Last week, my sister-in-law Miriam's friend Natalie was in town from the UK. Now, Natalie is a stylish, dynamic sort of woman, and so the bar for our girls' night out was, I knew, set pretty damn high. I knew I had to pick something fun, delicious, and with a good, solid buzz. And, of course, in close proximity to excellent cocktails. The winner? Momofuku Noodle Bar.
Now, yes, I know - Miriam and I just visited Momofuku Noodle a couple of weeks ago. But that was for the fried chicken dinner, and this time around we'd be eating off the normal, noodle-centric menu.
We ordered some watermelon lemonade slushies (spiked with soju) to start. Last time around, we'd gone the sensible route and ordered the small, aperitif size, but this time we went whole hog and got the proper, large size. All the better to sip through the giant, bubble tea-sized straws.
The slushies were quickly followed to the table by some delicious appetizers: smoked chicken wings and steamed pork buns. I've waxed poetic about the pork buns before, so I won't bore you here, except to say: EAT THEM. The wings are cold smoked before being brined and then sauteed and served in a sauce of wine, chiles, scallions and garlic. More flavorful than most chicken wings (which only have sauce on the outside) and less messy, too.
Next up, and most importantly, the noodles themselves. Natalie and I ordered the Momofuku ramen, while Miriam went for the ginger scallion noodles - both were delicious. The Momofuku Ramen is, unsurprisingly, a bowl of porky goodness. Ramen noodles in a pork broth with a runny poached egg, pork belly and pork shoulder. I like to season mine with a generous amount of Sriracha to cut through the richness.
Miriam's ginger scallion noodles were more delicately flavored and came with a healthy portion of lightly-pickled cucumbers. They were gorgeous, and an alternative that just might tear me away from the Momofuku ramen's porkalicious delights on a future visit.