I hesitantly brought my kids to an NYC restaurant highly regarded by The New York Times food critic Frank Bruni. I worried about my daughter screaming, "This food is yucky," as she once did at a fine San Francisco establishment. But at Momofuku the noise level is so loud that my kids could challenge one another in a yodeling contest and no one would notice. In fact, if you're in NYC with kids and craving something more sophisticated than a Central Park hot dog, this is a great option.
Momofuku is a 65-seat noodle joint squeezed into a skinny space in the East Village. It's a happening spot that attracts a young hipster crowd and a lot of media attention. Momofuku chef David Chang was recently profiled in The New Yorker. In 2007 GQ named Chang chef of the year and the James Beard Foundation gave him its Rising Star award. (Chang has three other NYC restaurants; Momofuku was his first.)
The food at Momofuku reflects Chang's background as a Korean-American who worked in ramen shops in Tokyo and at NYC's very upscale Craft. On the menu, you'll find several tasty ramen options (great for kids) as well as some more unusual yet unbelievably delicious dishes. We tried and loved the pork buns, steamed Chinese bun dough folded around slices of pork belly, sauced lightly with hoisin sauce; the smoked chicken wings in a garlicky sweet sauce flecked with pickled chilies; and the grilled baby octopus salad served atop a bed of seaweed and drizzled with a soy vinaigrette.
My children rose to the occasion and behaved quite well. With their napkins in their laps and their bottoms on their chairs, they chowed down on noodles. They made a few disgusting slurping sounds but the music and the chatter drowned them out. In fact, the place was so loud that nobody even heard Paris say, "Mama, this is my favorite restaurant ever!"
Have you shared any memorable meals at notable restaurants with your kids?