Má Pêche and Momofuku Milk Bar

squid salad
One of my goals in New York was to eat at David Chang’s Momofuku Ko but after trying to reserve at all his four restaurants I only found success at Má Pêche.

My cousins gave me free reign to choose all the restaurants I wanted to eat at in New York.  Our first lunch was at the French-Vietnamese inspired Má Pêche which means ”mother peach”.
Ma Peche

When we opened the door the first thing I saw was Momofuku Milk Bar. I was so happy since this was also on my list of “must eat in NY”.  I’ve seen their products featured on tv, magazines and countless blogs.
Momofuku Milk Bar

I bought several of their cookies namely the compost cookie®
(pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, chocolate chips),
chocolate-chocolate cookie (chocolate crumbs), and peanut butter cookie (peanut butter, peanut brittle).
Momofuku Milk Bar-1
steel baskets filled with cookies

I loved, loved all their cookies. My favorite was the compost cookies with the combination of different flavors and textures in one cookie. The peanut butter cookie was not like the ordinary pb cookie. This had bits of peanut brittle and the flavor was more intense.

The best part of our entire Momofuku experience was the Milk Bar but I’m getting ahead of myself.
peanut butter cookie
peanut butter cookie

From the Milk Bar we took the stairs to go down to Má Pêche. The restaurant was located at the basement of the Chambers Hotel.
Ma Peche-1

The lighting was very dim that’s why my pictures are grainy since I didn’t use flash except for the menu.
Ma Peche-2

Ma Peche-3

Maggi seasoning is very common in Manila and is present in many families’ dining table. This was the first time I’ve ever seen it in a restaurant in the United States. Thank goodness for it. I did put it to good use.
maggi seasoning

Wow calamansi in New York! I had to try the calamansi and lemon juice lemonade. It tasted just like expensive lemonade. I couldn’t really distinguish the calamansi from the lemon juice.

In case some readers don’t know what calamansi (Philippine lemon) looks like it’s the round, green fruit on my banner.
calamansi lemonade
calamansi lemonade $5

La and I order the prix fixe menu which included an appetizer or salad and an entree for $25. I chose to start with the squid salad. This was the best thing in our meal. The squid rings were incredibly tender and the dressing was a light & mildly spiced vinaigrette. It was full flavored and the chopped peanuts added a nice texture to the salad.
squid salad
squid salad

My entree was the rice rolls with spicy ground pork, bok choy and sawleaf, a Vietnamese herb similar to cilantro in aroma. This was a very dry dish. There was no sauce at all. Some of the rice noodle rolls were nice and al dente but there were also a lot of hard, crunchy rolls too. The spicy ground pork was good but it wasn’t enough to flavor the noodles.

This was where the Maggi seasoning came to the rescue. It made the dish good enough to finish. Without it I don’t think I could have eaten half of it. The veggies and sawleaf were good spiked with Maggi too!
rice noodles
rice noodles, spicy pork, bok chow, sawleaf

La and her daughter Erin shared the bland shrimp summer rolls. Sure it was stuffed full with all sorts of veggies and herbs but if it weren’t for the hoisin sauce it would have been a massive fail.
summer rolls

La’s grilled trout was well cooked and simply flavored and garnished. It was good but nothing extraordinary.
grilled trout
grilled trout, long bean, almond, chili jam

Sha, our resident carnivore, had a steak. Good choice since you can’t do wrong with rare steak. The sauce was really good. Béarnaise sauce I think.

The rice fries were a bit strange. It sticks to your teeth. At first I thought they were cassava fries. They were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I’ll stick to my sweet potato fries, thank you.
steak frites
steak frites 12 oz “juliet cut” with rice fries $29

For dessert they gave us tiny samples of Milk Bar’s famous crack pie made with toasted oat crust, gooey butter filling. I was really planning to buy it after lunch but after trying it and finding it just ok I bought cookies instead. I couldn’t remember what the other dessert was. Since it didn’t make an impression I didn’t bother finding out.
mini crack pie

Ma Peche menu beverages

Ma Peche menu prix fixe

Ma Peche menu

So that was my experience at a famous restaurant in New York. It was disappointing. I’ve had much better meals in DC. Could it be just Má Pêche? Maybe the other restaurants in the Momofuku group are better? Should I give them another shot the next time I go back to New York?  I would definitely go back to the Milk Bar for the cookies though.

Má Pêche
15 West 56th St. New York, NY 10019  
(between 5th + 6th ave)

One thought on “Má Pêche and Momofuku Milk Bar

  1. i wasn’t able to get reservations at momofuku ko, too, and i planned really early! my milk bar favorite is the corn cookie! yum!  🙂


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