Saturday, September 12, 2009

Momofuku's Fried Chicken - Wet Nap Required

My brother, the food snob, talked about Momofuku's Fried Chicken obsessively for days, after which he religiously typed in their website address every morning in order to be the first on their mad reservation system. After countless days and weeks of trying, his obsession paid off - he was finally rewarded one of the most sought after reservations in NYC. "How ridiculous is it to make reservations for fried chicken?" I thought. I wasn't impressed by Momofuku's over-hyped ramen, but I rode along with my brother on his quest to find the most delicious fried chicken ever. Having had Unidentified Flying Chicken, Bon Chon, KFC and Popeye's under my belt, I was up for this most difficult challenge.

David Chang was reportedly inspired to make the best fried chicken after he tasted Andrew Carmelini's version (secret ingredient: old bay). After much testing, Chang rolled out his Momofuku's Fried Chicken dinner, only served at certain designated hours of the day. Each fried chicken dinner comes with 2 whole fried chickens that are fried to order, one southern style, and another Korean style. They are served with mu shu pancakes and other accompaniments. Each Fried Chicken dinner serves anywhere from 4 to a maximum of 8 people. We had 8 people and we were all full by the end of the meal, with 2 pieces left over. In fact, I was so full that I proclaimed "I don't want to see another piece of fried chicken for the rest of the year!" just when our server arrived to clear our table.

My first piece was the southern style - I bit into the crispy thrice-fried skin, which had a very surprisingly earthy flavored crust, and was met by the juicy, piping hot meat in the interior. My second and third pieces were the Korean style, which I prefer over the southern style because of its complexity (spicy and fermented kimchi-like quality), sweetness and finger-licking stickiness. My companions also agreed with me; their reason was that the southern style was a tad too salty for their taste. In terms of combining the fried chicken with mu shu pancakes, a very messy application, my favorite combination was lettuce, shiso leaves, basil, scallion-ginger sauce and spicy red sauce. Don't worry, the restaurant has plenty of wet naps on hand.

Momofuku's fried chicken was definitely good, but I'm happy to stick to the more accessible, no reservations needed, UFC or Bon Chon any time.

1 comment:

Pat said...

sounds mad good... i haven't had fried chicken in a long time. well, not really.