It was one of those extremely hyped up hit or miss risks only brave souls like David Chang would have the guts to take. His Noodle and Ssam bars were already huge hits in the city, so it really only made sense to follow up with some sort of dessert bar.
But instead of simply refining classic dishes by accenting flavors as he did in his first two eateries, the Momofuku Milk Bar takes on an almost laboratory-like aura, deconstructing tastes and applying the most unlikely to his soft serve, cookies, and pies.
But while I admire Chang’s ventures, unfortunately not all experiments came out a success.
The carrot cake soft serve for instance was a big miss with Jay and myself. It’s overly whipped so the base soft serve is a bit too airy and almost creme-like. And the flavor, however interesting, was a bit over the top. You’re hit with a tinge of nutty cinnamon followed by cream cheese. Imagine this sequence all in a frozen state – sounds peculiar, and that’s exactly how it tastes.
Same goes with the red velvet soft serve. I overheard one customer say how he couldn’t differentiate it from plain old chocolate. Its deep red velvety color is undeniably intriguing, but again the texture was overly whipped to the point you may even get a bit lightheaded before you can finish this $4+ pixie cup.
The Cereal Milk (trademarked), however, is a different story. I think it was pretty ingenious to create a fluffy frozen version of what’s left at the bottom of every breakfast eater’s bowl. There’s a touch of salt from the corn flake, a bit of sugary sweetness from its coated frosting. There’s nothing else like it, instantly taking me back to the days when I actually had time to enjoy a bowl of cereal in the mornings.
Another item of note is the Compost Cookie. A clunky mix of corn flakes, pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, and chocolate chips, then sweetened to perfection, it’s a true David Chang creation.
The Milk Bar got quite a bit of attention with all the unique flavors on its menu, but the game plan here would be to stick to the basics. This way you’ll get the real Momofuku experience.