In a three-star review focused on new chef Max Ng’s version of Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Times critic Pete Wells praises Ng’s sense of place and “careful,” “confident” vision. Ng took over the Ssäm kitchen in August and has since put a distinctly Singaporean focus on the menu — a direction that Wells digs.
Wells exults dish after dish: the “original” fried corn quarters, the “disorientingly funky” banana leaf-wrapped skate wing, and a “terrific” foie gras-filled taiyaki:
In his hands they’re almost French, because he fills the molds with croissant dough rather than pancake batter and glazes the crust with honey and white port. Over the top he strews some candied puffed rice that would make a fine breakfast; the whole dish would make a fine breakfast, come to think of it, although you’d stand up afterward knowing your day had already peaked.
The new menu accompanies a more comfortable seating style, which owner David Chang has been implementing in his other restaurants, too. All in all, Ssäm Bar — now 11 years old — has grown up, Wells concludes, and it has done so well. Three stars.