Just Say No To Noodle Bar…

David Chang of Momofuku fame has invaded the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle on the upper west side.

The lines are long.

I just don’t understand it.

I arrived at 11:15am for an 11:30 opening. Within minutes, there were 20 people lined up behind me.

Bang Bar

Next door, at the less expensive Bāng Bar which sells takeaway bowls and wraps, the crowd kept multiplying.

My lunch was atrocious.

The menu is short and sweet (so to speak).

There is a flipping, automated board over the bar that flashes specials…you need to carpe diem in order to get what you want…it looks like a train station-style departure board.

Pork Buns

Luckily, I spotted the Pork Belly Bao (2 for $13), one of the original items from when Momofuku was born in 2004.

It was the only edible item I had during my unimpressive lunch.

The windowless, third floor 4,000 square foot sleek space is very appealing…more so than the food.

Executive Chef Tony Kim has created a new menu for Noodle Bar’s Time Warner Center location which opened less than two months ago.

Roasted Carrots

After I filled out my “golf card” menu with my pencil stub I started with the Roasted Carrots with scallion and pumpkin seed. It was served cold and was uninspired ($10).

Fried Blue Prawns

I ordered the Fried Blue Prawns ($23), a quintet of head-on shrimp that have been cleaned and coated with Sichuan spices and fried along with a yuzu dipping sauce. The high quality shrimp are huge and delicious, but the spices are overwhelming and ruined the seafood critters for me.

Spicy Beef Ramen

The Spicy Beef Barley Ramen did not float my boat. The short rib was tasty and tender, but the broth was mediocre at best ($19). The noodles are made in house daily.

Five different noodles dishes are offered.

Other offerings include breads with Spicy Pork Dip (1 pc) consisting of smoked belly with pork jus ($8)Caramelized Shiitake (2 pc) with hoisin and cucumber ($13) and Seared Shrimp (2 pc) with spicy mayo and pickled red onion ($13).

Small dishes include Bigeye Tuna Crudo ($19) and Fried Japanese Potato with white sauce ($12).

There is also a Spicy Oxtail entree served with rice cakes, daikon and buttered rice ($32) as well as a Whole Dover Sole with fermented chili sauce and lemon ($43).

My meal was expensive and disappointing. I did mention it to our very nice server who informed the manager.

He subtracted the practically untouched ramen from the check and insisted on bringing over a complementary soft serve dessert…lovely gesture, but the dessert sucked.

Living on the upper west side I am always hopeful about a new dining spot in the ‘hood.

But I must just say hell NO to the Noodle Bar.

Noodle Bar Time Warner Center, Shops at Columbus Circle. Lunch, Monday-Saturday 11:30am  to 4 pm. Dinner Monday-Saturday 5–10:30 pm.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*