-free cookie. It usually tastes like cardboard or that it tastes like chemicals…ewww. First, let’s see the yogurt.
The yogurt’s pretty good but not as great as Fage. It was definitely creamy but it lacked that intense thickness and tang Fage has. The flavor of plum and walnut was subtle. The walnut was finely chopped so the occasional crunchy toothsomeness is there. It’s nice but I still love Fage yogurt more.
The Kashi cookie…
It looks wholesome, it looks like a cookie, and it smells like it has more fibery grains are in there than your typical pre-packaged cookie. It does look dry and it tastes a bit dry too. It tastes like a mix of grainy, quite dry, wholesome granola bar with some chocolate chips. Not my ideal cookie. It tastes too healthy to be a cookie. Next time if I ever have that cookie craving at that moment, I would just pick up a cookie from Whole Foods bakery (it’s pretty darn tasty but sometimes it’s inconsistent with the moisture content).
After eating and tasting these things, I went over to Joe for a cup of cappuccino for two reasons: 1. Hoping their cappuccino is good as Ninth Street Espresso’s and 2. I just want one.
The cappuccino still looks somewhat similar to what I can recall drinking their stuff but possibly a bit more milky. When I took a sip, it’s confirmed that I have lost Joe…this is a sad moment. I think I have to leave Joe after 5 years of a good coffee relationship. [sniffles] Well, at least their drip coffee is good. So basically if I have an espresso craving, I’ll go to Ninth Street, and for drip it’s Joe’s.
Fooding with Robyn and Julie
Going back to the more interesting part of this post, I ate out with Robyn and Julie at Momofuku Ssäm.
Originally I thought this place would have table service but you actually order at the counter. Since it was the day, the menu’s severely limited to ssäms, a rice bowl, and steamed pork buns, as you will see here. All three of us ordered the original Momofuku ssäm but Robyn also ordered the steamed pork buns as well. It was pretty damn shocking how much pork they add into EVERY FOOD that involves with pork. To let you know what the heck I’m talking about, click here to see my Flickr set on the making of the ssäm below) and how they build the pork buns, click here for my Flickr set.
It was a soft, chewy, porky, and sweet and sour from the pickled cucumber and kewpie slaw. As I said, messy but tasty. As for the photo above, it’s my hands holding that ever messy bun. I asked Julie to take a photo of it, using my camera, since obviously it’ll be a mess.
The ssäm was delicious! It was soft (flour pancake and rice), sweet (berkshire pork (yes, meat can be sweet, too)), sour (pickled shitake and red kimchee), a bit of a spicy kick (from the kimchee), and it’s totally FILLING. This might sound corny but it’s Momofukin’ good!
I can’t finish the whole thing neither can Robyn. We both finish about half our ssäms but Julie forced upon herself to eat the whole thing. Poor girl…I think she said after eating the whole thing she said “I feel like a burrito.” Hahaha…I asked if I could quote her, and I got permission to write that…
We just sat, chat a good bit about food, hoping to digest some of your pork-filled ssäm stomachs as time marches on… Me being me, I took some photos of Robyn and Julie consuming their food, also the second photo of Robyn looks like she wants to either kill me or she’ll have her revenge on me one day…
As we left, I really thought to myself that Dave Chang (the owner and chef of the place) loves and respects pork. I mean, I haven’t have pork this tasty and melt-in-your-mouth good unless it was cooked by my parents (specifically, my dad). Also taking in account what Robyn ate last Thursday with a bunch of other people, as you read here. Basically the focus of her meal then was that pork butt. Oooh…squishy, yummy pork meat and fat. Actually, that how I felt too…piggy and squishy (from fat).
