The chef that brought you Momofuku Noodle Bar, Ssam Bar, Ko and Milk Bar, will be opening a new restaurant in midtown Manhattan, Ma Peche, next door to the modern and sleek Chambers Hotel on 56th between 5th and 6th Avenue.
While the date for the restaurant opening has not been released just yet, it is expected to be up and running sometime in the first quarter of next year. For now, a small preview of the cuisine is being offered in a limited lunch menu in the Chambers Hotel's mezzanine. For a bargain price of $10, you can have a sample of Momofuku cuisine accompanied by a drink.
When Jen of Tiny Urban Kitchen and her husband Bryan, came down from Boston to visit New York this week, Andrea of High/Low organized a lunch at Ma Peche for a sneak peak. In addition to yours truly, fellow bloggers Cindy of Chubby Chinese Girl, and Michelle of Taste As You Go came along to get a taste of David Chang's new restaurant.
Since there were six of us around the table, we were able to cover each one of the four dishes on the lunch specials menu.
Jenn and Michelle ordered the bun du riz, rice noodles with pork ragout and saw leaf herb, which they enjoyed. This entree looked intriguing with a wonderful union of various textures: pillowy soft and silky rice noodles, crispy fried shallots, nibbles of pork and fresh herbs which were incorporated with a drizzle of a savory fish sauce dressing. A clear winner on the lunch menu.
Andrea ordered the banh mi maison which is a three terrine sandwich, stuffed with pickled daikon and carrots, and topped with cilantro on a perfectly crisped baguette. An excellent choice for pate lovers.
I chose the banh mi au poulet, which was a house-made lemon grass chicken sausage topped with lettuce, mint and pickled daikon and carrots on a crisp baguette. Good, although I'm not sure if it was as good as the three terrine sandwich.
Cindy ordered the goi calamare, squid salad with crisp cucumbers, topped with chopped peanuts, sprigs of cilantro, slivers of Thai basil and dressed with a fish sauce. Cindy thought it was good, but not stellar. While I did not taste the entree, my initial impression was that the squid salad was not sufficient for a lunch entree. But what was I to expect for $10? But perhaps to leave hungrier than when I arrived. If that's the case, I can probably also blame the tantalizing nature of these small dishes for my desire to want more.
For dessert, each of us had the Momofuku milk bar peanut butter cookies, which were rich, decadent, and gooey, integrated with beautiful candy-like nuggets of caramel crunch.
If you've never been to a meet up with food bloggers, I hope this snapshot captures what you can expect: the experience of laughing, chatting, and sharing amidst a passionate flurry of photo clicking.
Good food aside, it was great to meet a group of enthusiastic and sweet food lovers. This certainly won't be the last time I hang out with these ladies.
Ma Peche at the Chambers Hotel mezzanine
15 W 56th Street (b/n 5th and 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10019
Lunch hours: 11am - 3pm. Weekdays only.