Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Momofuku Nishi

Dinner Saturday night was at Momofuku Nishi; the brand new Korean Italian spot from Chef David Chang.  Obviously getting a table was no easy task.   At 6:00 pm the restaurant was already at full capacity and a line had formed around the block just for a chance on the waiting list.  We hung out at nearby Bar Veloce and about two hours (and two bottles of wine) later we finally got the "table ready" text.

The space at Nishi is similar to the original Momofuku with simple wooden tables in front and a long bar along the back end.  This isn't a place to marvel at decor; it's all about the food coming out of the kitchen helmed by Chef Josh Pinsky and Carey Hynes. 



The meal began with a flashback to our dinner at Ko years ago with a bowl of Fried Whole Shrimp, meant to be eaten with both the head and shell intact, seasoned with salt and sancho pepper.  



Next up Black Bass Crudo in tiger's milk and shio kombu.  I love a well made tiger's milk and this was perfect...refreshing smooth with just the right amount of acidity. Onto the pasta dishes Spicy Beef Sichuan flat noodle with tofu and yacai.


I absolutely loved the texture of the beef and hot spicy peppers in this dish.  It was a complete contrast to the crudo and really set the stage for the intensity of flavors which would come over the next two courses.


Chicken & Dumplings with hand torn noodles and shiitake.  Good lord this was soooo thick and rich.  The mushroom broth was like one incredible umami bomb that just kept going. Our entire table was silent upon tasting this dish; the elements so all consuming it was difficult to gather any external thoughts.


The final pasta of the night was the Ceci e Pepe with chickpea hozen and black pepper. The Parmesan cheese had been replaced by the fermented chickpea paste creating a subtly sweet, buttery flavor that was outstanding.  As full as I was at this point I longed for another bowl, maybe even two.


Of course Nishi being so new there were a few hiccups here and there.  The beers were poured with the vigor of a frat boy during a Flip Cup tournament and the Panna Cotta dessert was oddly unset.


However the deep nutty sweetness of the Pistachio Bundt Cake and the genius Limoncello Slushie made up for those small quibbles and we left excited and already planning our return trip.   


Momofuku Nishi is currently open for dinner 7 days a week and reservations just became available on their website 15 days in advance.

232 8th Avenue between 21st & 22nd
New York, NY 10010

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