A Munchies Review: Ma Peche, Momofuku's Latest
So after a few drinks we were seated. Was the menu what you expected?
Actually, first thing I was struck by in the dining room, other than the crazy X-shaped table, was this massive crazy painting that I recognized from somewhere back in the haze of my youth. Everyone got really excited, all "Wow, it really is that painting, I can’t believe it! I thought I was the only one who remembered the Vice article from 2002 Bands That Suck Issue. I was all “that’s so great you guys remember that issue blah blah blah.”
Yeah, that was a pretty boring couple of minutes. How about the food?
The menu was actually pretty similar to what I was expecting. I had heard it was a French Vietnamese thing. So a lot of it seemed vaguely familiar in a French bistro type of way—like “oh, a raw bar and shellfish platter, steak tartar, steak frites, mussels, pate, roast chicken. OK, cool: I get this.” We pretty much demolished the raw bar. The crab was super fresh. Oysters too. Although raw seafood is kind of the same everywhere and I don’t put bullshit like mignonette and cocktail sauce on my oysters, but I’m sure those were good too. Scallop crudo was killer—scallop, sesame seeds, and kumquats, I think. Considering making that at home, actually.
How about the snails?
The snails and pork sausage were badass. Big fucking snails. Not some escargot bullshit.
I was partial to the Guinea Hen foie gras, I think.
The guinea hen and foie pate was killer. I fucking love foie. I want to force-feed myself that shit.
Some oysters and the Guinea Hen foie gras.
Those mussels were excellent as well.
The mussels were very, very solid. Pork ribs were as good as you’d expect from any pork dish at a Momofuku spot. I really liked how accessible the food was. Nothing was weird or off-putting. I’m sure they used some molecular techniques, but it was all fairly straightforward. None of that, “Hmm I wonder what this little nugget of deliciousness is” type stuff.
Speaking of molecular, Wylie was there!
Yeah, Wylie Dufresne walked in right when we were served the Raie a la Dufresne! Which I thought was a cool trick, but it might be hard to make him show up every time someone orders.
How about the meat entrees?
Ordered the spicy pork because the spicy pork and rice cakes at Ssam is so damn good. Steak Frites was cool and familiar, but the rice fries that taste like movie theater popcorn butter really made it cool. Oh, I liked the beef tartar because it’s served on shrimp chips and when you put the tartar on the chips, the chips hiss and pop at you. I said they were talking to me, which no one else could hear, possibly because everyone else is deaf. No one else could hear Styx’s “Come Sail Away” playing at the bar either. (Which I fucking SLAYED on mushrooms at karaoke later that night.)
Shortribs! And more shortribs on a bed of spaetzel, with the pork-and-noodle dish.
The beef tartare is the blurry image up at the very top. I was really into that one too. But God, is that everything? What did we miss?
The short ribs were nice and decadent and rich. They had a nice crust. And anything with marrow is a plus in my book. Oh yeah, the tripe. The tripe was fucking killer. Sometimes tripe tastes a little too wiggly for me, and the texture can weird me out, but this shit melted in my mouth. Best tripe I’ve ever had.
In the end we pretty much conquered everything. I remember you holding up the menu and telling the waitress, “yes, this.” As in, we’ll take the entire fucking thing, please.
Yes, and then you fuckers told me to hold back. Thanks A LOT. Assholes.
That was admittedly pretty cowardly.
Yes, I am really going to reevaluate who I deign to allow to eat with me in the future. Pussies, all of you.
DOREE SHAFRIR, WRITER
You had to leave lunch a bit early, which is terrible. What all did you get to eat? Through the plateau and the appetizer things?
Doree: Oh! I loved the scallops on the plateau. And I think you can only get them on the plateau.
Those were insane.
In-sane. The shrimp were whatever and I wasn’t blown away by the crab, but the oysters were good. I liked the sauces.
John talked shit about the sauces. He’s some weirdo purist or whatever.
Oh, he’s a big weirdo about sauces. His whole thing is if he ever opens an oyster bar he won’t offer sauces. I love sauces.
I’m for sauces too.
Are you vegetarian these days? You ran like a half-marathon before lunch, and I think I would have gone straight for some meat but you didn’t.
It was a 10K, and I’m just not eating pork and beef. I eat chicken and fish.
Nothing with a hoof.
Did you have any adult beverages? Did you like or hate any of those?
Oh! I LOVED the Moscow Mule. Drink of the summer.
That seems to be the consensus, yes.
SAMANTHA STEWART AND JUSTIN GALLAHER, OF VINEGAR HILL HOUSE
I think we were all worried we had over-ordered by requesting all but three things on the menu for a table of seven. But then we turned out to be fine. Repulsive fat-asses, or would you say that’s just about right?
Samantha: I think we ordered just about right if we were fat asses who ate large midday meals on a regular basis—definitely ordered right for dinner.
Justin: I left satisfied, but not overly stuffed. Portion size is perfect for both the small and main plates.
Justin you were trying not to drink and then you drank. What were some of your favorites beverages?
Samantha: The gingeriest Moscow Mule, and the equally good Seven Seas Slushy. I cant wait to try the 212 next time—I will be back for that.
Justin: Yeah, the vodka Moscow Mule—the ginger was sharp and potent, really tasty. The beer you had was really interesting too.
Samantha: Rice fries! Foie gras, which I’m usually eh on… The first bite of snail, the easy light squid salad, the softest, meltiest ribs I’ve ever tasted, and the very good cauliflower for vegetarians. There’s nothing else vegetarian on the menu.
Justin: Overall cheers for the short ribs, the pork-noodle dish, and the foie gras pate, but that was really only because I thought it would be nasty as hell and it definitely wasn’t. The rice fries could be an entree they are so good.
Anything you might not order the second time around?
Samantha: I didn’t like the tartare much—a bit too rich and gamy for my taste.
Justin: Not a fan of the tripe, really, but then I am not a fan of tripe, so no surprise there.
Samantha: I liked it way better than most hotel meals and thought it was very cool that it maintained some attitude and a casual feel.
Justin: Overall, it is pretty excellent.
Did you see Grace Coddington and her crazy hair?!
Vice’s John Martin.