One of the joys of staying in New York City’s East Village is the proximity to a favourite haunt – David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam Bar. On the corner of 2nd Avenue and 13th Street, it’s the perfect spot for the day after the night before – but that’s perhaps not doing its foodie credentials any justice, having risen to #64 in the latest San Pellegrino world’s best restaurants list.

Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband partook of the bar bun delights on a number of occasions on our last visit. On a rainy lunchtime, we headed in around 2pm to find the place absolutely jam packed. Such is the nature of the food though, there’s a reasonably fast turnover of spots, particularly up at the long bar.

We chose four dishes to share. Two sets of bar buns, pork and salmon, some duck wings and deep-fried duck dumplings with a sriracha sauce.

The bar buns came up first. This smoked salmon version (pictured at the top of this post) was served with horseradish, egg and sesame. On top of the beautifully light wraps were a few sprinkles on dried shallots. Very, very tasty.

Of course, it’s impossible to go past the pork belly buns with hoisin sauce and cucumber. Australians need no longer hop a plane to NYC to eat these; they’re available as a bar snack at Momofuku Seiobo in Sydney. They’re meltingly soft and tender and the hoisin is one of the best brews ever.

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Pork belly buns with hoisin sauce

Next up were crispy duck wings. Not much meat on these (as you’d expect) but they were delightful. They were topped with honey, cashew and Thai basil. Finger-licking good.

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Crispy duck wings

Finally we chose deep-fried duck dumplings with snow peas and sriracha mayonnaise. Perfect little parcels, they were a nice flavour but became a little stodgy towards the end.

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Deep-fried duck dumplings

David Chang owns this little section of Manhattan. His ‘Milk Bar’ is across the road and often has a queue of ice-cream lovers this time of year and he’s also opened the Momofuku Noodle Bar in 1st Avenue. Later in this trip, Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband are off to another of his eateries, Ma Peche, which is further uptown. It’s the humble Ssam Bar that takes the foodie kudos though, the highest ranked of any of his outlets.

It might be difficult to dine at another restaurant on the top 100 list, have a beer and eat well for US$60, including tip, and that speaks volumes as to why it’s so crowded. Pick your time – there are no reservations – and enjoy a treat.

Momofuku Ssam Bar

207 2nd Avenue, New York

Momofuku Ssäm Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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