On a Tuesday night we made reservations at one of DC’s most popular new restaurants, Momofuku CCDC. This is the DC offshoot of David Chang’s extremely successful Momofuku empire. The restaurant offers limited reservations and we made ours’ a month out.
The space is rather bare, with concrete floors and not much on the walls. There is a giant peach projected above the bar, which is a nice touch. The curved wooden seats do not even have backs. My first impression was that this does not seem like a restaurant where guests are expected to linger. While we reviewed the food menu, we started off with some drinks. I got the Seven Spice Sour, which had some serious heat. It consisted of sake, yuzu, lime and shichimi, that ubiquitous reddish-orange spice found at Japanese restaurants. Marnay got a Grenache rose from Provence, the birthplace of rose.
Our food was coursed out, but it came fast. The first two dishes to arrive were the Shiitake Buns with hoisin, scallion and cucumber and the Rockfish crudo with yuzu, bonji and sliced apples. The shiitake buns tasted like they were filled with crispy bacon. It was incredible what they did with the mushrooms…it was pure magic.
There was no indication on the menu that the Rockfish would be raw until the server told us after we ordered. Not a problem, but a little warning on the menu would be nice. The paper thin slices of raw fish came with bonji sauce, a David Chang trademarked creation similar to soy sauce.
Very soon after these two dishes left the table, the famous Momofuku Ramen arrived. It is a pork based soup with sliced pork belly, pulled pork shoulder and a beautiful poached egg floating in the middle. Piercing the egg provides even more delicious richness to the broth. The bowl was substantial and even though we shared it, we were not able to finish.
Out of all the reasons to come to Momofuku CCDC, we were most excited to try dessert from Milk Bar. Trying their famous Cereal Milk ice cream is almost a cultural experience and we were looking forward to it. Honestly, though…we were a bit disappointed. I guess it tasted like milk-flavored soft-serve, but we thought there would be a lot more flavor. Same goes for the Compost Cookie that we ordered. It was good enough, but we were expecting great. Momufuku CCDC is not about to give Osteria Morini a run for its money as best restaurant for dessert in DC.
Outside of Milk Bar, Momofuku CCDC is very good. I think that the next time we go we will just get dessert from RareSweets. Or, if we’re feeling really adventurous, we will go to the bar at DBGB and order the Baked Alaska.
Paul: Shiitake Buns
Marnay: Momofuku Ramen
Momofuku CCDC: 1090 I St, NW Washington, DC 20001
Closest Metro: Metro Center