A cold and rainy walk through the East Village had us craving soup badly. And it just so happened that we walked by the momofuko ssäm bar when our hunger pangs were beginning to make themselves known. We saw duck dumpling soup on the lunch menu on the window and was astonished to see no crowds or lines, and so that was that. Like Chang’s other restaurants, the decor is minimal and nothing to speak about. As we said in our post below, when the quality of the food is superior, you can serve food out of a cardboard box, and people will still flock.
We noticed that everyone around us was eating chive pancakes with duck scallions and lettuce eaten in the traditional Korean wrap style. It was hard not to stare and salivate. Had our budget for the day been a bit bigger, we would’ve tried it as well, but the duck dumpling soup was what we went there for, so that’s what we ordered. After our fantastic momofuko noodle bar experience, we were sort of on a momofuko roll and didn’t want our peach bubble burst. And the duck dumpling soup did not disappoint. Far from it, it exceeded our expectations. Coming from a Korean household, I’ve had my share of amazing dumpling soups. And I have to say that my mom’s dumpling soup is still much tastier, but this is definitely the best non-mom dumpling soup we’ve had. The one thing that momofuko did that even my mom can’t do is the way the dumplings stayed perfectly intact. Even my mom’s dumpling kind of falls apart after awhile, but these dumplings held its shape the entire time, wasn’t too hard, wasn’t too soft, basically dumpling heaven.
We also liked that the ducks come from Crescent Farms in Long Island New York, and the duck meat was amazing! The soup also consisted of garlic scapes, very fresh bok choy, and jicama. We would have been happy with just the dumplings, but let’s talk about the broth. This duck dumpling broth was so light but packed in so much beautiful flavor like his ramen broths. The momofuko guys have their broths down like no one’s business. How do they do it? Really, please teach us. David Chang, we don’t want your head to get big, but you and your crew are brilliant taste pleasers.