Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Momi Nonmi: Onigiri to Loco Moco

If you find yourself around Inman Square, Cambridge, you have a number of excellent restaurant options, from Bisq to Puritan & Co. If you're seeking Japanese cuisine, your top choice is definitely Momi Nomni, which has been open for nearly six months. Owned by Chef Chris Chung, formerly of AKA Bistro and Uni, Momi Nonmi is intended to be a casual izakaya, with some Hawaiian accents. My initial experience here was stellar, a special omakase dinner, and I knew I had to return again to check out more of their offerings. 

When I recently found myself in the neighborhood, and craving something to eat, I stopped by Momi Nonmi and sat at their small bar, for a few small plates and Sake. Momi Nomi is an excellent Sake destination, and their passionate Sake sommelier, Stephen Connolly, can help you select some excellent choices to accompany your food. 

Please note that this is more of a highlight than a full review, as I was primarily there just to enjoy the cuisine. My experience continued to solidify my belief that this is a superb restaurant, well worthy of more attention. It earns my highest recommendation. 

I opted for a couple Specials of the evening, including the Kalua Pork Onigiri. This Hawaiian style dish is a take on Japanese onigiri, with plenty of tender and savory pork slices, atop a triangle of rice, and topped with intriguing ingredients which elevated the complexity and tastiness of the dish. Plus, it looked aesthetically pleasing, a tower of deliciousness.

For pure decadence, it would be tough to beat the other Special, the Toro & Foie Onigiri. The silky foie was pure bliss in my mouth, and a fine accompaniment to the silky tuna, with its caramelized coating adding some crunchy texture to the dish. With the nori at the base, you could use it to wrap up the dish to make your own kind of version of a maki roll. Everything was prepared well and the richness was a delight, and brief out for Sake.

The decadence continued though, with a complementary dish of their A5 Wagyu Tataki. Initially, this dish presented a bright acidity with citrus, a little crunch from the greens, and then I reached the thinly-sliced, silky Wagyu which basically melts on your tongue. For beef lovers, it doesn't get much better than this Wagyu, and the tataki was a great choice to showcase the beef. Simple but powerful in its application.

Finally, I opted for more of a comfort food dish, the Teppanyaki Loco Moco, which is composed of a bed of rice, topped by a grilled grass-fed beef patty and a fried egg. Tableside, a sizzling gravy is then added to the dish. Wow, this would be the perfect hangover food! The rich and savory gravy was a superb addition to this dish, enhancing the flavor of the beef and egg. The yolk also added its own richness to the dish, and eating the gravy soaked rice was pure pleasure. I certainly didn't need or want a bun for this burger. You probably wouldn't expect to find a burger here, but you need to check it out as I bet you'll place it on your list of some of the best burgers in the Boston+ area.

As you can see, Momi Nonmi is producing some amazing dishes, with creativity and a great melange of flavors and textures. Head there for lunch or dinner, or one of their special events. You won't be disappointed.

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