First, one word: Momofuku. Second, two more: Pork buns. This is where it is supposed to be at. This is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread. Is it?
I don't know anyone who doesn't rave about David Chang's pork buns, served at various Momofuku outlets, including Noodle Bar and Milk Bar. I mean rave. People use superlatives on this pork bun like little yappy-dogs bark. Everyone says its simply divine, seem not to mind shelling over the $4.50 each one costs, and treat it like its some sort of culinary revalation.
Call me a grouch, but I don't see it. I mean, I'll be up front - this is a very tasty, delightful treat. In the crazy expensive bubble otherwise known as New York City, the price-tag may not even be that ridiculous (although, objectively, it IS.) If you are offer to buy me a couple with no option to take the money instead (and spend it on other foods) then I'm definitely going to eat them, and enjoy them.
So, that's out of the way.
But, a revelation? Some sort of ground-breaking culinary delight? A game-changer? Spiritually-inspired innovation? Please. Come with me to Beijing, and let's order ourselves a 30 dollar Peking duck, and you will understand why I'm pooh-poohing this. He's pilfered plum sauce (and his is admittedly delicious and subtle), pilfered cucumbers, and pilfered the bun. Instead of amazing duck (and the crispy skin complete with wonderful caramelized fat that comes with it), he has substituted pretty good pork - and there you have it.... Peking Pork. In fact, even I have tried to use this combination together before in a cucumber-chicken-plum sauce appetizer that I cooked up in Budapest. And trust me, I would have put them in soft buns if I had access to them.
So, verdict? Yeah, they're pretty good, but do they deserve all of the acclaim? Well, only in New York City, where trends make the bubble and the bubble makes trends. This is a revelation only if you've never been lucky enough to have REAL Peking duck. And I'm sure that David Chang knows it.