If Momofuku Noodle Bar only had two items on its menu – the pork buns and signature ramen, it would survive. On a cold Sunday afternoon, we were seated at the counter overlooking the kitchen, and about 95% of the orders were these two items. It’s no wonder since they are seriously addictive and delicious.
The space is a little utilitarian / minimalist with the clean light wood and communal tables. Always packed, always bustling, and they turn the tables over fast. When you arrive they will tell you that the wait is 25-40 minutes, but you’re usually seated in 20 minutes which isn’t completely torturous. And it’s worth the wait.
The pork buns (mandatory) are the perfect combination of sweet, salty, crunchy and juicy. Great with the fun and creative shochu slushies. Right now it’s a fall flavored cider slushy, which was delicious and actually pairs well with the food. We wanted to mix it up, so went with the signature Momofuku Ramen, and vegetable ramen. Signature ramen was delicious, with perfectly cooked noodles and light yet rich pork broth. The vegetable ramen could’ve been better paired with a light broth – was too heavy on the balsamic and consistency was way too thick. I think this is just a matter of taste.
The vibe is more slurp and go, and they’re quick to bring you the check to usher you out for the next batch of people waiting anxiously at the door. Which is completely acceptable since it’s not the type of spot to linger around and twiddle your fingers. Pork buns, signature ramen, slushy, and you’ve satisfied that craving and are good to go.
Momofuku Noodle Bar171 First Avenue (between 10th and 11th Street)
New York NY 10003