Momofuku CCDC's current menu includes seven mysterious footnotes that each correspond with a different dish. Vague and nebulous at first glance, they seem to credit the inspiration behind these seven menu items.
Eater found some clues to their meaning after pouring over chef David Chang's writings, most notably from his Momofuku cookbook from 2009 and articles he's written for his magazine Lucky Peach. Here's a quick interpretation.
Have other insights into the notes? Please share in the comments below.
1. "Sorry, Taiwan, it's all Oriental Garden in nyc."
In the Momofuku cookbook, Chang calls Oriental Garden "the restaurant in Manhattan's Chinatown where I've eaten more meals than anywhere else on the planet." One of the dishes he ordered most often was the Peking duck served with folded over steamed buns. He credits the owner with teaching him how to make the buns from scratch.
2. "The Swan Oyster Depot tribute band"
This creamy shrimp salad originated in San Francisco where it's on the menu at Swan Oyster Depot, one of the city's most beloved and historic restaurants.
3. "Ripped off from Brooks Headley's Superiority Burger. Plus a little Matt Rudofker (Oceana, 2005)"
Although it's not currently on the menu, a "wedgeless" wedge salad appeared at chef Brooks Headley's Superiority Burger in Manhattan. Momofuku's version consists of an iceberg wedge broken into pieces. There's likely also some influence from Matt Rudofker, executive chef at Momofuku Ssäm Bar and Ma Pêche in New York. He has worked at New York restaurant Oceana in the past.
5. "Great NY Noodletown"
Ginger scallion noodles.
This one's easy. Chang writes in the Momofuku cookbook, "Our ginger scallion noodles are an homage to/out-and-out rip-off of one of the greatest dishes in New York City: the $4.95 plate of ginger scallion noodles at Great New York Noodletown down on the Bowery in Chinatown."
4. "Hong Kong's Kau Kee meets Mama Chang"
Beef noodle soup
David Chang declares in an article for Lucky Peach, "One of the building blocks of Cantonese cuisine is beef brisket noodle soup." He reveals that his favorite restaurant in Hong Kong for the dish is a place called Kau Kee. Momofuku's CCDC's version must also take some influence from the chef's Korean mother.
6. "Octo vin: Kevin Pemoulie's MVP moment"
Momofuku's signature "octo vinaigrette" sauce is served alongside their chicken. It was originally served with fried chicken at Momofuku Noodle Bar, where the sauce was developed by former chef de cuisine Kevin Pemoulie.
7. "Tien Ho's first dunk at Ssäm Bar."
Another one of Momofuku's famous dishes, it was first made by Tien Ho when he was sous-chef at Ssäm Bar in New York.