New Yorkers have a thing for karaoke, a passion that usually takes most folks directly to Koreatown.
Alas, a new, more high-end destination has opened at the South Street Seaport, combining a love for singalongs with delicious tabletop grills. Upstairs at Ssäm Bar is Momofuku's latest restaurant, this one located at Pier 17 (89 South Street, to be precise), on the second floor of Momofuku Ssäm Bar.
While overlooking the East River, you'll get to sing your heart out to your favorite karaoke songs in one of two private rooms (each one accommodates up to 10 people) where you'll also get to order from the entire Asian-influenced menu.
You can also opt to sit inside the 36-seat dining room, where each table is outfitted with a personal tabletop grill. Dark blue leather banquettes and green velvet chairs adorn the beautiful space, which also boasts a wall of windows overlooking the harbor.
Back to the food: start off with raw offerings like the Maine uni with ham chawanmushi and trout roe or the sea scallops with ham xo, kohlrabi and lime and then proceed with the potato rösti section of the menu, which features the likes of osetra caviar and smoked ranch.
But it is the "grill" portion of the menu that is the restaurant's claim to fame as Momofuku chefs will actually grill everything tableside. Opt for the Ssam Bar smoked pork belly with sweet and spicy sauce, the 55-day dry aged ribeye with watercress, fried pickled onions and thyme or, perhaps, the heritage pork shoulder with 7-spice seasoning. Everything is served with lettuces, scallion salad, pickles and a whole lot of different sauces.
And because there is no karaoke without cocktails, here's a bit about that: from the Psycho Beach Party (mezcal, cynar, passionfruit, pineapple and blood orange) to the Toki Hot Toddy (Suntory Toki whisky, genmaicha tea and lemon) and the Suit & Chair (chai-infused rum, rockey's liqueur, ginger, salted plum and a chinotto float), you probably never have had such high-end drinks while screaming your lungs out to Prince's "Purple Rain."
The wine menu is also pretty extensive, emphasizing classic French options alongside a list of beers, sakes and non-alcoholic beverages.
To put it simply: If it's a high-end karaoke night you're looking for, go to Upstairs at Ssäm Bar.