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Momofuku CCDC, a Popular New York Pan-Asian Chain in City Center, Open for Lunch and Dinner Seven Days

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I'd have to say that in the several times I inexplicably decided to go and return here, sometimes with out of town friends but usually due to some indescribable and undeniable enthrallment, I haven't had a single memorable meal. The beef noodle soup and ramen are particularly disappointing, the former being a watery, unappealing mess featuring a bizarre combination of disharmonious flavors and the latter usually oversalted and overcooked to the point where noodles verge on instantaneous disintegration upon gentle contact with chopsticks. 

That being said, the next time I find myself at momofuku CCDC perhaps I will try this fried chicken meal. 

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1 hour ago, Bart said:

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

We took our daughter here with a group of friends here for her 17th birthday and got the fried chicken meal.  It was good but not really special.  Actually, it was just ok and slightly weird.  They bring out two fired chickens, cut up into pieces.....legs, wings, breasts, etc. and they also bring out a stack of pancakes (wraps) and some greens (lettuce type stuff) and three different sauces.  You were supposed to combine the chicken and lettuce and sauce on a pancake and then roll it up and eat it.  The weirdness came from trying to assemble the roll.  It was a little awkward and messy in trying to get the chicken meat off the bone and into the wrap.  (picture sitting at a table and trying to cut the meat off a leg of chicken).  We ended up just eating the chicken by hand as you would with KFC and ignoring the rest of it.

We also ordered a bunch of buns and another dish or two which were much better received and enjoyed than the chicken.

This is basically Peking Duck (or Mu Shu Chicken). I cannot believe they're serving this with the chicken meat on-bone. They should call the pancakes PITA because that's exactly what eating this dish sounds like.

Are they really charging $135 for *two chickens*, and serving it like this?!

For the love of God, they are.

Screenshot 2016-12-17 at 11.24.23.png <--- Do you see this picture? This is $135 ... not $13.50, but $135.00.

But you do get a bowl of steamed rice.

And what's this bullshit about "canceling reservations?" Is Bon Chon Chicken going to start charging me unless I cancel 24-hours in advance also?

This city emerging from the 2008 recession reminds me of Season 1, Episode 1 of "The Walking Dead," when Rick Grimes awoke in the hospital.

I'll say one thing for David Chang: He isn't stupid. He might not have your best interest in mind, but he most certainly isn't stupid.

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Did Chang popularize Brussels sprouts?  I think I read in GQ that he did.  Anyway, I've been making Brussel sprouts at home for a long time based on his recipe.

The current version served at CCDC costs $12, comes fried with a Vietnamese fish sauce vinaigrette, cilantro, mint and some heat (not mentioned on the menu).  At $12, they give you enough to scrub your colon and intestines many times over, which I happily did until my mushroom noodles showed up.  That too was vegetarian and very tasty (comes dry, no broth).  I pigged out but I didn't feel like a glutton afterwards.

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Had a grossly overpriced dinner here a few nights ago.  We got two dishes of cold noodles: one with veggies and a ginger scallion sauce that was quite nice, one with some asian chiles that had way too much cumin and wasn't spicy enough.  Each of those were $15+, which was expensive, but not offensively so.  The biggest offender was the "dry-spice chicken", which consisted of about eight pieces of breadless fried chicken (seemed to be not even premium pieces of chicken) with some boring spices on it for...wait for it..$26!  We figured it would be at least a half chicken at that price.  Without a drink (just water), sharing three dishes, the two of us each paid almost $40 with tax and tip.  Absurd.

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30 minutes ago, funkyfood said:

 Each of those were $15+, which was expensive, but not offensively so.  The biggest offender was the "dry-spice chicken", which consisted of about eight pieces of breadless fried chicken (seemed to be not even premium pieces of chicken) with some boring spices on it for...wait for it..$26!  We figured it would be at least a half chicken at that price.

Doesn't 8 pieces generally constitute a full chicken? Unless you're just talking about unidentifiable chunks.

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Just now, mtureck said:

Doesn't 8 pieces generally constitute a full chicken? Unless you're just talking about unidentifiable chunks.

They were small, unidentifiable chunks.  No wings or breasts that I could determine.

