So we decided to stop by Momofuku Milk bar yesterday after happening to walk by the soft opening the night before b/c we ate at Zabb City, which is next door.
Momofuku Milk Bar is basically a bakery attached to Momofuku Ssam Bar. It's got the same wooden interior. Its sort of a weird layout, its a square room where the line wraps around from the right side around, past the baked goods and soft serve ice cream to the cash register, where you order and past the cash register is where are the savory items are made. In the middle of this square is a series of tables where you can eat.
It was a bit chaotic as the place was fairly packed, there was a decent size line and I dont think they have their numbering system down quite yet. That said, it wasn't a logistical disaster, which i was sort of expecting.
They have a variety of things, but the main items are: pork buns, a couple types of breads w/ interesting toppings / butters (like kimchi butter), pies, cakes, soft serve ice cream and cookies (there maybe one or two things im missing).
We decided to try a few different things to get a feel for what everything is like. Here's what we got:
- pork bun: this is obviously a david chang signature dish, given that I love the original dish he based this on (a taiwanese street food called gua bao, which is a favorite of mine) ive always been inclined to like his dish since it combines a series of things i really like pork belly and mantou (a steamed chinese white bun). Here I thought it was good and tasty, but not great. The pork belly itself was very nice albeit richer and fattier than at other David Chang establishments (very heavy / decadent)...definitely melt in your mouth type meat (and clog your arteries). The bun was good as well, nice and fluffy. I thought the cucumber went well with dish and was a nice complement. The issue I had with it was the hoisin type sauce they put on it, it was pretty salty and completely slathered way too much on to it, so it made the whole bun very salty (too salty)...if they toned that down it would've been very good. Btw i didn't get the fried egg on it (didn't know it was an option), but i imagine that probably couldve been pretty good although made it even more over the top rich.
- focaccia w/ kimchi butter: this was sort of disappointing, the bread itself was pretty decent albeit a bit chewier than expected (think it was slightly overcooked), but salty maybe too salty and decent tasting. They put some type of roasted tomato puree type of sauce on top of it, which has this intense smoky flavor that neither my gf or i were particularly fond of since it overpowered everything. The kimchi butter was sort of interesting, it tasted sort of like tangy butter, but didn't move me one way or the other (not great, not bad). I wouldn't order this again
- blonde pumpkin pie: this was pretty good, but doesn't have the slightest taste of pumpkin haha. Its got a layer on top pumpkim mousse, followed by a sort of thicker layer that almost has the consistency of the pie crust and then a pie crust that is a sort of very decadent graham cracker crust. It's pretty heavy for a pie crust, but it is very tasty. Again it does have a salty aspect to it.
- salty pistachio caramel soft serve ice cream: excellent, this was the best thing i had here. It tasted exactly what I thought it would taste like. It's pistachio soft serve ice cream that is salty and not very sweet, but really great flavor. Not the easiest thing to explain, but I really like this alot although I can imagine some people who like their desserts very sweet, not liking this as its not that sweet at all
For some reason all of his foods here have a fairly salty aspect to them and in some cases it was probably too salty (all the savory dishes we had).
Overall, I thought it was good, but not great, which is the way i've felt about all his restaurants, but I do want to try Ko as that seems like it may have the makings of being great. This is a gross generalization, but I'll throw it out there anyhow that I find people who are less familiar with asian food are totally wow'd by his food, while I find that people who have a good understanding of asian food tend to be less wow'd by his food b/c while it is fusion he generally doesn't diverge from the original dish that much. Anyhow, that comment really only applies to the pork bun.
I'd come back for certain dishes and I'd like to try other ones. I think the dessert side of his menu from what I tried was more impressive than the savory side and I'd definitely like to try more