Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lunch at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City, USA

Picture: Momofuku Ssäm Bar

Following a long evening at the Gala Dinner of the Rieslingfeier 2015 (see below) und ahead of driving back home to Washington DC, we had lunch at Momofuku Ssäm Bar.

Pictures: Heading Home

The Momofuku Ssäm Bar belongs to the empire of David Chang. Every year between 2009 and 2013, it was on the prestigious San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Also on the San Pellegrino list was Momofuku Ko (in 2011, 2012 and 2013), which currently has 2 stars in the New York Michelin Guide. While the Momofuku Ssäm Bar does not take reservations (except for large groups and special meals), you need to make a reservation for the Momofuku Ko (12 seats). Reservations can only be made online starting at 10 am 10 days before your dinner. The seats are gone within a few seconds. By contrast, at Momofuku Ssäm, we just walked in and there were plenty of seats to choose from.

The World's 50 Best Restaurants (2014) - San Pellegrino

Picture: Annette and Christian Schiller at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City, USA

Momofuko and David Chang

Momofuku is a group of restaurants owned by Virginia-borne (in 1977) and Virginia-raised Korean-American chef and entrepreneur David Chang. Momofuku could be translated from Japanese as "lucky peach", though Chef David Chang has written that the name is "an indirect nod" to Momofuku Ando, the Taiwanese-Japanese inventor of instant ramen.

David Chang grew up in Alexandria (VA). After attended Trinity College, where he majored in religious studies, David Chang pursued a variety of jobs, both in Japan and the US, including teaching English in Japan, holding finance positions in New York City, working in a small soba shop in Japan and working at Café Boulud in New York City. He also attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City, before opening his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village in 2004 (at age 27).

Pictures: Momofuku Ssäm Bar

Vanity Fair: That place, whose optimized versions of ramen and pork buns electrified the burgeoning food blogosphere of the mid-aughts, has since begotten nine further New York City establishments (if you count his fast-proliferating Milk Bar dessert shops), five more Chang-branded places in Toronto, and a restaurant in Sydney, not to mention a Wonka-esque culinary lab in Brooklyn. Chang is also a guiding force behind Lucky Peach, a gorgeous, high-production-value literary food quarterly published under the aegis of Dave Eggers’s McSweeney’s imprint. Chang impressed himself upon the food world as a profane, gonzo, emotionally volatile enfant terrible. But now, at the age of 36, he is après-enfant and pas si terrible, a dialed-down and more reflective man—if still as complicated and self-flagellatory as ever.

Lunch at Momofuku Ssäm Bar

Picture: Liver Mousse - maraschino, green papaya, toast US$ 11

Picture: Rotisserie Duck Over Rice - duck scallion, ssäm sauce, crispy shallot US$ 15

Picture: O.G. Momofuku Ssäm or Bowl - pork shoulder, black beans, kimichi, poached egg US$ 14

Picture: Köhler-Ruprecht Riesling Kabinett Trocken


Rieslingfeier is an annual two-day event in New York City that celebrates German Riesling. The cornerstone event is the Rieslingfeier Gala Dinner.

Inspired by Daniel Johnnes’ famous Burgundy fête “La Paulée,” it is very likely the greatest German wine "BYOB" dinner in the world, with both winemakers and guests bringing special bottles from their cellars to share.

Picture: Christian Schiller, Annette Schiller and Sommelier Paul Grieco (Terroir, Summer of Riesling) at the 2015 Rieslingfeier in New York City, USA

Side events, specialized seminars and retail tastings round out the yearly Rieslingfeier program. Rieslingfeier is orchestrated by Stephen Bitterolf of the vom Boden wine importing company.

This year, Rieslingfeier took place on the Friday, January 30 and Saturday, January 31. 11 winemakers attended, all belonging to the elite of German winemakers, including world stars like Klaus Peter Keller, Egon Müller and Johannes Leitz.

Here is a list of all postings:

Coming-up: Rieslingfeier 2015 in New York City, USA
A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2015, USA
The 11 Winemakers: Rieslingfeier 2015 in New York City, USA
Riesling Crawl in New York City – Or, Where to Buy German Wine in Manhattan: Schiller's Favorite Wine Stores, USA
The Gala Dinner of the Rieslingfeier 2015 in New York City, USA
Lunch at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City, USA

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