I might not have graduated to the Rameniac level yet, but I do love me some ramen. And as the frosty fingertips of old man winter push fall away, my thoughts inevitably turn to slurping noodle bowls in cozy confines with powdery snow blanketing streets outside steamed up window pains.
Back to reality…it hasn’t started snowing quite yet but it is cold outside. Inside Momofuku Noodle Bar, the situation is hot, sizzling. Toward the back, intermittent puffs of steam are wafting out of the open kitchen as batch after batch of noodles are submerged into boiling water. Servers move kinetically with an uncanny ability to slide through the tightly packed room, delivering noodle bowls and pork buns to eager patrons. Everything fast, everything delicious.
We slink onto stools, squeezed next to another group who immediately start chatting us up. Beers arrive cold followed by sticky, pillowy fried oyster buns. Only a few minutes pass before the heavily pork infused noodle bowls land in front of us. Conversation slows as it usually does when food is this good. But just then I look up from my bowl, take in the scene and the smells, look around and remember. Yes, this is why people come to New York City.