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A Hamburger For Reference | © Renee Comet
A Hamburger For Reference | © Renee Comet

Plant-Based 'Impossible Burger' Comes To Momofuku Nishi

Picture of Dana deLaski
Updated: 1 December 2016
Leave it to David Chang – the chef who’s never been afraid to push boundaries and try things most of us would never dream of – to put a ‘bleeding plant burger’ on his menu at the newest addition to the Momofuku empire: Momofuku Nishi in Chelsea, Manhattan.

The new Impossible Burger is currently on the lunch menu, with only a limited number available each day. What exactly is the Impossible Burger? It’s a plant-based burger that’s designed to look, taste and feel like meat. It was created by Impossible Foods, a company in  Silicon Valley with investors like Google Ventures and Bill Gates, and Nishi is the first restaurant to serve its creation. The Impossible Burger was five years in the making, and the idea behind it is to reduce the environmental impact of eating meat. Like a meat product, it needs to be refrigerated in the kitchen, but all of its ingredients come from plants.

Impossible Foods is a team of engineers, scientists and foodies, and together their goal is to “make really, really delicious meat that’s good for people and good for the planet.” In other words, they know people love meat, and they do too, so they wanted to make some that’s environmentally friendly and still equally delicious. Specifically, the Impossible Burger is made from water, textured wheat protein, coconut oil, potato oil and natural flavoring. The secret ingredient that makes it taste like meat is called heme. In terms of its environmental impact, each burger saves the equivalent of a 10-minute shower.

So far, it seems like they’ve succeeded. When David Chang tried the burger last year, he said he was “genuinely blown away… The Impossible Foods team has managed to re-engineer what makes beef taste like beef.” He of course proved his support by putting the burger on his menu, and other critics have since had equally positive reactions, calling it ‘the Tesla of food.’ Food writer Mark Bittman called the burger “very impressive,” while Erza Klein of reported that it was “life-changing.”

Momofuku Nishi, 232 Eight Avenue, Manhattan, New York, US, +1