Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bo Ssam at Momofuku Ssam Bar!

Yvette gathered seven people together to tackle Ssam Bar's order-your-meal-weeks-in-advance porkfest, the Bo Ssam. For $200 (edged up from $180, like all David Chang's stuff seems to be doing recently), you get a huge slow-cooked Berskhire pork butt, lettuce, kimchee, and other accoutrements, and twelve Wellfleet oysters. We started off with a mixed pickle plate, of which I didn't get any good photos because we attacked it so fast.

David Chang's version uses butter lettuce to make the ssams with, instead of traditional red-leaf lettuce. Wooh characterized this as, somehow, an improvement on the Korean tradition, and I have to agree--this sort of lettuce is less spiny, cups perfectly in your hand, and tastes delicious.

The pork butt itself:

We brought seven people and still had an enormous chunk of meat left when we were done--I think it could've fed three more. I had a pork sandwich with ginger-scallion sauce for breakfast the next morning.

I loved the oyster/pork combination--it added a mushy texture and oceanic taste that complemented the sweet, fatty pork really well. Not everyone agreed with me, so I got to eat some extra oysters. The kimchee was not quite as spicy as I would like, but still delicious, especially with the ginger-scallion sauce added in.

Martini and Sy required that we also order some spicy pork sausage with rice cakes, and at first I was like, "We don't need that," but thank God we did--it was, arguably, better than the bo ssam. I love Korean rice cakes, and these were crispier/fried instead of just soft and steamed--very spicy sauce, spectacular sausage.

We nabbed "one of each" of the three desserts, because they all looked so good.

The cornflake-cereal-milk ice-cream pie with strawberries was, of course, delicious. The Thai iced tea panna cotta was fantastic, but really suffered if you ate a bite that included key lime cream--the lime taste simply overwhelmed the delicate Thai iced tea flavor. They need to stop serving it with lime, honestly. The best dessert of all, however, was the beet and lime ganache with goat's milk frozen yogurt, pistachio crumbles, and bits of chevre.

After dinner, we went next door to the Milk Bar to take home some extra desserts for later. Priya bought us some cornflake-marshmallow-chocolate chip cookies, and we also tried a new cookie: blueberries & cream. I ate it later that night, and it was outstanding--the same soft crispiness that a really good chocolate chip cookie has, but with the flavor of a blueberry muffin. No idea how they pulled it off.

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