Yes, this is a post about fried chicken.
Yes, it is expensive fried chicken.
Yes, it was delicious and totally worth it.
After a long Campus MovieFest Northern Regional Grand Finale, we slept a little and then descended on Momofuku Noodle Bar for their fried chicken dinner, which includes “two whole fried chickens, one southern style and one korean style - mu shu pancakes, bibb lettuce, four sauces and an assortment of seasonal vegetables.”
Sounded good. Had no idea how much of a treat it would be.
We kicked off the meal with a smattering of a la carte plates, including grilled asparagus salad (bearnaise, frisee, trout roe); fingerling potatoes (poached egg, scallions); sauteed bok choy (delicious, umami-laden pork broth; chili flakes); and grilled ramps (my favorite, with pickled chili, crispy fried shallots). The kitchen gave us a plate of three tamales, each different — two with pork, one with cheese and vegetables. All amazing flavor combinations.
I was particularly fond of the grilled ramps, which were garlicky, sharp, slightly green and wholly delicious. The addition of the trout roe to the asparagus was surprising and amazing, as well. Made for a beautiful presentation and a shocking flavor — the briny roe played off the bearnaise magically.
Then the chickens rolled out. I had no idea what to expect. We received a huge platter half full of “Korean-style” fried chicken (above), fried and slathered in a sweet, spicy bibim sauce — and then fried again. The other half of the platter was Southern-style — buttermilk batter and old bay. UNBELIEVABLE! I’m shocked to say it, but I preferred the southern-style — the batter was perfect and flavorful, thick, crispy and delicious. The platter of herbs and veggies included carrots, radishes, shiso, bibb lettuce, and basil. Four sauces came out, as well — hoison, bibim, ginger-scallion, and some sort of jalapeno garlic. All were great; the table seemed most partial towards the jalapeno garlic.
We ate. And we ate. And then we ate some more. Somewhere along the way, the kitchen blessed us with additional pancakes and a plate of glutinous rice flour formed into cylinders, fried, and coated with bibim. They were delicious and texturally amazing - the outside were crunchy, crispy, sweet and spicy; the insides were gooey-chewy-weird awesomeness. Good. We did pretty well, knocking out about 2/3 of the platter and almost all the sides.
All before 7p.
I can’t remember a meal that so well met and surpassed the anticipation surrounding it. I’ve blabbered on above mainly about the food, but it was that magical combination of the great eats and a large table full of old friends that killed it. It was such a treat to dine with you peeps.