Momofuku Noodle Bar is all grown up. David Chang’s first-ever restaurant added a second NYC location today, going from a tight-spaced, ramen-culture-shaping destination in the East Village to a big, swanky venue inside the Time Warner Center mall. The new Noodle Bar, located on the third floor of the Shops at Columbus Circle, looks a lot like a modern diner, with two long bars sandwiching a row of booths that run down the middle of the restaurant — a spacious second location for the perpetually packed ramen icon.
A new menu by executive chef Tony Kim focuses on steamed breads and rice, as well as ramen dishes like a spicy one made with brisket and water spinach; garlic chicken with yu choy; and smoked pork belly and egg yolk.
Noodle Bar in TWC will also serve short rib-stuffed buns with seasoned beef broth and black vinegar for dipping, plus slider-style ones stacked with shrimp, spicy mayo, pickled red onion, and iceberg lettuce. Small plates include fried blue prawns in Sichuan spice, served with yuzu mayo, and a fried Japanese potato with white sauce. Larger dishes like spicy oxtail and seared Dover sole will also be on the table.
And all the ramen dishes will be made with a Momofuku-specific barley noodle the brand created with Sun Noodle, according to the restaurant. Momofuku bar director Lucas Swallows and Anne Robinson (Booker and Dax, Dutch Kills) have highball cocktails planned, and beverage director Jake Lewis will bring “natural-leaning” wines and beers, too.
Noodle Bar is the final piece in Chang’s long-awaited debut inside the staid shopping mall; he opened Bāng Bar, a spit-roasted meat takeout stall, late last month. Eater critic Ryan Sutton called the takeout spot “impressive in its early days,” despite the grueling line it drew as soon as it opened.
The Time Warner Center mall — home to upscale dining like Thomas Keller’s Per Se and the country’s most expensive restaurant, sushi bar Masa — is an unusual home for Chang’s expanding empire. But the move can be traced back to a relationship with the mall’s developer, Related Cos., whose founder Stephen Ross is the only outside investor in Momofuku.
Chang’s second Noodle Bar opens Thursday, November 15, at 11:30 a.m. It’ll be open from Monday to Saturday until 10:30pm.