The Once ‘Secret’ Restaurant Above Ssäm Bar Is Open with Karaoke and Tabletop Grilling

Upstairs at Ssäm Bar has two private karaoke rooms and a 36-seat dining room overlooking the East River.

Upstairs at Ssam Bar
Photo by Andrew Bezek

Wander up the stairs at Momofuku Ssäm Bar’s Seaport location, and you can now belt out your favorite songs and feast on dinner grilled tableside at a restaurant concept that was once very hush-hush.

Now called Upstairs at Ssäm Bar, the restaurant seems to have been in the works since early 2020, when it was a whispered-about space where only “regulars” were permitted to make reservations. Now that it’s open to the public as Momofuku’s fifth NYC concept, guests can book private karaoke rooms or a table to enjoy top-notch cuts of beef, seafood, and other proteins prepared on a tabletop grill.

The karaoke will take place in two private rooms that overlook the East River. Each room can fit up to 10 guests and you’ll have full access to the restaurant’s food and drink menus while belting out tracks.

Momofuku Ssam Bar
Photo by Andrew Bezek

The restaurant downstairs will continue to offer popular dishes like spiced pepper wings and cacio e pepe rice cakes, while Upstairs at Ssäm Bar’s menu will feature a mix of appetizers and sides from the kitchen and main grilled courses.

The menu, developed by Momofuku culinary director Max Ng and executive chef Kris Brumsted, kicks off with dishes like hamachi with green apple and daikon and scallops with ham xo, kohlrabi and lime, plus a section dedicated to potato rosti, which is like an oversized potato latke with accompaniments like baked epoisses and chili crunch honey or osetra caviar and smoked ranch.

Upstairs at Ssam Bar
Photo by Adrian Gaut

Heritage pork shoulder with seven-spice seasoning, American Wagyu Ribeye marinated in kalbi, and a 55-day dry-aged ribeye are just a few of the grilled dishes that are available, and all come with lettuce, scallion salad, pickles, and various sauces so it can be eaten like ssambap.

On the beverage side, the menu features wine, beer, and sake, and cocktails include twists on the classics like a hot toddy made with genmaicha tea and lemon and an Old Fashioned made with bonji, black sugar, and orange bitters.

The glamorous dining room plays off of the restaurant’s waterfront surroundings, and the 36-seat space features dark blue leather banquettes and green velvet chairs around each personal grill-top table.

Upstairs at Ssäm Bar is open Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 pm, with extended days beginning December 1. Reservations for the dining room are available through Resy and karaoke reservations can be made via website or by emailing events@momofuku.com

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Liz Provencher is an associate editor at Thrillist. You can follow her on Twitter or see what she eats on Instagram.