I have to make this one short and sweet and to the point before the wife comes home (which means I will need to stop writing and
talk to her do something around the house most likely). The point is that Ma Peche is quickly becoming one of my midtown faves, and in true Momofuku fashion keeps reinventing itself with new formats.
On what should really be a national holiday, Baseballs opening day, I took 3 of my least pickiest co-workers for a special lunch that’s becoming a Monday norm. One doesn’t do spicy, one doesn’t do mayo and seafood, and one doesn’t do anything that is yellowish. A perfect group for Ma Peche’s new “Passed Plates” sort of like Dim Sum cart ladies format. Except instead of dumplings and cart ladies you get razor clam ceviche, foie gras, and hipsters. You can see today’s potential passed items on a piece of paper on the table, and your waiter will put a check next to each item you order (can I come with an eraser in case I eat something I don’t like?). In addition to that you still have a handful of a la carte “Chef’s Specials” like the awesome fried chicken and the awesomer Brussels Sprouts.
For what amounted to $23 per person, you simply can not get better value in NYC. While the salad carts were circling, the Habanero Fried Chicken (half chicken $24) and Brussels Sprouts quickly arrived. The softer, saucier than the usual sprouts with ginger-scallion, cherry, and calabrian chili surpassed Alta as the city Brussels Sprouts to beat. Is there a restaurant in town that does not have a Brussels Sprouts dish, or kale?
The pork buns were the first items we picked from the passed plates and I was slightly disappointed by the overall size and taste compared to buns you get at Ippudo for the same price. I still gobbled the heck out of this one though. The spicy rice cakes then followed. Ok, let me tell you something about those rice cakes. Similar to Ssam Bar’s spicy sausage dish these pillowy “Korean Gnocchi” with just enough meat ragu and pleasant lingering heat were simply outstanding. I may be addicted to the Momofuku rice cakes.
Then we sort of waited for the chicken wings to pass by but they never did. The waiter asked if we would like anything else, we said “wings” and voila.. 5 minutes later we get 8 wings that tasted so much better than they looked (kinda burned). These wings were tender, perfectly seasoned, and really some of the best wings in recent memory.
At the Chambers Hotel
15 w. 56th street
Reccommended Dishes: Fried Chicken, Brussels Sprouts, wings, rice cakes