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Chowhound Dinner at Momofuku DC

Steve | Dec 31, 201809:34 PM     3

This was a kind of last-moment replacement, as we were supposed to eat at Yu Noodles in Rockville, but we found ourselves in DC instead.

Six hungry Chowhounds went through quite a bit of the menu to see if the 'new' Momofuku stands up to the better eats in DC. The format is very much changed since the opening of Momofuku, and it is now a completely upmarket eatery with a menu wholly devised by the local chef. it has little to do David Chang or ramen or most anything else you've heard about Momofuku. Except that it remains Asian-inspired.

We had:
Sunflower Hozon Bing
Chicken Liver mousse Bing
Hamachi Crudo
Pork and Shrimp Dumplings
Branzino
Chickpea Stew
Half chicken
Durum Taglietelle

The bing (pancake/bread) are disappointing in the bread world, and do not compare with an Asian place serious about their bread. In fact, the frozen ones you can get at Good Fortune Supermarket come out better panfried at home than the ones here. The hozon is a hummus, and no better than plenty of others around. The chicken liver mousse is delicious.

Hamachi crudo is good. The dumplings are far more expensive here and not nearly as good as the China Bistro/Dumpling Queen/Dumplings and Beyond empire now spread across the DC area. I would say these are lazy dumplings; throw some fresh ingredients inside a wrapper. Done.

Aside from the chicken liver mousse, the stars of the show are an excellent branzino dish (you will not easily find a more tasty fish), and the side of grits, which are creamy and heavenly. So you can craft an exceptional meal here. But the chickpea stew is not a standout compared to multiple places that well represent the subcontinent, and the tagliatelle is fine and about what you'd expect from a nice restaurant in DC. In theory made with mussels, but they do not impart much in the way of flavor to the dish. I kind of hoped they'd still be in the shell, plus I hardly detected any fermented chili. This was a far tamer dish than the menu described. The half chicken is nice, but I live near a really good rotisserie chicken place, so not impressive in the scheme of things.

If someone else pays I would return happily, but I have found places at all price ranges in the area that I am more impressed with.

Momofuku CCDC
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