The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Momofuku, Veniero's, and...egg sammiches


"Let's eat out!"
"I dunno."
"I dunno either. THINK. You. Do that."
"Uh. ...Momofuku?"

Yeah, sometimes I don't know where to eat. And that's when Carol comes in and says, "Momofuku". We have a good relationship that involves talking, eating, and talking about eating.

I've passed Momofuku a few times before during the day and you can easily miss it. Or I'm blind. It happened to be quite dark inside the restaurant when we went last night around 6 PM so indeed, it was easy to miss. Seriously, it looked like it was closed at first.

I had read many mixed reviews, more bad than good, about Momofuku. However, I can't form an opinion about a place unless I try it, and certainly it can't be that bad if a lot of people do love it, and the restaurant does good business. One thing people unanimously agree on is that the pork buns are a must eat. So.

buns of meat
buns of meat

Eat we did. As you can see, the bun is more like a bread flap or a ginormous mouth. It's just heavy enough to hold all the innards without making a huge mess, but doesn't have an excessive amount of dough. The innards are fatty chunks of pork and thinly slices of cucumber topped with a sweet and tangy brown sauce, which really doesn't tell you much at all. How about this: there was sauce. And this: it tasted like something you'd eat in an Asian restaurant. Yeah, my ability to describe food is amazingly poor; "This food tastes Asian!"

Oh, I enjoyed the bun very much. Carol enjoyed it too, although not as much as I did. However, I'm sure she's had many more pork bun eating experiences than I have and knows of other yummy pork things I'm missing out on. For now, I can say that this is the yummiest pork bun I've ever had.

We also shared a bowl of pork neck Shanghai noodles topped with a poached egg.

pork neck ramen

It was alright. Carol's first reaction was that it was too salty, or more salty than she would've expected. I, with the tastebuds of cotton, really couldn't tell if it was too salty or not. Overall, I wouldn't say it was anything special, not that any part of it was bad, but just that $13 seemed like a lot to spend on a bowl of noodles. Also, I'm not a big fan of noodles (or pasta dishes), so I wouldn't be the best person to judge.

Overall, we had a quick, pleasant experience. We just thought it was too hard on the pocket book for what we got. Doh.

To backtrack, my Monday was overly Japanese-food filled. Before the Momofuku outing, I had watched Tampopo for my film class, not knowing exactly what it was about. It's ironic that I ended up watching a movie about ramen before going to a place that mainly served ramen, considering that I haven't eaten ramen in years (and I wouldn't count Shanghai noodles as the kind of ramen I'd been meaning to, don't ask me why I ordered it). Sadly, I've been to Japan a number of times before the term "food hunting" had any meaning; alas, I didn't eat any ramen there. I do hate myself for all the missed food opportunities that went by me as a kid travelling all around Asia, so let's ignore that dark period of my life ("The Era of Hunger") for now.

Oh. Tampopo is awesome and easily my favorite movie from the class so far. If you haven't seen it yet, WATCH IT! NOW! Last week I watched what would be considered one of my least favorite movies ever: The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. It hasn't nothing to do with it being a good or bad movie; it's just not my kind of movie. You know, the kind with torturing and killing and insane people.

To backtrack some more, in my "Essentials of Cuisine" class before I went to the library to watch Tampopo, we had a Japanese food/snack and tea tasting.

table o goodies
table o goodies

And taste, I did. Everything. I'm not a big fan of tea but the chilled barley tea (which I don't think actually has tea leaves?) was surprisingly refreshing, even after the Japanese student in our class (who brought in some tea and helped prepare food) told us it tastes pretty bad. It would benefit from sugar (oh, of course I'd say that) but it had this odd...refreshing taste. Like. Barley. Which, you know, is synonymous is ODD and REFRESHING.


Since neither Carol or I had eaten at Veniero's before ( was down the street from Momofuku), we stopped by. For whatever reason, Italian pastries don't appeal to me, but I got a miniature cheesecake since I heard that's what they're known for. Carol got a miniature tart (ie, the bite sized kind) and some bowties. One customer was buying a bunch of cakes and the counter was covered with order from what was hopefully a lot of people, unless one person ordered 20 cakes.

spider cake
spider cake!

Right next door is another bakery called Something Sweet, where I saw this rather cute spider cake oozing with chocolate goodness. If only I could've eaten it. (sigh) Instead, I bought a raspberry tart for Carol and I to share later when we went to JAS Mart for some Japanese food buying/oogling.

