Lunches at Marea & Momofuku Ssäm Bar

I’m putting my HK/China posts on the back burner for now since I’m eating out NYC a bit more since it’s SUMMER here. If you’re anticipating the HK/China posts, just hang on for a bit. Sorry.

Back on June 11th, I had lunch at Marea, after reading positive reviews on this place. I like seafood and thankfully, I’m not allergic to them anymore. (I know weird, right?) So, I hauled my butt over and tried their tasting menu, which is four courses but you pick your own from the menu.

Crudo flight, 1
Astice, close up Spaghetti
Capasante, 3 Polenta, 2
Dishes from Marea

I’m not going into depth since I’m waay behind blogging, I’ll succinctly say Marea is a very good seafood-centric restaurant. You can’t go wrong with pastas since Chef Michael White is great at making tender strands of noodles and it’s oversauced. If you want the break down of each dish, go to my set. It’s not Le Bernardin-level seafood but it’s close to it.

Momofuku Ssäm Bar

On June 17th, I had a short lunch at Momofuku Ssäm Bar, consisting of their very good, coarse ground pork and foie gras terrine.

Pork and foie gras terrine, close up
Pork and foie gras terrine

The terrine was accompanied with arugula and pickled ramps (both contrast the dense, meatiness of the terrine imparting a lovely bitterness and onion-y flavors) maple gelee was an interesting accoutrement. It’s a subtle, delicate sweetness rather than being a bit more intense in its original syrup form.

BBQ Rib Sandwich
BBQ Rib Sandwich

Next, I had the BBQ Rib Sandwich made with Newman’s farm MO beef, in-house baked bread, and red onion slaw. OMG. It’s an amazing sandwich! Crisp, crusty bread with fluffy crumb packed with a good amount of smoky barbecued beef, layered with a crunchy, onion-y and a tad creamy slaw. I would love to eat it for the entire summer.

Prix fixe menu

Then last Friday, July 3rd, while I was out and about in East Village, I thought of having lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Momofuku Ssäm Bar. I ordered the prix fixe and pretty much ate similar things to the past like the Sichuan beef tendon.

Sichuan beef tendon

The tendon was tender, not too spicy and I loved the crunchiness from the toasted peanuts mixed throughout this dish and the occasional onion-y zing from the chopped scallions.

Going along with eating beef and something I haven’t tried before was the braised beef brisket.

Braised beef brisket, close up
Beef! with noods

What struck me as a bit odd (in a good way) was the fact that there was a lot of brisket. I kept digging in this deep bowl and get a lot more chunks of beef. Probably I had a half pound of cooked meat. Anyway, the beef was very tender, up to the point that it’s effortless chewing. The noodles were pretty much an afterthought for me but I ate some for the fact that I don’t want to stuff my digestive system with meat overload.

Ice cream pie (5)
Ice cream pie

Finally for dessert, the ice cream pie. This pie was pretty good. I liked the subtle cereal milk flavor from the ice cream but it’s a bit too cold that I have to use a good amount of force to pry off a piece. The small pile of tristar strawberries on top screams spring/summer and its intensely sweet (my favorite part of the dessert actually). It’s simple but it satisfies my sweet tooth.

I will continue on this particular day (July 3rd) since I hanged out with my girl friends Seungmi and Helen.


240 Central Park South
New York, NY 10019 (map)

Momofuku Ssäm Bar
207 2nd Avenue (at 13th Street)
New York, NY 10003 (map)


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. thewanderingeater says:

    Kristin and Chris Ann: I love Momofuku. I’ve eaten there too many times, especially their Milk Bar & Bakery, that I’m almost a regular.

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