As the child of Korean immigrants in Virginia, Chef David Chang did not always dream of a career in the culinary arts. Deciding between professional golfing, religious studies, finance and culinary, Chang did not begin his culinary training until 2000 at the French Culinary Institute. Chang moved to Japan after his training and worked in a small Soba shop before returning back to NYC to work at Café Boulud. During this time, Chang decided to create something uniquely his own. He opened his first restaurant in 2004, followed by Momofuku Ssam Bar in 2006.
Located in the East Village, Momofuku Ssam Bar has evolved over the years. Once frequented by the locals for their delicious pork belly buns, it has now become a dining establishment pushing the envelope of Korean Fusion cuisine. It continues to offer the trademarked original dishes, while incorporating new, lighter fare. With a menu that changes daily, guests of Momofuku Ssam Bar can expect to have new and varying experiences with each visit, while still being assured a few of their favorite dishes consistently are offered. Diners can choose to start their meal with a lighter, raw dish such as the Pink Moon Oyster or Montauk Fluke Tartare. A visit to the restaurant would also not be the same without partaking in one of the classic ham plates. With so many to choose from, you cannot go wrong. However, the Benton’s and Tasting of Country Hams are highly recommended from other patrons. Two dishes regularly found on the menu are the traditional Pork Buns with Hoisin and Cucumber Scallion, and the Spicy Pork Sausage and Rice Cakes with Broccoli and Szechuan Peppercorn. These rice cakes are paired with a rich, spicy sauce, ground pork, and onions. For a larger course, the Banana Leaf Roasted Skate comes highly recommended. Served with sides of hot congee, this dish will make you want to return again and again. Large format meals such as Pork Shoulder, King Crab, or Rotisserie Duck can also be reserved in advance for parties of 4 or more people who do not wish to order from the a la carte menu.
- James Beard; Outstanding Chef, 2013
- James Beard; Best Chef Award, New York, 2008