Momofuku is the trendy place to be, and (despite the inherent contradiction) has been for a while now. One of my favorite food podcasts recently described Momofuku as one of the main restaurants responsible for "The Way We Eat Now." That is, Momofuku helped bring food into the forefront of our collective consciousness. And Momofuku preceded a lot of the ideas, products, and general zeitgeist (like this blog—how meta) that have come about as result of the celebrity chef and foodie culture. I just went to Momofuku because I heard the buns were awesome.
First up: The shrimp steamed bun, featuring a shrimp patty, spicy mayo, pickled red onion, and iceberg lettuce.
This was good, but my only complaint was that the bun itself was slightly overdressed with the spicy mayo, making it a bit difficult to eat. All in all, it's a minor quibble; the shrimp patty was tasty and crispy, and the pickled red onions were a perfect acidic pop to balance the shrimp and the rich spicy mayo. But this bun couldn't hold a candle to the shiitake mushroom bun.
Hot damn, this was good. The mushrooms were deliciously earthy and had a crispiness I've never tasted on a mushroom before. Scallions are always good, and the cucumber added some nice freshness and crunch to balance against the Hoisin sauce (essentially Chinese BBQ sauce). This was just a tasty sandwich.
I still need to sample more of Momofuku CCDC's menu (the pork ramen sounds just delicious), but for a brief lunch, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty and filling the steamed buns were. I might try something else other than the shrimp bun the next time around, but the shiitake mushroom steamed bun is a must-eat.