Ever since I met Robyn, you probably see me eat more ice cream or any frozen creamy, dairy product more often that I would normally do. So, we discussed amongst ourselves wondering if we’re up for some frozen creamy delights…and we did. Since I already ate at Sundaes & Cones, I suggested that we should try Australian Homemade‘s ice cream since none of us ever has and we’re curious.Our soon-to-be victims
Well, the price isn’t so bad and tasting a few flavors, this place seems promising in the ice cream department. The strange this is seeing this:
“No More Chocolates”?! WTF?! Thankfully, we’re not here for their chocolate, just the ice cream. We each ordered a small cup of pistachio (Robyn), Belgian Chocolate (Julie), and Mocha (Moi).
This is sort of our tapas tastings of ice cream, if you will. Basically, we tried a sampling of each others’ ice cream and nosh away.All were creamy, silky and smooth in texture and none were cloyingly sweet. Robyn’s pistachio ice cream tasted “floral-y”…in her words when she first tasted it, and that’s the same reaction I had too but we both can’t seem to point out what the heck that flavor’s from. When Julie tasted it, she said it tasted like almond extract. Oooooh! She’s brilliant, man! This is a shame to us (Robyn and myself) foodies/food bloggers. [put head down in shame...] Julie’s Belgian chocolate tasted chocolatey; the nice addition was the tiny bits of chocolate that was mixed throughout the chocolate ice cream. Mmmm…you get a double dose of chocolate. Swweet! As for my mocha, it’s good. A good balance of coffee and chocolate flavors in the ice cream.
Once we’re done with our ice cream…we’re totally stuffed. Our stomachs were a full of pork ssäm and frozen dairy goodness. I felt that have to be rolled out of the store. Later on, we went up to Union Square for Robyn’s need of some fruit in her apartment and after that, Julie bade goodbye since she has to go home and write a paper. I joined Robyn and went to her apartment in Curry Hill.
Meeting Jo Jo and Lotus
This led me to the introduction to Robyn’s roommate, Jo Jo and her cat Lotus. I sort of know Jo Jo through Flickr but this is the real first meeting of her in person. She’s really cool and I liked her eclectic dishes and cups…it reminds me of Anthropologie‘s stuff. And here’s Lotus…
The last photo was her staring at me…possibly wondering, who the hell am I? This is one interesting cat to get to know. Robyn told me odd stories that Lotus can’t eat citrus fruits in the morning or without any food to pad her digestive system.
Even though Jo Jo told us that she’s been fed, we noticed that Lotus is keep nosing around my bag that contains my other half of the ssäm that I saved…that is not a good thing since Jo Jo said that the pork molecules are too large for a cat’s capillaries. Obviously, I don’t want to kill a cat that I just met so I’m not going feed her my ssäm. Then, Robyn started playing with the idea of feeding her with a tangerine…and that’s what she did.
For the remaining 40 minutes that I lingered around Robyn and Jo Jo’s apartment, I just watched that darn cat…hoping she will take a nap and snag a photo of her sleeping. However, it’s almost impossible. The cat is a shallow sleeper; any movement or sound you make, she wakes up. This cat is funny and weird. Sometimes I feel that cat’s mocking me, too. Hmm… :/
This morning I wandering around the East Village and remembering what Robyn has tipped/asking me about Moishe’s Bakery. I haven’t been there before but I always had that intention of going, so I decided I might as well go. Here’s the display window shots:
I ended up ordering a poppy hamantaschen for a mind blowing price of $1.50. Eventually, I ended up going to Whole Foods in Union Square just because they have seating and I wanted to try their cappuccino as well.
The cappuccino was too milky. Thankfully, it’s more diluted than Joe’s or I think Hell froze over. Even though, it was a wasted $3 small cappuccino, but at least I know how the standards are around WF’s coffee. Their drip coffee is good when I drank it a few times in the Columbus Circle location. Anyways, the hamantaschen. It’s a dense, buttery, shortbread-like cookie with a huge blob of toasted poppy seed filling in the center. It’s delicious and I think it clogged my arteries even further and that cookie is probably 800 calories…oh, boy.
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