Celebrity chef David Chang is revamping his restaurant empire. The Ugly Delicious star has opted to close his Midtown Manhattan eatery Má Pêche in preparation for the June launch of his lavish new Momofuku Noodle Bar in the Time Warner Center.
Founded in 2010 in the basement of the Chambers Hotel, Má Pêche was originally a collaboration between Chang and Vietnamese chef Tien Ho. The restaurant became known for its Vietnam-inspired French cuisine, serving everything from squid salad seasoned with chile peppers to traditional French escargots de Bourgogne. In 2011, Ho left Má Pêche to open Montmatre in the heart of Chelsea.
After Ho’s departure, the restaurant underwent a sea change when Chef Paul Carmichael retooled the menu to focus on dim sum carts and fried chicken. Carmichael’s efforts met with success when the eatery became a top destination for diners grabbing a bite to eat before seeing a show. He kept the menu fresh by offering a special 10-course tasting menu to patrons and calling them personally beforehand to carefully craft the perfect dishes. After a successful run, Carmichael was tapped to helm Momofuku Seiobo in Sydney, Australia and was replaced by chef de cuisine Heather Machovec in 2015.
Chang announced on Friday that he has decided to shutter Má Pêche. After increased security measures at nearby Trump Tower were implemented in 2016, the restaurant has struggled to attract patrons. Most of the staff of Má Pêche will transition to Chang’s new branch of Momofuku Noodle Bar, due to open on the third floor of the Time Warner Center in June. Chang also plans to open a new noodle eatery next year on the fifth floor of The Shops at Hudson Yards. With this new establishment, Chang intends to recreate the feel of his Toronto-based venture, Daishō.