Momofuku Ssäm Bar
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Momofuku Ssäm Bar opened in New York City’s East Village in 2006 and serves a menu that draws inspiration from flavors and techniques found worldwide, while staying true to its New York roots.
For lunch, Ssäm Bar offers a rotating menu, including the duck ssäm, steamed pork buns, and seasonal accompaniments. At dinner, the restaurant serves an inventive menu that is always evolving. The restaurant also offers large format meals and prix fixe menus for groups as well as private dining options.
Food was good but the pace of the meal felt rushed
On a recent trip to NYC, I was very excited to try one of the Momofuku spots. My husband, three college-aged kids, and I had brunch on Mother's Day. I was impressed by the varied selection of food choices on the menu. Between the five of us, we tried many items, including the shiitake steamed buns, pork belly buns, cauliflower, eggplant, rice cake entree, spicy fried chicken, waffles with brown sugar butter, and the 7-spice brisket.
Overall, the food was good, but nothing outstanding. I found the bun portion of the steamed buns (what I was most excited about) to be dense and dry, and very shy on mushrooms. The cauliflower and eggplant were above average. The rice cake entree was more rice cake than anything. Very shy on the pork sausage. My son loved the spicy fried chicken - huge portion, but a lot of breading. Waffles were fluffy and thick, but not overly moist. Brisket was very complex in flavor and texture - but, again, light on the brisket. I felt like we paid for a lot of starch, and the dishes lacked an adequate portion of protein.
Service was meh. We had to repeatedly ask for an initial cup of coffee. Then, when asked for refills, we were brought a scant cup and told it was the last bit of coffee for the day, as their coffee pot had broken.
Atmosphere was diner like, except it did not have a very clean feel about it. The bathroom toilet paper was hanging on a broken rod, and the toilet paper had no where to rest but on the floor.
With thousands of choices in NYC for a nice breakfast, lunch, or brunch, I won't be returning here.
Every single thing we ordered was absolutely unbelievable. Sad that it was our first meal visiting New York because nothing else came close to this place in my opinion! Really fantastic and unique cocktails too!! I’m back home now and miss this place! Thank you!!
Amazing food and great interior - I literally have nothing bad to say about this place!
Amazing food. Exselent service . Everything was superb.
Food was excellent. Attentive service. Great atmosphere. Perfect night.
The fried chicken, and fried potatoes and onions were excellent. Service was great too. I would definitely recommend to others!
Birthday brought us wine v nice
Birthday party, we preordered the Duck and it was wonderful! We were a party of 5 and the duck could feed 6 people. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the service was excellent! I highly recommend this as a place to have a celebration meal!
Sat at bar - Joe was amazing!
It was insanely loud in the restaurant between the overhead music and general clatter. We had a very early reservation and the restaurant wasn’t near full, yet another table was seated directly next to us with the tables almost touching. It was awkward for both parties due to the proximity of the tables and we couldn’t wait to leave. The food was good, but not quite worth the price and certainly not worth the overall cost of the dining experience.
Small space, busy with frenetic atmosphere. Food was good with creative and tasty drinks. Milk bar is close by. Worth a trip.
Still love the place, but was disappointed that none of the hams were on offer that night despite taking up half the menu. BTW, thank you to the staff, this is one of the few restaurants in NYC who will seat you before you whole party is there. I appreciate the act of graciousness especially given the MTA is unreliable, it means people are often early or slight late for the reservation.
Excellent service, food was good. To start we had the sampling of hams, some were a bit smokey for my taste. The pork belly baos and potatoes w/ curry were our favorites. Shrimp toast was good but a little fishy. The vegetarian rice cake was full of umami and had a great texture.
We only tried the steamed pork buns and a duck dish with sesame crackers. Both were delicious.
Would recommend pork buns. Staff was very friendly.
My expectations were too high and it was very disappointing when we started eating there. The only good thing was ham.
Food is great. Waitress could be more friendly
Love, love, love the food. Was seated in the back room for the first time ever and it was a mixed blessing. It was quieter and allowed the four of us to enjoy our conversation, but it also felt like siberia and was hot and stuffy with a lack of air flow. Combined with the spicy food I was sweating by the end of the evening. The noisier front room is worth the trade off in my opinion. Overall a great fun delicious place.
Got pork buns and fried potatoes. Both were ok but not fame-worthy that I'd expected.
Always love the interesting dishes here. Would have preferred not to be in back room, but overall still great.
The food was too notch and was complemented by the service. It was one of the best meals we have had in some time.
