Momofuku's Ando Will Deliver Some (Superbly Spicy) New Dishes
"We want to be the reason you go into a food coma at your desk," says Dave Chang about his new Momofuku food delivery service Ando, and the spicy Chinese dishes it's rolling out later this year.
For the last few days, a NYC Cheesesteak has been getting a ton of play online. That's because it's the newest dish from David Chang and his just-launched Momofuku food delivery service and app Ando, which is currently serving a very small portion of New York City, but will expand. Created in partnership with Expa lab (from Uber co-founder Garrett Camp), Ando's currently has a very small menu that features crowd-pleasers like a fried chicken box with killer honey mustard sauce, and salt and pepper cookies from Milk Bar queen Christina Tosi.
At a dinner previewing the menu, Chang and Ando chef JJ Basil, an alum of elite kitchens like Torrisi Italian Specialties, wd50 and Noma, served a bunch of flavor-bomb Chinese dishes that they'll roll out later this year—and that make you think of what Momofuku Noodle Bar would do if the menu went in that direction. "We didn't want to start with Chinese, or we'd be pigeonholed," said Chang, on why Ando is selling cheesesteaks first. "Now, basically, we're using everything we learned from time spent at Panda Express. Except we made it good; the best version of Chinese dishes that we know deliver well."
Ando's Spicy Cold Noodles are laced with chili oil and sesame paste and topped with pickled green papaya—they're insane. So is the vegan Mapo Tofu, with fermented broad beans and no shortage of sichuan pepper. Their showstopper is Hainanese Chicken Rice—super moist meat that comes with both sambal and ginger scallion sauce. "Hainanese chicken is the ultimate delivery dish," says Chang. "The pinnacle of deliverable food. It's steamed, so it stays moist and doesn't overcook. It's a dish that's not getting worse on its way to your place."
Chang expanded on his vision for Ando. "We want to be the reason you go into a food coma at your desk," he says. "And then decide to do it all over again the next day."
© Kate Krader