Momofuku Ma Peche – New York City

First stop in NYC! How appropriate especially with the growing Momofuku empire, it was only right that Cat and I try one of the restaurants (which also happens to be 2 blocks away from our hotel!)

When you walk in, first you see the milk bar and right to the end of the hall is the reception area for Ma Peche which is down a flight of stairs~

The place is impressive looking. I loved the high ceilings and nice booths at each end.

Raw bar~

Menu was nice and simple; with just the right amount of choices with something for everyone~ There is also a prix fixe option, 3 courses for $60.

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We ordered:

Crispy Pig’s Head $16

Served with lentils, pickled apple & mustard

Ok, nothing exciting – great crunch with a nice meaty filling.  The lentils and mustard taste so similar they could be the same thing w different colours and different textures. The crust was a little on the hard side but it was necessary since the filling of pork and fat were soft and delicate. The filling was not bad but the lentils and mustard overpowers whatever it was suppose to taste like.

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Cod $28

Served with leeks, coconut and shellfish ginger broth

I loved loved the broth – it was really fragrant with so much body. This is the prime example of umamiliciousness (yes I made up the word). It had a nice freshness to it from lemongrass and rich coconut milk base.

Nice pieces of clams in the broth that were nice, soft & tender. I could eat this with a bowl of white rice and be perfectly happy. But the fish was grossly overcooked, and the server was not around for me to mention this so we sucked it up and just ate it.

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Steak Frites $29

12 oz ‘juliet’ cut steak w rice fries

Steak cooked just as we ordered “medium rare. Every biteful was a whole burst of flavours. It was so tender that I was actually surprised. This cut was also very fatty, which adds a nice flavour especially how the fat literally melts in your mouth with the tender meat. I did find after a few bites there was almost too much chunks of just fat instead of nice marbled beef. Seasoned with what I suspect to be Maggi Seasoning because of the distinct flavours, but it was seasoned very well and had a nice crust.

I found the fries a little odd. There were really crispy on the outside (actually a little hard) with a soft gummy centre (almost like a deep fried mochi ball but harder). It gets stuck in my molars after every chew and ended being really heavy.

The dip tasted primarily of Maggi seasoning and not much else, which was too overwhelming.

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Sunchokes $12

Served with beef tongue, basil, fish sauce & peanuts

I find hard to believe that my favourite dish of the night was a vegetable side!  The sunchokes tasted like a cross between mushrooms & potatoes. It was pretty “fun” to eat and the vegetables came with a generous amount of thinly sliced beef tongue that was tender and served medium rare.  Seasoned well and very addictive! My top pick for the night (a side dish, who would have thunk it?)

It might seem that there is a lot going on, but it all worked really well and every bite was something different. Great dish.

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Total Damage : $140 (including 1 wine, 1 sake, tax & tips)

Personal Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Pretty darn good)

Food was pretty tasty in general. David Chang and Co. definitely did not hold back in terms of bold flavours and interesting combinations. The food was intriguing but not so out of the water that it was not approachable. For some reason, I detected Maggi Seasoning in 3 out of the 4 dishes we ordered… Maggi Seasoning has a very distinct smell and taste, so I am pretty sure that is what I tasted. They also place a bottle of the seasoning at each table as a condiment. Mind you, it should not be used like soy sauce – way more pungent and better suited to use while cooking or as a marinade but not a condiment.

Service is kinda blah – I don’t mind laid back service as long as they are efficient and present. The server that was responsible for our table was barely there (eventhough there was only 2 tables when we got there at 5.30 pm and 4 tables by the time we left). We only saw her 3 times throughout the duration of our meal. No check back on our dishes at any time and only a half ass-ed “How was everything?” when we got our bill.

If the fish was cooked better and service was better, it probably would be a 3.5 review because I actually did enjoy the food (for the most part)

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Momofuku Ma Peche

Mezzanine of Chambers Hotel (Midtown West)
15 W 56th St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-5878

Ma Peche on Urbanspoon

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