Momofuku is a group of award-winning restaurants owned by chef-founder David Chang. The restaurants are: Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Booker & Dax, Má Pêche, Momofuku Ko, Milk Bar, Momofuku Seiōbo, Momofuku Noodle Bar (TO), Nikai, Daishō and Shōtō. Momofuku have locations in New York City in the form of Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Má Pêche, Momofuku Ko, Milk Bar, and Booker & Dax. Momofuku Seiōbo is located in Sydney, Australia, and Momofuku Noodle Bar (TO), Nikai, Daishō and Shōtō opened in Toronto, Canada in 2012.
"Momofuku" could be translated from Japanese as "lucky peach", though Chef David Chang has written that the name is "an indirect nod" to Momofuku Ando, the Taiwanese-Japanese inventor of instant ramen. Chang also suggested it's not an accident he chose a word that sounds like the English curse word "motherfucker".
With experience in various restaurants in New York City, Chef David Chang opened up his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar, influenced by his time spent working in ramen shops in Japan. After about a year of trials, Noodle Bar took off as a success when the chefs began cooking what they felt like – more adventurous dishes with better ingredients. Growing, Noodle Bar eventually moved up the street and Momofuku Ko took over the space.
Momofuku Ssäm Bar opened after Noodle Bar and originally had the concept of an Asian style burrito bar (ssäm is Korean for wrap). After experiencing troubles, Chang and his cohorts decided to change the style of the menu, away from the burrito-centered cuisine. This change led Ssäm Bar to success, as it received two stars (eventually 3 from the New York Times.
The third restaurant to open was Momofuku Ko. Chang describes the idea behind Ko as a, “cook-centric restaurant with just a few stools, a collaborative kitchen, and a constantly changing menu.”
Má Pêche was the fourth restaurant to open and the first to open outside of the East Village neighborhood.
Momofuku Seiōbo in October 2011 was the first restaurant to open outside of the U.S.
In January 2012, Momofuku opened the cocktail bar Booker & Dax in the back of Ssäm Bar in collaboration with Dave Arnold.
Momofuku Toronto followed in 2012 alongside the opening of the Shangri-La Hotel.
Milk Bar history
Doing office work for Ssäm Bar at the time, Pastry Chef Christina Tosi began the desserts program at the 3 Momofuku Restaurants, first at Ssäm Bar, then Noodle Bar, and then Ko.
The first Milk Bar started in the Laundromat next to Ssäm Bar. After a year and a half, a second Milk Bar opened in Midtown, in the Chambers Hotel. In November 2010 the Williamsburg, Brooklyn kitchen opened to accommodate the growth of Milk Bar. On September 24, 2011, Milk Bar opened its fourth location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In March 2012, Milk Bar opened is latest location in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Momofuku Noodle Bar was the first Momofuku restaurant opening in August 2004. It serves ramen, seasonal dishes, and a variety of buns.
Momofuku Ssäm Bar
207 Second Ave., New York, NY (Opened August 2006)
Since opening in 2006, Momofuku Ssäm Bar has been listed as one of The World's 50 Best Restaurants for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Weekday lunches feature all-rotisserie duck menu. Booker and Dax (the bar at Ssäm) is open late serving drinks made with new techniques and technologies.
163 First Ave., New York, NY (Opened March 2008)
At Momofuku Ko (which means “son of”), guests sit along a kitchen counter and are served by the cooks. Dinner is a set tasting menu devised by the chef, Sean Gray, and his aides de camp, and it is usually about 10 courses long; at lunch the menu stretches out to 16 courses. Since opening in 2008, Momofuku Ko has two Michelin Stars, which it has retained for five years. Ko is No. 93 on the San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants list.
Booker & Dax
163 First Ave., New York, NY (Opened 2012)
Booker and Dax is a bar located in the back bar space at Ssäm Bar. At Booker and Dax, new techniques and technologies are used in the pursuit of making delicious drinks. The approach to rethinking cocktails is considered, deliberate, and precision-oriented. Booker and Dax is headed by Dave Arnold in collaboration with David Chang.
