Momofuku with much fanfare, has come to DC. It’s creator and mastermind, David Chang, has a no-nonsense attitude to cooking that is refreshing. Momofuku takes Asian flavors and infuses them into almost every aspect of the Momofuku menu. The Momofuku DC location opened in October of 2015 and it’s been packed ever since. They allow reservations for some of their seating, but a majority of their seats are reserved for walk-ins. Still I would recommend trying to make a reservation so you don’t have to end up waiting forever.
When you walk into the restaurant, you’re instantly greeted by the hustle and bustle of a restaurant that is filled to the brim with people so if quiet and cozy is your thing, I wouldn’t recommend this. Momofuku has a vibrant scene that has a smattering of folks anyone from hipsters to married couples with their baby in tow trying to get a decent meal.
The Momofuku menu is split up between “snacks”, “buns”, “etc”, “vegetables”, “salads”, “noodles”, “meat and fish”, and dessert by the Milk Bar (more on that later).
Starting with snacks, we ordered the biscuit bites which were good, but would have been way better had they been warm. The butter that’s served with the biscuits is extra flavorful and the overall texture of the biscuits is good enough to make you forget that they weren’t served warm.
Honestly if I had to recommend one thing on this menu though, I would say skip the snacks, and move straight to the buns. They are insanely good. There are a variety of buns available for you to choose from, they’re Chinese style buns made into a pseudo taco. They’re damn delicious. The pork buns are large chunks of braised pork belly that was juicy and flavorful, had the fat on the pork belly been crisped it would have been an absolute homerun. The true star out of the buns though are the brisket buns, the brisket meat falls apart it’s so tender. The flavor on the brisket is perfect, meanwhile the pairing of the pickled onions and horseradish sauce served alongside it are perfect. This is a must get. One side note, I have on good authority that the Shrimp Buns are also to die for.
Already feeling slightly distended from my buns and biscuits, I decided to go for a slightly lighter option and I ordered the crispy beef with rice which is billed as an “ETC”. This dish is amazing, it’s crispy beef that it is served alongside crispy Korean rice. The usage of Thai basil and mint work perfectly with the spicy sweet flavors of the crispy beef. But I would be remiss if i didn’t mention the coolest part of the meal, which is that they served with a soft boiled egg that you get to crack yourself. The entire dish is intoxicating and I highly recommend it.
When you go to Momofuku you cannot just end your meal with dinner, you’d be doing yourself a grave grave injustice. Since it’s positioned right next to the equally famous Milk Bar, all the desserts at Momofuku are pornographically good. We ordered the corn cookie and the crack pie. The corn cookie is unreal and quite possibly my favorite cookie flavor of all time now, it tastes like your eating a perfectly soft cornbread cookie, it’s so satisfying. Meanwhile the crack pie is exactly what it sounds like, literal crack in pie form. The crack pie has a oatmeal cookie crust and it’s filled with a sugary filling that is just right, but I would be doing your a disservice if I didn’t mention the delicious cereal milk soft serve ice cream and captain crunch flavored crunchies served alongside it. The mild sweet flavor of the soft serve and the crunchy texture of the crunchies pairs perfectly with the crack pie. I basically don’t have enough adjectives to describe how delicious their dessert is here, but seriously it’s good.
Overall: Momofuku is a welcomed addition to the DC Food scene, some folks might turn their noses up because it’s what you would now consider perhaps a mainstream restaurant. But you have to give credit where credit is due, the folks at Momofuku do a great job at basically everything (I forgot to mention their service is excellent). The prices are reasonable too. Final grade: A