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So, did the chicken thing.  The chicken itself was good bordering on very good, and plenty of food.  The pancakes and garnishes were nonsense.  Some found the sauce on the korean style a bit too sweet and 5/7 preferred the Maryland style.  Was it worth 135?  I don't know.  Maybe. I was full and happy for <100 including a cocktail and some wine, which seems a relative bargain in DC.  But the bowl with 4 whole carrots, some lettuce, radishes, basil and mint leaves was basically untouched and I have no idea wtf we were supposed to do with it.

I think the worst thing that I saw was 12 bucks for fernet.  I don't know what the DC wholesale price is but that has to be 800% markup unless they are pouring you a soup bowl of it.

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Weekday dinner here the other night. We hadn't been since just after they first opened. A lot has changed. First, no ramen. Second, pretty pricey. In general all the dishes we had were good, but nothing wowed us and nothing was worth the price tag. We were a little surprised by the menu, when I think of Momofuku and David Chang I don't think of Hangar steak with bernaise. Is this thrown on there for the tourists? 

We enjoyed our first visit long ago but now it just feels like it's regressed to the middle. I don't know what to make of it, but then I again I don't know what to make of most of CCDC. Who exactly is shopping at all those luxury stores? 

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6 hours ago, funkyfood said:

Wait, momofuku doesn't have ramen anymore? How did this not get noticed until now

They still have it for lunch and brunch, but the dinner menu is unrecognizable to me - it seems as much "Modern American" as "Pan-Asian."

I still remember *very* well the day I waited outside at Momofuku Noodle Bar, which had something like *10 seats* . I was told by a friend to arrive before they opened, or else I'd be waiting; I got there at 10:45, and at 10:50, I was standing out by myself in front of some locked up building in NY. By 11 AM, fifteen people were in line, I was led down to the end of the counter, and was treated to the first "real" bowl of ramen I'd ever had, along with a glass of (if I remember correctly) white Cotes du Rhone! Chang himself (or at least I think it was him) was cooking the eggs just-so ... it was an organic farm-egg, and was perfect. Momofuku Noodle Bar was the right restaurant at the right time; now, the entire company has become almost silly, and David Chang seems to be a parody of himself (although I guess he's always been like this), but hey good for him; bad for the consumer, since they'll never know what all the fuss was about - Momofuku Noodle Bar was the hottest thing in NYC for a short time, and it was a darned good bowl of ramen - revelatory for me: When Ippudo opened, I still remembered that it just wasn't the same as Momofuku.

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26 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

They still have it for lunch and brunch, but the dinner menu is unrecognizable to me - it seems as much "Modern American" as "Pan-Asian."

I still remember *very* well the day I waited outside at Momofuku Noodle Bar, which had something like *10 seats* . I was told by a friend to arrive before they opened, or else I'd be waiting; I got there at 10:45, and at 10:50, I was standing out by myself in front of some locked up building in NY. By 11 AM, fifteen people were in line, I was led down to the end of the counter, and was treated to the first "real" bowl of ramen I'd ever had, along with a glass of (if I remember correctly) white Cotes du Rhone! Chang himself (or at least I think it was him) was cooking the eggs just-so ... it was an organic farm-egg, and was perfect. Momofuku Noodle Bar was the right restaurant at the right time; now, the entire company has become almost silly, and David Chang seems to be a parody of himself (although I guess he's always been like this), but hey good for him; bad for the consumer, since they'll never know what all the fuss was about - Momofuku Noodle Bar was the hottest thing in NYC for a short time, and it was a darned good bowl of ramen - revelatory for me: When Ippudo opened, I still remembered that it just wasn't the same as Momofuku.

This is mostly right, Don.  But I wouldn't preclude the possibility that one or more Chang establishments could continue to be great--even revelatory--from time to time, depending on who he hires to run the kitchens.  I can't wait, for instance, to return to the Ssam Bar in light of this.

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Based on my meals there, I think this is a great idea.  Looking forward to the new menu.

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We tried the "bing."  In Chinese, a bing is a unleavened flat bread.  A scallion pancake is a type of bing.  The bing at Momofuku more resembled a pita or naan.  I love the laffa with hummus at Zahav.  Maybe Momofuku can steal the hummus recipe from Zahav for their bing because I didn't really care for the pimento cheese spread.

