24 April 2009

David Chang Cart, 318 Lafayette St. (at Houston St.)

Our story begins with a dream. And that dream begins with a contest, sponsored by NBC called "Locals Only", where one must visit a site at 11am EST, correctly answer several NYC trivia questions, and lastly, be one of the first five people to do so for that day. If one completes said requirements, one is granted access to an exclusive lunch prepared by David Chang of Momofuku, out of a street cart, in an undisclosed location.

There was no way I could NOT go to this event, let's just say that once I realized a little work-around for the contest...ACCESS GRANTED. Needless to say, at noon today, my coworkers and I hopped on the 6 to Bleecker and walked up to the event. There were four menu choices, all served with Pepsi Natural: vegetarian (rice fries, shiitake bun & ginger scallion noodles), pork (rice fries, pork bun & rice cakes), chicken (rice fries, chicken bun & wings), and lastly, chef's choice (whatever the hell he wants to give you). While choosing a "grab bag" or "what's behind door #3" never proves to be fruitful, I knew in this case, you simply couldn't go wrong. First of all, it's free. Secondly, it's chef's choice, when the chef is David Chang. Thirdly, all of his food is amazing so there is absolutely no way you're going to end up with shit on a plate.
I could not have been more right:

Is that.........LOBSTER?????????????????????????????????

Why hells yes, it is. Chef's choice was either lobster & bacon over cheesy, scallion-y grits of some sort, a one-minute egg, and a pork bun, or a lamb dish (I didn't get too close of a look at this one). Can we say, off the hook. No way in hell was I ever expecting to get lobster served out of a street cart by David Chang....it was amazing. The lobster was perfectly cooked, and as you can see, was HUGE chunks of claw meat. If you smooshed everything together in one bite (lobster, bacon, grits, scallion & egg), wow. Talk about a tasty, fatty, cholesterol-filled fusion of flavor.

And, don't even get me started on the pork bun. I was originally thinking that it would be like a chasiubao, but it was more like cucumber (hells yes), scallion (perfect addition), and pork belly (I think I'm in heaven) wrapped up in a pancake (much like you get with peking duck). I love pork belly, and I love the roast pork sauce that they use on the bun, and oh wait- and I love cucumber too! Clearly a classic of David Chang's, and clearly incredible.

Wait- that's not all! As we sat down, there was a woman who set her stuff down and then left- and left her tub of I'm not so sure what sitting at the table. It was handed out to seemingly random people throughout the event, so we cracked it open and had a taste....what was this mystery jar? Oh wait, it was duck fat. (We figured out later it was supposed to go with the rice from the lamb chef's special.) My coworker and I dug right in- imagine every bite as tasty as that wonderful piece of fatty duck that everyone loves. What an incredible touch to add to the meal. You certainly don't get some duck fat when you order your Micky D's fries or your street meat from the 53rd & 6th Street Meat Cart, but you do when you get your lamb from David Chang's cart!

The ambiance was perfect - this could not have been executed on a better day. We sat outside at a picnic table, in the sun and 70 degree weather, enjoying an incredible lunch. My expectations were perfectly met, this lunch was everything I had hoped for and more.

Lastly for dessert, we picked up a dish of "old fashioned doughnut" ice cream- vanilla ice cream topped with cinnamon & sugar. At first it tasted a little off, (maybe it's been all the Carvel that I've been eating, thanks to my flatmate who brings it home), but as it melted and the flavors fused, hot damn. Or rather cold damn. Way better than DQ, they sure as hell did treat us right.

We departed and went back to the office, completely stuffed, satiated, and very sleepy for our 2:30pm call.

Might I add I met & took my photo with Chef (I asked "Chef may I call?" before I asked him for the photo! Awesome!):

Do I even need to say it....5 forker:

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