Best $52 I've ever spent: "Bo Ssam" at Momofuku Ssam Bar
Monday, February 13, 2012 at 1:18PM
The Lady Who Lunches in NYC, Restaurant reviews

Momofuku Ssäm Bar on Urbanspoon

Reason #1,276 why I don't keep kosher...

It was one of those meals that I'll always look back on and wonder, "Was there life before the Bo Ssam?"  Or, "Why did it have to take 31+ years for me to experience something so utterly delicious?"  Yes, folks, I can attest that the Bo Ssam extravaganza/pig-out at Momofuku Ssam Bar is that good.  So much so, in fact, that it changed my life.  True story.  As a self-proclaimed "foodie," I honestly had no idea that anything on planet earth could taste that good.

OK, I know what you're wondering.  I can read minds, after all.  "What the heck is a Bo Ssam?"  Here's the answer, straight from Momofuku, themselves:  "The bo ssäm (ssäm is Korean for "enclosed or wrapped") includes a whole slow-cooked pork shoulder, a dozen oysters, white rice, bibb lettuce, ssäm sauce (Korean bbq sauce), kimchi and ginger-scallion sauce.  Guests are encouraged to make wraps with the pork and condiments or eat as they please."

Momofuku (Noodle Bar and Ssam Bar) does not take reservations, except for "large format" groups ordering one of the respective restaurants' sharable meals.  At Noodle Bar, it's the Fried Chicken Dinner; at Ssam Bar, it's the Bo Ssam or Rotisserie Duck.  Easy enough, right?  Wrong.  While the simple-to-use reservation system is electronic, scoring your ideal date and time is a bit of a crap shoot.  Luckily, I did not have to handle any of these administrative nuances for my recent feast.  I merely had to show up.  Thank you, CY & Julie!  I'm not sure who it was that cancelled or came down with the flu/fake-e-itis last-minute, but...man, I hate to say this...I'm so happy they did!  After all, he or she is the reason I got to experience the best meal that I've had, to date, in my 8 years in NYC.

Look, I'm not going to go in to detail about MSB's (Momofuku Ssam Bar) hip and modern space or its service - I'd rather just get down to business:  I began my meal with a refreshing - and very hard to find in NYC, I might add -  Mexican Coca Cola which, if you've never had the fortune of sampling this amazing product, is made with *real* sugar.  Not corn syrup. 

15-20 minutes after we received our beverages, the Bo Ssam arrived...    

This 6-8 lb. slow cooked (ahem, 8 hours' worth of slow cooking!), brown sugar-lacquered pork shoulder was fork-tender and oozed with sweet and savory juices.

With the force equivalent to that of a toddler, we were able to gently stab the tongs in to the Bo Ssam as a pseudo resting place between helpings. 

The meat had the texture of very moist pulled pork.

Accompaniments:  bibb lettuce to make wraps, 2 types of kimchi, ginger-scallion sauce, Korean BBQ sauce, and sticky white rice (not pictured).

1-dozen Long Island oysters accompanied to be enjoyed inside of the ssam or individually.

That's a wrap!  A ssam constructed of bibb lettuce, pork, rice, and Korean BBQ sauce.

~

For $200, the Bo Ssam will feed between 6-10 (and only 6-10, per MSB) guests.  Not included?  Additional food, drinks, tax, and tip.  The 6 of us ordered a couple of sodas and split an order of 3 "pretzel cake truffles" for dessert.  The per-person total, including tax and tip, came to $52.  While that number may sound steep, it was worth every single one of my hard-earned dollars.  Without a doubt or question in my mind. 

MSB's Bo Ssam is delicious, unique, plentiful, and engages the entire table in conversation and interaction.  Unless you have dietary restrictions, this meal is a "must try."  Make it a point to experience this feast NOW!

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

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