Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Momofuku Ssam Bar Rib-Eye Feast

Having once visited Momofuku Noodle Bar where I left unimpressed with the ramen (Totto or Ippudo beat it by far) and the pork belly buns (Ippudo will always win in this category), I never had an inclination to try any of the other Momofuku restaurants. However, when my friend emailed a group of us saying he had secured a reservation for one of Ssäm Bar Bar's large-format feasts, and specifically the rib-eye one, we were all in. (Steak and a fun group dinner? Yes, please).

The dry aged rib-eye feast is $225 and serves 3-6 people. For groups larger than 6, there is different pricing.

The restaurant sits on the corner of 13th Street and 2nd Avenue.

The open kitchen at the back of the restaurant.

A fairly narrow dining room, with only bar seating on one side, and one row of tables on the other. Many of the tables looked like they were for four or more.

We decided to order two appetizers, as the feast does include other dishes besides the steak.

Fuji apple kimchi with maple labne (strained yogurt), jowl bacon, arugula, $14
For a dish that sounds very unique and exciting, this was quite disappointing. The yogurt and maple made for a pleasant tangy sauce, and the bacon was on the sweet side, but I found that crunchy, savory apples are not very good. The kimchi was decent, but there was definitely not enough of it. 

Fried pig ears with apricot, daikon, and peanuts, $13
Cold pig ears are a very popular dish in Taipei, and I don't think I've ever had it in the U.S. While it may not sound appetizing, pig ears have a really nice crunch to them. This one was served warm, and mixed with the other toppings, made for a very satisfying appetizer!

And the feast begins. This salad and everything below came included in the rib-eye feast.

Caesar Salad
Undoubtedly one of the best caesar salads I've ever had. The dressing was terrific, and evenly spread over every single piece of romaine. There was a perfect hint of anchovies, and a nice sprinkle of the lightest and fluffiest parmesan cheese. The croutons were very hard, but surprisingly when I was cutting it (and hoping it wouldn't all of a sudden fly across the table), it managed to break apart quite easily. 

Twice fried French fries
Incredibly crispy, while soft in the inside.

From bottom right to top left: bacon ketchup (yes, bacon ketchup), béarnaise sauce, salt, dry aged fat and brown butter roasting juices (tastes even more amazing as it sounds), red wine and shallot marmalade, and lastly beef jus.
The fries dipped in fat and juices = heaven.

And finally, here is the rib-eye and roasted garlic. The beef has been aged for at least 28 days.
Some parts were way too chewy, but on a whole, utterly delightful and seasoned so so well.

If you're interested in the whole process behind preparing for this meal, Eater put together a great detailed account

207 2nd Avenue (between 12th and 13th Streets)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 254-3500
*Reservations are only accepted for large-format feasts. Submit request at least a month in advance through the website.

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Momofuku Ssäm Bar on Urbanspoon

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