During my last visit they were still serving the preview menu at $10, a definite steal when it comes to anything David Chang related. I pinched myself and yes, it was too good to be true. Now lets check out the new regular menu.
My coworker and I had to do research along the high end stores on 5th ave, so naturally I suggested a “peachy” business lunch. Specially him being a momo-virgin.
We went for the basic, more “economical” lunch menu, short list of dishes that were good to share. Some were familiar from the preview menu, others were new. One thing was certain, this wasn’t a “steal” anymore. I’m not surprised.
RICE NOODLE for $18 What? I had to take a double read, I mean, I know this is midtown, but last I checked, I don’t smoke crack (‘cuz crack is wack… sorry a little Whitney humor… that was random…let me stop) and if this wasn’t a business lunch I wouldn’t have justified it. Come on, I already know at $10 he gets a good chunk of profit, this is the same as what we had last time! Its just rice noodles, spicy pork and sawleaf herb. The flavors were good, nice chewiness to the noodle, sure sure… but almost a full “jackson”? Thanks, but no thanks.
FRIED CAULIFLOWER $12 I’ve never been a big fan of cauliflower, but since anything fried usually gets thumbs up from moi, we gave this a shot. The texture was totally different, really spongy, it soaked up the fish sauce really well… that is if you are really into fish sauce, ‘cuz these were pretty strong. The mint and scallions gave them a nice freshness. I was torn, they weren’t bad, maybe a little salty and addicting in a weird way, but I didn’t love them… go figure. I guess it got my tastebuds’ attention for uniqueness.
Didn’t feel like having a full cup of soft serve, but I knew their “sample size” were quite generous, so we did our own little “complimentary” tasting. Cereal Milk is well, very milky and creamy, with little bits of icyness. The Salty Pistachio is really great at first, the playfulness of salt and sugar, but after a while, the salt overpowers it a little and I was glad we only had a small amount. At the end of the day, I still want my dessert to be dominated by sweetness.
Now to that trademark registered Compost Cookie. I had high hopes, since when I reviewed Sara Snacker’s Chipn’etzel (potato chips + pretzel cookie) last time, a lot of readers suggested it was a “copy” of Milk Bar’s version. Compost Cookie has more ingredients, aside from potato chips and pretzels, it also mixes in coffee grounds, graham, chocolate chips and butterscotch. I was drooling as I read the description and walked to the cash register, but it wasn’t love at first bite… or second bite. It was a bit chewy and the crunchy pretzels lost their crunch, maybe it’s too moist, not sure. But I honestly like Sara Snacker’s version better, at least I went back and got more of that, while compost cookie was a one time deal.
Value wise, specially for lunch, their preview menu made sense to me, but not this. Food wise, I’d rather go to Momofuku Noodle Bar. Or maybe try dinner sometime… I guess my love/hate deal with David Chang continues… I’m often disappointed, but at times, certain dishes undoubtedly justify his hype – amongst others, his Shaved frozen Foie Gras.
P.S. Chubby’s RATING: (close to 3)
15 W 56th st