Great food, great service. Tables are a little cramped but it’s a small space.
Good food but the portions are too small for the price.
I gave this place a shot after watching Ugly Delicious’s food series by David Chang. I feel he seems genuine and his food must be real as well. So the Pork Buns were good
Nothing special. We had a number of appetizers and entrees for lunch and nothing was particularly memorable. The duck, which I had hoped would be the highlight of the meal, was inundated with fat and lacked flavor. Disappointing.
it was good
Very excited to have an opportunity to try Ssam Bar. The food was delicious, but unless you’re just checking off a “David Chang to do list” I cannot recommend it. The space is small, dark & very loud.
Every bit of our meal was rushed - when we tried to slow the meal down - the wait staff wouldn’t leave us be for more than a moment. Our waitress came back to the table 3x in less than 2 minutes to finalize our dessert order. I asked her for more time twice - but she returned 30 seconds later. We were just trying to enjoy our wine.
Reservation at 7p - We had cocktails, 2 small shared plates, an entree, wine with dinner & dessert & they handed us our check before 8p. I just reviewed my Uber receipt - we were back at our hotel - in Brooklyn - by 8:17. I was willing to spend the money on this meal, I am not interested in being so rushed that you don’t have the opportunity to experience the food.
Surprisingly average food these days. Pork buns were lacking in flavor and sloppily presented. Eggplant was soaked in oil, underseasoned and the sauce was gritty. My entree was good but not of the quality that I remember. Sorry to post a mostly negative review and hope they were just having an off day.
Had an early pre-show dinner here and would definitely come back. Staff was friendly and helpful, and the atmosphere was super chill - old school hip-hop playlist. Pork buns are a must, skip the country ham. Don’t sleep on the fried tripe, either. It was possibly our favorite part of the meal.
Huge fan of David Chang and try to hit has many restaurants of his that I can, and was fun to experience this one while in NYC solo for a night.
Momofuku Ssam Bar was an excellent dining experience! We went for our anniversary dinner after having a disappointing brunch at a different restaurant. The whole team was excellent from how they made suggestions, courses our meals and explained our dishes. They even gave us a little bubbly at the end to celebrate! The only thing was we were seated at a smaller two top that was so close to the tables next to us. Made it a little difficult to have conversation when you’re aware of people’s stares and then listening.
Awesome food - ask for the pork-belly buns (off menu)!
Ambiance was fantastic and the servers were extremely helpful and welcoming.
A very disappointed experience despite the food being very good but service was horrible. Someone should focus on training the staff how to be hospitable.
Ssam bar is great and has been great for a while. My only gripes were that me and my buddy were seated in the literal worst table in the house super cramped in a hidden corner
Otherwise food is as solid as ever even if the portions are skimped compared to the price
They encourage you to order from different sections of the menu, but don't think they're just trying to get you to order as much as possible. My husband and I were starving and we wanted to try many things and our waiter actually recommended going down one plate. He was right and we were able to finish everything comfortably. They just go the extra mile here. We didn't even have to give anything up because we were going to order the pork buns and the shiitake buns, but he recommended doing a half order of each, so we were able to try both without having to eat too much.
I learned about this restaurant and partner places via Chef's Table and I have to admit I was weary about trying a place with such name recognition as sometimes places start to coast and they become overrated. Well, I'm so glad I went because I found out that this was not the case with Ssäm Bar. I felt like this was their first week of being open meaning that they were so fresh and on top of it.
Try the Ssäm fish! It's amazing! We were weary because it's a whole fish (head and tail and all), but it was too amazing to miss. The seasoning was out of this world and it fell a part my mouth, it was so moist and soft.
It was fine.
I last ate at Ssam Bar about five years ago. Had an amazing meal. I was excited to share the experience with my family. We were disappointed this time by the fried chicken and rice cakes. Not salty and well seasoned. Flavors were muddied and in the case of the chicken did not penetrate deeply. Needed additional flavors - salt and sweet for the chicken and sweet for the rice cakes - to balance things out. Price was also an issue. Four pieces of fried chicken at $28 should’ve been perfect, but as I’ve indicated above, it was far from. The Benton’s ham and fried potatoes were pretty good. And the pork buns were reliably tasty. Not a bad experience, but it didn’t hold a candle to my previous experience at Ssam Bar.
Best food and service in nyc!
It a must try restaurant, and I'm definitely coming back!
Momofuku Ssäm Bar does offer delivery in partnership with Caviar.
Momofuku Ssäm Bar is rated 4.5 stars by 628 OpenTable diners.