Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Best Ramen in NYC...with a Side of Customer Service


I've been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now, but better late than never. Being that the weekend's weather was unbelievably chilly and rainy, I was reminded of the delicious bowl of steaming hot ramen I had a few weeks back at one of NYC's best spots for the traditional Asian noodle soup -- Momofuku Noodle Bar (1st Ave & 11th St.). I've eaten at Momofuku a number of times, both at Noodle Bar and Ssam Bar, but on this particular Sunday evening, I was more than impressed not because of David Chang's inventive, flavorful fare, but because of some pretty incredible customer service. Here's the backdrop:

8pm - pop into Noodle Bar and order the traditional ramen soup with pork shoulder, pork belly and a poached egg for take-out
8:30pm - get back to my apartment starving ready for some soupy goodness and to my shock and dismay, there was no pork shoulder or pork belly in my soup. I had paid a nice penny for a container of broth, noodles and an egg...clearly I wasn't too happy!
8:35pm - make a call back to the restaurant, but couldn't get ahold of anyone and was directed to a voice message. left a calm, semi-stern and disappointed m
essage.
9:00pm - received a surprisingly quick and very nice call from Eugene Lee, Noodle Bar's on-the-ball manager. Eugene was kind enough to not only refund my credit card, but without any prompting, insisted that I receive a gift certificate card (for more than double the cost of my order mind you). The card would be mailed to my address the following day. Eugene thanked me for my business, hoped I would return to Momofuku for another meal, and wished me a good night.

Three days later I received that gift card in the mail...along with a lovely hand-written note from Eugene himself. That's what I call some serious customer service, it really does make a difference. I returned to Noodle Bar with a friend the following weekend and per the usual, the food was absolutely outstanding. Thanks so much Eugene, I'll be back very soon!

*And for all you David Chang groupies, check out his new cookbook, Momofuku - a great stocking gift!

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