David Chang’s Momofuku, since it first opened in the East Village in 2004, has played a significant role in the New York restaurant scene. Expanding to several other locations within the city and outposts in Tokyo and Sydney as well, Mr. Chang’s reputation for excellent dining has never wavered. There was no doubt in my mind while out walking on 56th Street, that I would be certain to have us stop into Má Pêche for lunch. Hidden downstairs in the Chambers Hotel, the restaurant’s only real entrance is through their upstairs Milk Bar, one of Mr. Chang’s small bakeries serving a variety of innovative desserts. Resisting the desire to stop here first, we walked past Milk Bar, and descended a flight of stairs to the spare, open room with high ceilings, wooden tables, and a small bar. There were no windows, but rather, a silk sheet hung over the front wall, lit from above to create a soft, peach-colored glow throughout the restaurant.
Momofuku is traditionally known as a ramen bar, but at Má Pêche, the food is served dim-sum style. Waiters circle through the dining room, cart in tow, stopping only to offer customers another selection. Members of the Manhattan Sideways team ordered a variety of dishes to share, including the scallops, which were delicate and tangy; classic pork buns; broccoli salad (my absolute favorite); veggie rice balls covered in a spicy tofu sauce and sprinkled with crispy kale, onions, edamame, and mushrooms. We also tried the deep-fried asparagus from the daily specials menu, and in deference to Momofuku’s original specialty, I insisted that others split a lamb ramen, which they described as insanely flavorful, with lamb broth, a poached egg, cabbage, shredded lamb, and noodles swirled together. For me, Má Pêche happens to be one of those restaurants that I could, happily, dine in any day of the week. It is simply that good.
As of the fall of 2015, Fuku+ has joined David Chang’s other two popular dining spots within the hotel. Standing behind Milk Bar, there is a small counter serving Mr. Chang’s highly regarded fried chicken.