I really love all the Momofuku restaurants so I was excited to see David Chang’s newest creation of Momofuku Nishi in Chelsea NYC. “Nishi” means west in Japanese and this is the first Momofuku on the west side. I tried to go last week, the second day it was open. I arrived at 6PM when the restaurant opens but the line was out the door around the corner with at least 60 people ahead of me. I knew I would not make the second seating and gave up. This week we were first in line at 4:15PM to ensure that we could try out this new restaurant. The restaurant has 5 tables for six people on the left side, and additional tables for four to five people on the right side. Continue reading for photos and prices
This restaurant was such a pleasant surprise because it totally blew my expectations. Normally new restaurants have many hiccups and uncoordinated service or flavor identity that isn’t quite there yet but this restaurant already felt like a well oiled machine. This probably had a lot to do with the top Momofuku staff and chefs working the opening. Also David Chang said in an interview about this restaurant, “Nishi is what Noodle Bar would be if I opened it up as a thirty-eight-year-old, not a twenty-six-year-old. We know how to play all our instruments now. The skill level here is higher.” The restaurant is run by chefs Sean Pinsky and Carey Hynes but I saw that David Chang was there the opening week and saw Momofuku Ko head chef Sean Gray as well. Another pleasant surprise is that this restaurant has a no tipping policy! Can not wait for more restaurants in the US to adopt this.
I dined in a party of five so we got to share many dishes together. I highly recommend coming to this restaurant at least in a group of four because many dishes are heavy and it is much better to share than eat one dish by yourself. Everyone agreed their favorites were the Chicken And Dumplings (an Italian riff on the Korean classic sujaebi) and Spicy Beef Sichuan flat noodles. The total check came out to $335 or $67 including tip and tax with 2 drinks/person, 4 appetizers, 3 noodle dish entrees, 1 beef entree, and 1 dessert . The house red and white are both quite good and on tap and $10 a glass. Beers are $6 and $8. I highly recommend you share the pistachio bundt cake for dessert. It is really moist with a strong oily pistachio flavor and umami flavored whipped cream.
Now on to the amazing food at Momofuku Nishi
Appetizers at Momofuku Nishi
Sirloin Crudo- watermelon radish, dashi ponzu, $26 delicious!
Fried Whole shrimp salt & sansho pepper $16, perfect for sharing and perfectly fried and seasoned, supper addictive
Black Bass tiger’s milk, shio kombu $19 this had a strong vegetable cucumber flavor, the only dish I would not reorder based on personal taste preference
Spanish Mackerel Tataki yuzu celery $16, my favorite appetizer- amazing fresh bright flavor from the mackerel
Noodle Dishes and Main Entrees at Momofuku Nishi
Chicken and Dumplings broth, hand torn noodle, shitake $26 the crowd favorite, amazing rich broth with super juicy pieces of chicken and delicious mushrooms, sujebi tastes a lot like the Korean version. They add some drops of chili oil on top which take it to the next level.
Spicy Beef Sichuan flat noodle, tofu, yacai $27, another crowd pleaser, spicy, tangy, kicking with nice fresh wide pappaerdelle like noodles
Clams Grand Lisboa chow mein, oregano, cabbage $30, most people will love this, great flavor from the clams and the fried chow mein noodles are so addictive
Prime rib $42, amazingly tender and flavorful, perfectly cooked, the least Asian tasting dish we tried
Dessert at Momofuku Nishi
Pistachio Bundt Cake $12, a must try to end the meal
$335 for 5 people, no tipping, all this for $67pp with 2 drinks/person
No fried chicken or bossam at Nishi, but you can see my recreation and David Chang’s recipe for the famous Momofuku Bossam in this post here.
Price Range: $$
Takes Reservations: No