Veniero's cheesecake

Isn't this cheesecake adorable? YES! And delicious? YES! And when I say delicious, I mean that there wasn't anything wrong with it. That probably sounds negative--it's good because it wasn't bad--but I'm not a huge cheesecake connoisseur (er, I'm not any kind of connoisseur). My problem with cheesecake is that usually it's too gummy, or cream cheese-esque, or heavy, or has some other problem that makes the dessert eating experience less desirable than it ought to be (it ought to be "very desirable"). This crustless cheesecake (a favorable thing; it's ALL CAKE) wasn't too light or heavy and it left no gluey feel in my mouth. The sweetness was just right. So, as I said...nothing wrong with it. I'm not ever amazed by plain cheesecake but I'd love to eat this again (it's only $2.25!).

raspberry tart
raspberry tart

The raspberry tart from Something Sweet was alright. Not something I'd get again, but I had never seen a tart quite like it before, and you know...I like to eat a bunch of things, figuring they're basically made of sugar and wheat. The crust was hard, like a cookie, not and not too brittle or stiff. It wasn't as sweet as I would've liked it to be, but I think the filling was supposed to offset the non-sweetness of the crust. Hm. Well.

Gigantic meal collage things! ...yeah, I didn't warn you about random linkage. Okay. I just posted a random link. Isn't it fun? If only I were so good at collaging so that I could humorously introduce photos of meat into scenes where it shan't be found, my life would be so much more meaningful. (Did I just say shan't? YES! Yes I did.)

Today I had two piece of whole wheat bread for breakfast (you know, before my class where I tasted brandy and whisky), apple walnut cake from Amy's Bread for lunch (unplanned, seriously, but I was with a friend and she wanted to go somewhere quick that was nearby), and two egg sammiches, an apple, and Whole Foods pumpkin flan for dinner. During work I ate a leftover Halloween candy in the form of a pack of Raisinets and three bars of Hershey chocolate (no, not huge bars, the 0.8 ounce something or others, which, perhaps due to a desperate chocolate need, didn't taste that bad).

Oops. So. Um. I ate a lot. Jesus.


Kathy / November 2, 2005 1:55 AM

I got a pumpkin pie from something sweet for halloween last year and it was BAD! Never went back again. But I always venture down to Veneiro's for custard pie. oh man. i love custard anything. it's definitely worth a try!
$13 for that bowl of noodles? I've read many momofoku but that price is hard to justify! Lucky you with all these bakery outings - keep them up! :)

poehoe / November 2, 2005 4:24 AM

I'm so jealous of you and your abundant opportunities to eat ORGASMIC FOOD T_T!!!!!!!!

Question: what camera do you use to take your food pictures? (The upclose ones of food don't turn out for me well on my digital). Do you go to cooking school?

Mahar / November 2, 2005 8:12 AM

I've noticed you know a lot of "culinary/yummy" movies. I'm sure you've watched Chocolat. But my absolute fave is Babette's Feast.

If you haven't watched it, be prepared to salivate.

Oh, and the story's good too.


I like Japanese food, but sometimes I think it gets redundant. One can only take so much raw food. I'm a dimsum whore myself. But your food shots are very appetizing.

Wei / November 2, 2005 9:52 AM

Those pork buns and the bowl of noodles look really tasty. Yea, have to agree, 13 bucks for a bowl of noodles is a bit high. A buddy of mine said that some of the Japanese Raman places have really cheap bowls of noodles w/ a ton of goodies.

mzn / November 2, 2005 10:59 AM

I saw The Cook, The Thief when it came out and it made me nauseous. I tried watching it again a few years later and it made me nauseous again. I blame that movie for my years as a vegetarian. Nasty movie. It might be my least favorite of all time.

janet / November 2, 2005 11:28 AM

yes yes babette's feast is pretty great. plus it's scandinavian!!

we should go fooding some day. so i can eat lots of food. too.

Alice / November 3, 2005 1:10 AM

What I didn't get about Tampopo was that bit about egg swallowing. That was in Tampopo, wasn't it?

Those buns of meat kind of reminded me of peking duck bun concept. I LOOOOVE peking duck.

I also love barley tea. I always have a pitcher of that stuff in my fridge - barley tea goes well with fish, meat, noodles, rice, pasta, anything! Much easier to pair than wine or beer!

Amy / November 3, 2005 9:10 PM

Lucky Duck! I wish I could have japanese food everyday!

OMG good cheesecake for $2.25? You must tell me where you got it (as in the addy).

And Tampopo does indeed rocks.

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