It took me a long time to make it to Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and it took me even longer to blog about it. Momofuku Ssäm Bar opened back in 2006 as a much-hyped addition to David Chang’s popular Momofuku restaurant group, and I’ve wanted to visit Ssäm Bar for ages, but every time I’ve been in the neighborhood, the restaurant has either been closed or so full, I didn’t even want to try getting a table. Finally, when I was in New York in October, I was in the right place at the right time, and I got a seat in the bar for lunch.
In Korea, a ssäm is a wrap. It’s usually lettuce or cabbage leaves, which you wrap around different kinds of, usually meat, fillings. Though the wrap I had at Momofuku Ssäm Bar was more like a burrito, and it was big.
Now here’s one of the reasons why you shouldn’t blog about restaurant visits 4 months after: I can’t remember what was in the ssäm! Momofuku Ssäm Bar changes their menu daily, and I’m quite sure that the ssäm I had, isn’t in the current menu. Could it be pork? Or maybe duck? I’m quite sure it wasn’t giraffe, but otherwise, I don’t have a clue. However, it was tasty and had just the right amount of sweet, sticky ssäm sauce.
The Pork Buns
Luckily, the pork buns I had weren’t as difficult to decode, even 4 months after, because, as the name suggests, it was buns with pork. The slices of pork belly were thick and with a generous rim of fat. I know a lot of my friends wouldn’t dream about letting anything like that pass their lips, but to me, it’s pure, pork-fat pleasure. If you’ve tried this kind of Asian-style pork belly, you also know how much taste and yumminess, which is in the fatty part of the pork belly. After a couple of pork buns, you might not fit into your skinny jeans, but trust me, it’s all worth it.
The Milk Bar
Momofuku Milk Bar is just across the street, so this is where I went or dessert. Their baked goods and milk shakes are legendary, and there’s often a line out in front. I had a cookie and a chocolate shake.
Momofuku Ssäm Bar, 207 Second Avenue (at 13th Street), East Village, New York