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Momofuku CCDC  {04.21.2018}

Tae Strain's menu is insanely exciting and delicious! Can't wait to see what he creates next! 

  • Malvasia Bianca Birichino Petulant Naturel, Monterey California 2015
  • Curried Red Beets, peanuts, puffed rice, pomelo
  • Burrata with rhubarb & pine nuts
  • Bing with Sunflower Hozon
  • Chickpea Tagine, fennel, garam masala, rice cakes
  • Whole Roasted Branzino Ssam, spicy ginger scallion, herbs, bibb lettuce
  • Olive Oil Cake, rhubarb, pistachio, marshmallow

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On 5/14/2018 at 11:05 AM, dslee said:

Eater DC article:  Chef Tae Strain Isn’t Done Shaking Things Up at Momofuku CCDC

It will be truly exciting to see how the menu evolves throughout the seasons!

Momofuku CCDC is now added to my regular rotation of restaurants to dine!

OK - I've taken the bait and made a reservation.  Will provide thoughts after I dine.  Never tried the old format so can't offer any relative comparison.

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On 5/16/2018 at 3:21 PM, zgast said:

OK - I've taken the bait and made a reservation.  Will provide thoughts after I dine.  Never tried the old format so can't offer any relative comparison.

Look forward to hearing about your meal!

When I am able, I will post about my insanely delicious dinner and beverage pairing last Saturday, May 12, 2018.  Below is what we ordered:

  • NV Jansz Brut, Tasmania AU (glass)
  • Hamachi Crudo – yuzukosho, green apple, shiso
  • 2017 Arnot Roberts - Touriga Nacional Rosé, CA (bottle)
  • Middleneck Clam Toast – dill mayo, Sichuan sausage, oregano
  • Soy Marinated Steak Ssam – bibb lettuce, gochujang, beef fat & mushroom rice
  • Rare Wine Co. Baltimore Rainwater Madeira (glass)
  • Carrot Sticky Toffee Pudding – meyer lemon, whipped caramel, walnuts
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No pretty pictures for me - it was pretty slammed and crowded last night when we arrived for pre-theater dinner.  I probably should have known there was a Caps game then, as well.

Had three small plates and an entree for the two of us.  Started with the burrata bing, which was really delicious.  As long as you get the burrata right and add a few good accompaniments, you've got the dish, but they did all that well.  Next up were the two dumplings on the menu.  Shrimp dumplings were in a vinegar-based sauce and were pleasant. The beef and lamb dumplings were really, really good.  I could do two orders of those and call it a meal next time.  The only complaint I would have in the whole meal, though, involved the chopsticks.  Background - not from Asia or an Asian family that grew up using chopsticks.  That being said, I do know how to use them well.  The chopsticks here were of the circular variety more common in China (rather than squared off) and metal to boot.  You absolutely could not keep a slippery, sauced dumpling in these damn things.  After the third or fourth drop, I gave up and asked for a fork.

Entree was the branzino ssam.  The fish was a touch over-cooked, but presented gorgeously with the herby sauce right on top. You wrapped up the fish in lettuce along with some additional items to form a wrap.  Well-conceived and executed.  The dinner included a bottle of Ransom Albarino from Oregon, which was good and paired fairly well with our disparate food choices.  Also had a glass of the sparkling Riesling from Dr. Loosen, which I enjoyed as well.

 Thanks for the recommendation - definitely enjoyed this iteration of Momofuku.

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18 hours ago, zgast said:

Thanks for the recommendation - definitely enjoyed this iteration of Momofuku.

Great to hear about your meal!

Metal, round chopsticks are indeed a challenge.  I don't believe in hard, fast rules with asian cuisine and prefer spoon and fork or eat with my hands.  It sounds crazy, but I use a spoon to eat dumplings so I can scoop the right amount of sauce, spice and garnish together with the dumpling.  Sometimes I just can't be bothered to switch to a fork or chopsticks and keep with a spoon throughout the meal.  Per Bad Saint, I'm officially a member of the clean plate club! 😉

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