I’m just trying to catch up everything that happened for the past several weeks since I’m planning to have more food outings for the coming weekends. More food porn for you, I guess and carpal tunnel syndrome for me in the next few hours. Buh…well, enjoy.
Nearly two weeks ago a reader of mine, Lynn, contacted me to have lunch since she’s visiting NYC from her hometown, Washington DC. After exchanging e-mails for a while, we finally decided on eating at Momofuku Noodle Bar.
After introducing ourselves and talking to each other a bit, we discussed about what should we eat. Lynn does consider herself a relatively adventurous eater but she never tried offals before. I highly recommended trying out their sweetbreads. For the sake of curiosity, we ordered the beef tongue since we never tried it before and we both lauded over Babbo‘s luscious lamb’s tongue (she went to the latter five times) so we thought it won’t be too off from it. We threw in the chicken wings just in case the tongue doesn’t work out for her.
Once we told our food order to our waiter, Lynn requested a bottle of Coke. I’m not into soda since it’s basically carbonated water with tons of sugar. Hell, I haven’t even drink that stuff over half my life since it’s banned in my house nor do I cared for drinking it. Anyway, Lynn wanted it since she said fried stuff tastes awesome with Coke. I could imagine it but I don’t want to inflate my calorie intake any further.
I forgot to mention that we ordered the steamed pork buns. Since this is Lynn’s first time to any of the Momofuku restaurants and she’s not intending to eat at them for dinner during her stay, I told her that she must try their luscious pork buns since it’s considered their signature dish and it’s plainly delicious. She agreed but she’s a bit conscientious about the fact that there’s a lot of fat in it (from the pork belly). Hell, that woman is skinnier than me that I don’t think eating one pork bun would cause her to bloat. What she particularly liked about the buns were the sweet hoisin sauce that was brushed on the warm, fluffy bun mingling with the luscious, salty, porky goodness.
When our smoked chicken wings arrived we were having slightly high hopes in regards to this dish since it’s upscale chicken wings for $11. It should be very tasty. Except when we got our own wing and took a bite, we’re disappointed. The wing was smoky, had a good amount of salt with a touch of acidity and heat from the chili flakes, and moist but it didn’t blow our minds.
Then we moved onto the beef tongue. When the server left it on the table, Lynn was freaking out a by the fact that they actually gave us a slab of tongue. Not delicate, thin slices like Babbo has. But the Noodle Bar does have some paper-thin slices of tongue that’s hidden underneath the lightly dressed frisée lettuce, that tasted like pâte. Anyway, Lynn was being a good sport by actually eating a small piece from the slab of tongue. Predictably enough, she’s turned off by the gaminess of it and I just ate the 98% of the tongue, while she’ll eat the wafer-thin ones. The large portion of the tongue isn’t that bad. The sharp, robust mustard does cut through the gaminess of relatively well. But I guess it’s a subjective thing. I liked it, not loved it.
And finally we’re graced with one of my favorite dishes here, the bowl of fried sweetbreads. It does remind us of the popcorn chicken from KFC, but thankfully it doesn’t taste remotely like one. These little bite-sized nuggets of deliciousness made me satisfied and Lynn a convert to this particular offal. In case you still haven’t tried sweetbreads, or at least this kind, it tastes like creamy, tender meat but better because it’s FRIED. So, I sort of have accomplished something out of this lunch besides knowing a new friend.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
I have long been a fan of sweetbreads. I first tried them at a very upscale French restaurant and will order them any time they are on the menu. The preparation is far too elaborate for me to try at home and so I perceive them as a special “going out to eat” treat. By the way, on the menu that you photographed it refers to “Fried Veal Sweetbreads” so I think that it what you were eating. Aren’t most restaurant menu sweetbreads from veal? By the way, I really enjoy your adventurousness when it comes to eating.
Steve: Yes, sweetbreads are AWESOME!
Yes, I made that mistake and will change it. I think I thought I ate pork since well, Momofuku usually have a TON of pork dishes. So, I thought it was the default.
Oh, I think I’m losing my mind… @.@
Every time I walk by there is a line! I wish they would sell fried sweetbreads to-go… kind of like pomme frites, but for offal. ooooh wellz.
I love your tale of lunch with Lynn! I’ve known her for 9 years now and you definitely lunched with the quintessential girl I know. Five trips to the latter… I’ll bet she had to unbutton her pants on the drive home! Isn’t it amazing to see how much food fits in that small girl!?
Danny: Aww…really? What time did you go? But yeah, fried sweetbreads are ADDICTIVE.
Cheeta: Thank you! HAHAHA! I can’t believe that tiny could EAT. She’s blessed with a fast metabolism.
I LOVE their fried sweetbreads, so good!
I like their pork buns too, but for me they don’t taste the same between the two places, I prefer the one from the Ssam Bar.
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