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Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice Large-Format Dinner
February 21st, 2014 by donuts4dinner

I’m often made fun of for being a Momofuku fangirl, but up until a few weeks ago, I’d blasphemously never been to the most recent addition to David Chang’s assemblage of NYC restaurants, Ma Peche. But my friend The Pretender set up one of the large-format feasts for a group of 12 of us, the Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice dinner ($450), and now I can say that I’ve been to all of the Momofukus and that each one is just as amazing as the last.

My friends who’d rather spend their money on shoes than food were initially skeptical about the idea of a dinner involving chicken that wasn’t even battered and fried, and I’ll admit that I had lower expectations for this dinner than, say, the Momofuku Ssam Bar Whole Rotisserie Duck or the Momofuku Noodle Bar Fried Chicken Dinner. The website says that “the meal is comprised of your meat of choice, yellow rice, pita, and sides and condiments, including iceberg lettuce, wheat berry, chickpea, eggplant, tomato chutney, pickles, white sauce and red sauce”, so I was picturing a small assortment of condiments. What I actually got was bowl after bowl of Momofuku-quality sides that at times outshone the meat itself.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC

Before the meal began, we were shown the two deep-fried chickens and the lamb shoulder in their whole forms.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
Salty Dog

My boyfriend made the mistake of mixing the black salt into the drink. NO.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
horchata: rice milk, cinnamon

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
Midtown Collins: gin, calamansi, elderflower

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
pork buns: hoisin, cucumber, scallion

Because at this point, we didn’t know that we were about to be treated to a tableful of side dishes. And you know, even if we had, we all probably would’ve ordered these. No one goes to Momofuku without eating these pillowy buns loaded with tender fatty pork and sweet hoisin.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
chicken

Sous vide and deep-fried, these thick slices of chicken were covered in a salty, spicy crust. The pile of herbs is a Momofuku staple and something I look forward to at all of their large-format dinners.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
lamb

Lamb shoulder, confited, smoked, and roasted. Most people thought this was the more consistently-delicious of the two meats. While the chicken had more of an initial impact with its layer of salt, the uncrusted center of each slice was pretty typical chicken. The lamb was flavorful through and through, so I guess I’d go with the lamb dinner for 6-10 people ($325) over the chicken dinner for 4-8 people ($175) if I had to choose just one, but getting both is really the way to go.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
chickpeas

My favourite of the side dishes. It was like eating some of my favourite spicy hummus. I evidently didn’t get a picture of the eggplant side dish, which other people argued was the best of the sides. Point is–the sides were so good we fought over which was best.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
curry rice

Of course a Momofuku restaurant isn’t going to serve you steamed white rice.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
crispy chicken skin salad

I think pork rinds are kind of weird, and yet I tried to steal as much chicken skin off of this as I could before anyone noticed it was on there.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
tomato chutney

I still can’t stand fresh tomatoes, but this was truly delicious. It hit all of the sweet/sour/savory notes, and I loved the chewy texture to boot.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
pickles

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
pita

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
wheatberry salad

The one light and refreshing aspect to the entire meal. Which is just as I would have it.

Momofuku Ma Peche Chicken/Lamb and Rice, NYC
the whole shebang on one plate

What a meal. I know $45 per person for 10 people isn’t exactly cheap for a plateful of food, but somehow these Momofuku dinners always make you feel like you’re getting a steal. Maybe because there’s always at least one insanely delicious aspect of the feast that’s not even supposed to be the highlight. I dream about the scallion pancakes served with the Momofuku Ssam Bar Whole Rotisserie Duck and the sauces that come with the Momofuku Noodle Bar Fried Chicken Dinner; now I’ll dream about the tomato chutney at Ma Peche, too. Or the chickpea dish. Or the eggplant. You get the same friendly service at Ma Peche that you expect at the other Momofukus, but the space was clearly designed with its location in mind. It’s inside the Chambers Hotel, near MoMA and Carnegie Hall and Central Park. While the downtown restaurants are geared toward hipsters, Ma Peche is draped in fabric and colored orange in a way that brought to mind The Gates art exhibit by Christo and Jeanne-Claude that filled Central Park nearly a decade ago. And the food is just as sophisticated.

Ma Peche
15 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019 (map)


3 Responses  
  • tory writes:
    February 21st, 201412:47 pmat

    can you take me on a food tour next time i am in new york? i will reciprocate should you come to mexico?

  • Katie Qué (@imyourkatieque) writes:
    February 22nd, 20145:34 pmat

    You don’t like tomatoes?!

  • han writes:
    February 24th, 20145:25 pmat

    chicken skin. yum.


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