Momofuku is a New York powerhouse for modern gastronomy, so of course it’s on our list to try while here. Of the many restaurants in Manhattan by this group, we opted for Ssaäm, a pork-heavy gastropub on 2nd.
First course out was “apple kim chi” a crazy take on the Korean staple. Spicy cured apples with yogurt and bacon capture the essence of kimchi while being something totally different. The bacon was unnecessary here.
Alongside this were two steamed buns filled with giant chunks of pork belly, cucumbers, and a squeeze bottle of a spicy house-made hoisin.
We followed this with prime rib. Delicious, perfectly cooked prime beef, but still just regular prime rib with a side of buttered roasted turnips.
The next dish stood out – spicy, gooey, creamy, Chinese pork sausage with crunchy chewey fried mochi-like rice cakes and a mountain of scallions, fresh and fried. This was by far the most amazing stand-out dish. It paired fantastically with a cutting Grenache. This is making our next pork-themed dinner party as the chef has posted the recipe online.
Following this are the most exquisitely tender duck dumplings. A perfect medium-rare duck filling is puréed to amazing tender, smooth, patte consistency and topped with a turnip slice. This is the best dumpling I’ve ever had. Eat it before the spicy sausage rice cakes though, as this is a subtle dish and those overwhelm the palette.
With that behind us, we moved onto desert. A soft creamy brown butter ice cream with a sugar-carmalized rum cake that adds just a hint of crispyness. Pair it with a lovely muscat and it’s a fantastic finish to a great meal.