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Momofuku Ssäm Bar (2007– )


Nathan
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Just note that the all duck lunch is weekdays; there's a weekend lunch menu that does have 1-2 of the duck menu items on there, but the weekend lunch menu is closer to the regular dinner menu.

Weinoo--get the scallion pancake with your duck lunch next time!

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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Wanted to report back about the wonderful whole rotisserie duck at Ssam Bar that I had Friday night. What a spectacular meal! Perfect number of people is 4 - 6. There was only 2 of us, and we looked at the roasting pan filled with a ton of the most beautifully cooked sliced roast duck breast, several more slices of duck skin with what I think may have been thigh meat cooked confit, rice, greens, half dozen scallion pancakes, a head of lettuce, sirracha, hoisin and (my personal favorite) liquid duck fat with ginger and scallions. The duck itself was perfectly rosy with very little fat and crispy skin. This duck completely blows all other duck meals that I've had recently completely out of the water!

Accompanying the duck were two side dishes of our choosing. I selected the broccoli with fish sauce and the spicy potatoes. I loved both of them.

We got about half way through, and I have to admit that even though I have no trouble finishing the 16 course lunch at Ko, I have never been so full as eating 1/4 of the duck dinner.

The staff at Ssam Bar told us we did better than most in getting through the duck (I think they didn't want us to feel bad about only getting through half). The staff packed up everything in these great leak-proof containers. My sister and I had yummy leftovers for the next two days!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I headed there for lunch today. Wow.

Those pork buns, that ethereal fat exploding on your mouth as you try desperately to keep it in your mouth, and off your chin and clothing. The silky, hot, slightly chewy-yet-soft buns, the hoisin. I can see why Chang made his name on the back of these.

I also had the rotisserie duck, which was just as good. It appeared that the breast had been stuffed with a farce under the skin before being roasted to a beautiful pink, and it was unbelievably tender and juicy. Add a chive pancake and some lettuce, along with some fried shallots and sauce from the condiments on the table, and you have Peking duck on steroids. All the great things about Peking duck, with extra flavour, extra texture, more moisture.

I wish I had time to go back, but I feel it's my duty to head to Katz's tomorrow, and I highly doubt I'll feel like eating anything after that, based on what I've heard. At thirty five bucks with a beer and a Pellegrino, it's a steal.

James.

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  • 2 months later...

Late lunch yesterday, first time ever at Ssam Bar. It was 2:30 and there was almost no one there, which was a little disconcerting after my one experience waiting on line at Noodle. We had pork buns and rotisserie duck with chive pancakes. At $16 a plate it isn't a bad deal, and three of us shared 2 bowls, which was more than enough. I liked the spicy ssam sauce but did not feel the need to add liquid duck fat to anything! Also had the broccoli and the pickle jar. All of it was delicious, including the broccoli, and I hate broccoli. Somehow they managed to eliminate all the broccoli taste and reduce it to essential crunchy vegetable. Is there really fish in the sauce? Maybe that neutralizes the broccoli flavor.

Against my better judgement I had to cross the street and try the cereal milk ice cream. Clearly the (presumably) young people who eat this stuff have a much closer bond than I do with Cap'n Crunch or Lucky Charms or whatever cereal is used to make this soft serve ice cream. This stuff would make Trix taste like real fruit. I love cereal milk, but my cereal milk is the result of Barbara's shredded wheat and Berkeley Bowl's mixed corn and wheat flakes; just a bit different.

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I would very much like to go,haven't had duck for waaay to long. How much does it average per person? You said $16 for a plate, so is that $16 per person on average?

I'd say you can expect to spend $25 on lunch.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Rotisserie duck over rice is $14 I think but the lettuce is $1 extra and the chive pancake is $2 extra. You'll probably want both add-ons and to share a side, too.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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Yes, I'm pretty sure the rotisserie duck over rice was $16 and that included the pancake, which was super delicious. I might be able to eat a whole bowl myself, but after a pork bun and with broccoli on the side, two orders was plenty for three people. And my husband can eat a lot. If we did it again I would order an extra chive pancake so we could each have a whole one, but they are pretty good size and we didn't really miss it.

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Rotisserie duck over rice is $14 I think but the lettuce is $1 extra and the chive pancake is $2 extra. You'll probably want both add-ons and to share a side, too.

Sorry. $23... :wink: .

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Well, they only serve the duck bowl with those sides for weekday lunch.

The menu structure may have changed to automatically include the pancake now ($14 + $2 surcharge = $16).

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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  • 4 years later...

My wife and I used to go here for dinner every 4-6 weeks or so over the last several years, but stopped maybe a year or so ago.  While the food was always good, the experience had become (or maybe always was, but we just became more sensitive to it) hard to tolerate with their uncomfortable chairs, blaring music - it had gotten to the point where the last time we were there, although we sat right next to each other, we could barely talk to each other since it was just so loud - we literally had to shout over the din to say anything... and neither of us are hard of hearing...

 

So they were closed for the last few weeks for some "comfort renovations" - they got rid of the old stumps that were used as seats and have now replaced them with chairs with backs - granted, they're unpadded metal, but they're definitely more comfortable than before.  We also noticed a great reduction in ambient noise - we wound up sitting in the same seats in which we've sat many times, but this time we had no problems talking all night long.  It wasn't quiet, but certainly not overly loud - it had a good energy.

 

They also changed the menu quite a bit since we were there last.  We really enjoyed all the dishes we had (we split 6 of them) and the service was great - they coursed things out very well - we never felt rushed, but also didn't wait around too long either.

 

All in all, a major improvement from our last few experiences there, and I am happy to say that it is now back in the rotation!

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