15 West 56th Street, New York, NY (Opened April 2010)
Má Pêche (which means ”mother peach”) is located in Midtown Manhattan in the Chambers Hotel. Opened in 2010 with co-owner and executive chef Tien Ho with Chef Paul Carmichael taking the reins in October 2011. This change prompted a shift in Má Pêche's cuisine from French-Vietnamese to American. Má Pêche also includes a midtown outpost of Christina Tosi’s bakery, Momofuku Milk Bar.
80 Pyrmont Street, Level G / Sydney, NSW 2009 at The Star Casino (Opened Late October 2011)
Seiōbo is Momofuku's first restaurant outside of New York City. Located in Sydney, it opened at The Star casino in late October 2011. "Seiōbo" (Japanese: 西王母) is the Japanese pronunciation for the traditional Chinese "goddess of the West", who is known in mythical stories such as Journey to the West as owning the celestial peach orchards. Momofuku Seiōbo has three hats from the The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and was named Best New Restaurant.
190 University Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada (Opened 2012)
In 2012 David Chang opened Momofuku Toronto, Momofuku’s first project in Canada, located in a three-story glass cube in the heart of downtown Toronto. Momofuku Toronto is home to Noodle Bar, Nikai, Daishō and Shōtō.
Momofuku's restaurants in Toronto are:
Noodle Bar Toronto
Located on the ground floor, Noodle Bar is a sister-restaurant to the restaurant of the same name in New York City. The menu features bowls of ramen and a roster of dishes like steamed buns and rice cakes. Noodle Bar does not take any reservations. The restaurant is home to a custom piece of art created by Steve Keene.
Nikai is a bar and lounge on the second floor of Momofuku Toronto. The menu features cocktails, beer, wine, and sake. Nikai does not take reservations.
Daishō is located on the third floor. The menu features several large format meals meant for parties of 4–10 guests, as well as an a la carte menu that includes dishes to share. Large format meals include fried chicken, bo ssäm, short ribs and ribeye. The beverage menu includes wine, beer, sake and cocktails. Walk-ins and reservations are accepted.
Shōtō is located within the Daishō dining room on the third floor. Shōtō serves a roughly 10-course tasting menu that changes based on market availability. Guests are seated along the counter and served by the chefs. Reservations are required, and can only be made through Momofuku's online reservation system.
Milk Bar, under the direction of pastry chef Christina Tosi, Milk Bar is based in New York City and has five locations:
East Village: 251 East 13th St., New York, NY
Midtown: 15 West 56th St., New York, NY
Upper West Side: 561 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY
Williamsburg, Brooklyn: 382 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn: 360 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY
In 2009 David Chang, Peter Meehan, Gabriele Stabile and the Momofuku team produced the Momofuku Cookbook. It features recipes and photographs from Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Momofuku Ko and Milk Bar. The cookbook was a New York Times Best Seller.
Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook
Written by Christina Tosi and the foreword by David Chang, The Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook was released in October 2011. Christina Tosi reveals her recipes for Cereal Milk, Crack Pie, the Compost Cookie, and other popular Milk Bar desserts.
Scraps is a limited edition collection of outtakes and artwork from the Momofuku Cookbook photographer, Gabriele Stabile.
In the summer of 2011 Lucky Peach, a quarterly journal of food writing, was published by McSweeney’s. Lucky Peach is the creation of David Chang, Peter Meehan, and Zero Point Zero production.
The first issue of Lucky Peach centered around ramen.
The second issue of Lucky Peach, 'The Sweet Spot,' includes articles on our neurobiological sweet spot, a foam party with Ferran Adria and Kimchi and was a New York Times Best Seller.
The third issue of Lucky Peach is the 'The Chefs and Cooks' issue and was also a New York Times Best Seller.
The fourth issue of Lucky Peach is the American Food issue.
The fifth issue of Lucky Peach is about Chinatown and was released in November 2012.
The sixth issue of Lucky Peach is centered around the theme of the apocalypse, and was published in January 2013.
The seventh issue of Lucky Peach is the Travel issue. Released in May 2013, the issue features one of Christopher Boffoli's "Big Appetites" photographs as its cover image.
The eighth issue of Lucky Peach centers around the idea of gender in the food world.