spicy rice cake at momofuku kawi

BDay Lunch at Momofuku Kawi – NYC

OG readers of my old blog will know I’m a HUGE fan of the Momofuku restaurants. This weekend, the hubby took me to Momofuku Kawi (David Chang’s most Korean-forward restaurant to date) for lunch to celebrate my birthday, and guess what? It’s 2020, and I’m still a fan.

The dish I was most excited to try was the spicy roasted rice cake with chili jam and Benton’s ham ($26; pictured at top). I’d been stalking Kawi ever since pictures of the rice cake appeared online.


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The rice cake is basically a long coil of ddukbokki or tteokbokki topped with fried rice ball crunchies, cut with a pair of scissors table-side. It was a bit salty because of the ham, but it was definitely manageable because of the sweetness of the sauce. The best part was the bounciness of the rice cake in contrast to the crunchy rice balls which give it a roasted nurungji (crispy rice, 누룽지) mouthfeel. I highly recommend this dish. (Note: This specific rice cake version with spicy chili jam is only available at lunch.)

mackerel at momofuku kawi
For our entrées, the hubs and I each ordered a protein & rice set, which is a lunch set with rice, a protein, salad, pickles, and a miso soup. For my protein, I chose the soy glazed grilled mackerel ($26). The mackerel was nice with a salty sweet glaze, and the bones had all been removed for easy eating, but overall, I thought the lunch set could have been either larger or more interesting for the price. Even if the rice had been a little bit different, let’s say multi-grain instead of plain white, or if the soup had been more varied than a generic miso soup, I would have enjoyed the meal a tad more.

wagyu skirt steak galbi at momofuku kawi
The hubs had the lunch set with wagyu skirt steak galbi ($35), and I liked his protein much better as the meat was super tender and marinated with a good amount of galbi flavor. However, even his meal, for the price, could have been larger or had more interesting sides.

Regardless, I’m still a fan as the rice cake was pretty amazing. Next time, I’ll try more of the starters which seem to be stronger, and perhaps try the dinner menu as well. 2020 is just beginning, and there’s lots more to eat!

Momofuku Kawi
20 Hudson Yards, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10001 (map)

Visit Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Pro Tip: Lunch sets are pricey for the portion-size unless you are going for a special occasion. Order the spicy rice cake with Benton’s ham (only available at lunch). It’s a must!

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