Momofuku CCDC opened unexpectedly less than three weeks ago, following sister bakery Milk Bar opening two days prior. Famous chef and owner David Chang made the announcement over Instagram.
Until then, restaurant reps had remained silent on details like concept, menu and even the opening date. The current menu shares several dishes with Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York but has also has some offerings exclusive to D.C. There are four types of buns (including pork, shrimp, brisket and shiitake mushroom), and snacks like pork jerky and Old Bay pork rinds. It also includes Chang's famous ramen.
The D.C. location of Momofuku immediately drew crows and lines, but things have calmed down since they started accepting limited reservations. But the restaurant still has 63 Yelp reviews with an overall rating of three and a half stars. Read on for the early word on Momofuku CCDC:
The Extremely Uncomfortable News: Momofuku's signature minimalist wooden tables and sleek surfaces bother some diners. Chowhound poster cfoodie says, "Once seated, it resembled a roadside noodle stand in Asia, sitting on hard stool tightly packed, being constantly bumped into by others and the servers." Yelper Ben O. agrees. He writes, "Not only are the slabs of wood that you're sitting on extremely uncomfortable, the tight quarters all but guarantees that you will be knocking elbows with your neighbor." [Chowhound, Yelp]
The Overpriced and Overrated News: There are also several gripes about the prices, including a debate on the Don Rockwell forum about some draught beer prices exceeding $10 per glass. Yelper Sean D. writes, "This place is insanely overpriced for fast food quality ramen ($17)," and Yelper Joyce F. declares it "overpriced and overrated." Facebook user Jack O’Neill writes "Delicious food--but while cost was not really an issue at this level ; it's still not a good value for what you get." [DR, Yelp, Facebook]
The Pork Buns vs. Brisket Buns News: Twitter user @BTMenu favors the brisket buns over Chang’s famous pork buns, but Don Rockwell poster Mark Dedrick declares, "Pork buns>shrimp buns>brisket buns, but all three were great." The husband and wife team behind blog DC Wrapped Dates are split on the question. He writes, "the pork buns are her favorite and the more traditional - belly that melts into your mouth with the familiar salt of hoisin and pickled cucumber. Meanwhile, I'm more into the brisket versions with their subtle smoky flavor matched by bright mayo." [Twitter, DR, DC Wrapped Dates]
The Stick to Daikaya for Ramen News: Most diners prefer D.C.’s other ramen spots to Momofuku's famous bowl of noodles. Foursquare user Kristine Untalan writes, "Momofuku ramen was okay, but go to Sakuramen if you're craving it." Blogger DC Wrapped Dates says "...compared to some contemporaries, the broth here seems a little thin and a little one note..." Blogger Cook In/Dine Out writes, "The noodles had a chewy texture that rivals (but does not surpass) the ramen at Daikaya." [FS, DC Wrapped Dates, Cook In/Dine Out]
The Beef Noodle Soup Is Perfection News: Some diners, like Yelper Robert C., think this soup is even better than the famous ramen. Instagram user @junkfoodguy says the dish was "perfection" and blogger Cook In/Dine Out calls it "delicious." She continues, "The noodles were a little thinner than the ramen but were just as chewy. The broth was intensely beefy and like the pork in there ramen, the brisket came prepared two ways: sliced and shredded." [Yelp, Instagram, Cook In/Dine Out]
The Superlative Rockfish News: One breakout favorite is the rockfish with yuzu. Blogger DC Wrapped Dates writes, "This was superlative in every way; it's not a stretch to say that it is one of the best things we've eaten all year. The beautiful blend of citrus and sweet with the rockfish's delicate texture was to die for. " Yelper Catharine M. says, "It was a great balance and perfect" while Yelper Geith M. writes, "The fish was super fresh and the flavors vivid. A solid dish." [DC Wrapped Dates, Yelp]
The Spicy Cucumbers News: Don Rockwell poster lhollers calls the spicy cucumbers "outstanding" and blogger Cook In/Dine Out says the dish "effectively blends the cooling powers of cold cucumber chunks with a spicy sesame-scallion sauce and arrives topped with chopped toasted almonds." Yelper Mark F. writes, "The combination of the cool, crisp cucumber, tongue-tingling green sauce and crunchy nut topping is addictive. Got to and will have it again and again." [DR, Cook In/Dine Out, Yelp]
The Old Bay Pork Rinds Are Too Salty News: Don Rockwell forum poster lhollers says this new dish is the weakest one he tried. He elaborates, "the pieces are huge and cumbersome, without a lot of spice. " Yelper Jennifer W. says they’re "way too salty" but Yelper Bryan L. says "they’re not that bad." [DR, Yelp]
The Biscuits Should Be in Your Mouth News: Yelper Anita C. writes, "God bless the biscuit bites. For real. I don't care if they seem out of place on the menu. The only place they should be is your mouth." The dish was also a favorite of blogger Jasmine Chan Eats, and Yelper Liz N. says they’re "TO-DIE-FOR." [Yelp, Jasmine Chan Eats]
The How It Compares to New York News: Yelper Sammy P. says, "was really hoping to like this place but maybe they left their recipes back @ home in NYC," but Yelper Alice W. says, "Great meal, much better than my experience at Ma Peche in NYC. David Chang stuck to his tried and true menu, which I'm happy about." Blogger Cook In/Dine Out has a more nuanced response. She writes, "This also wasn't the best Momofuku meal we've ever had--that honor still goes to our wonderfully memorable dinner at Ma Peche. That said, my high expectations were pretty much met by our first visit. " cook in dine out." [Yelp, Cook In/Dine Out]