David Chang’s restaurant empire expands to Time Warner Center today with Bāng Bar, a takeout breakfast and lunch venue focused on Korean wraps filled with spit-roasted meats.
The restaurant — which Chang says has been “years in the making” — is now open on the third floor of the Shops at Columbus Circle, an indoor mall that’s home to upscale dining like Thomas Keller’s Per Se and the country’s most expensive restaurant, sushi bar Masa. Both the location and the menu are entirely new concepts for Chang, who says Bāng Bar is one of the more “out-there things” Momofuku has done.
The menu here zeros in on two things: Korean flatbread wraps and vertical spits of roasted meat, such as spicy gochujang-marinated pork shoulder, mortadella layered with lardo, and yakitori-glazed chicken. (“Bāng,” commonly spelled as ppang or bbang, means bread in Korean.)
For breakfast, a mini-wrap is stuffed with mortadella, cheese, and spicy mustard — a Chang-recommended order — and another comes with Zabar’s smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers. Lunch offers wraps rolled into a “u-shape” that are filled with the pork or chicken, as well as varied dips like spicy eggplant and chickpea. See the full menu below.
Update: On opening day, the restaurant sold out shortly after 1 p.m., and a long line of customers was limited to two wraps per person.
The restaurant is run by an ambiguous “culinary team.” A spokesperson declined to name an executive chef or expand on who makes up this team.
Bāng Bar brings a quick-bite solution for passersby and mall-goers whose options up until now included sit-down, pricey restaurants or an upscale French bakery within the Time Warner Center mall. Although the location in the staid retail complex may seem uncharacteristic for typically renegade Momofuku, the group also plans to open a Noodle Bar there later this month.
The placement of the two new concepts can be traced back to Chang’s relationship with the mall’s developer and owner, the Related Cos. — Related’s founder billionaire Stephen Ross is the only outside investor in Momofuku.
The restaurant is counter-service, and a couple of high tables were added out front for diners to eat on. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and lunch runs until 3 p.m. or until it’s sold out.