mylifestylenews

2015-12-28

MOMOTARO @ Not Only About Sushi

Sushi, sushi, sushi…..looking for something different? From the creators of popular izakaya Three Monkeys, Momotaro, the new fusion restaurant and lounge bar has opened its doors at the end of Wellington Street on the border between Wellington street and Sheung Wan, bringing Masaaki Aoyama’s Los Angeles inspired fusion sushi to Hong Kong, mylifestylenews discover another hidden gem in the bustling neighborhood……


Momotaro is quietly tucked away upstairs with a lovely ambience of the long room, as the windows completely open to the elements in good weather and give a feeling of a larger space than it is.


The name Momotaro is taken from a Japanese children’s folklore tale, so all the design elements are related to the fairytale with animal and nature elements like monkey, wind & wave cut panels, Japanese street art and face masks hanging on top of the long bar as well as the contemporary vibe of some mood lighting changing the ambience day and night that brings an exciting flair to the area.


Coming from a family where Chef Masaaki Aoyama was surrounded by his grandfather who owned a fish market as well as three uncles operating sushi restaurant in Tokyo, it is natural for Chef Aoyama to bring out the best from what a good sushi has to offer especially after some of his achievements in gastronomy included a star in Michelin Guide as well as number one in Zagat Guide and many others accolades.


It was a relatively quiet Saturday lunch while we were there and the menu was quite exciting which consists of soups, appetizers, sashimi tartares, and signature makis, a selection of hot dishes, including meat options, as well as jet fresh sushi and sashimi selections. Opens for lunch and dinner, the favorites so far are the Sweet Shrimp Tartar with Black Truffle and Sevruga Caviar, as well as the Miso Marinated Foie Gras with seared Japanese Wagyu slices.


We felt we should start off with some classics appetizers without any hesitation, some of the signature and must-have dishes were already pre-arranged by the most talkative Christofer Soderbaum, General Manager of Momotaro. When the food was brought to the table, the first thing you’ll notice is the quality of the ingredients used. 


<Snow Crab Salad with Momotaro Tomato, Dashi and Vinegar>
With everything freshly flown in from Japan, including the Momotaro tomatoes (a sensational, intense and sweet in flavor) are utterly delicious to set the taste buds abuzz with anticipation for what else is to follow.


<Edamame Beans with Truffle and Sea Salt>


<Sesame Spinach with Homemade Goma-Ae Dressing>


<Crispy Rice Wraps with Salmon, Scallops, Yellowtail, Spicy Mayo with Seaweed and Shisho Leaf>
This is one of the best company with Shouchu or the fresh Japanese beer from the tap.


Now it was time to switch to the modern twist, with the <Amaebi Tarutaru> the sweet shrimp tartare on the favorites list served with truffle, Sevruga Caviar and sea salt and <Kinme> the Golden Eye Snapper Carpaccio, with citrus pepper and grape seed oil.


The presentation of each dish is a standout, but the flavor takes front row position, as each fish and crustacean is the essence of the purest fruits of the sea with some subtle twists. Especially for the <Kinme>, the fish had been torched skin side and the sea salt, citrus pepper and yuzu juice created such a beautiful combination with the crispy skin on the palate.


<Ikura> 
This pure salmon roe is truly tantalizing. The vibrant orange color roe is simply so inviting and a spoon full after one another can't have you stop enjoying it.


Makis were next, the classic <Momotaro California Style> came along with the snow crab, fish roe, Kewpie and French Chives where the <Dragon Maki> was presented with snow crab, eel, avocado, burdock and sesame.


Next we launched into a combo of <Sushi> ranging from the all times favorite O-Toro (the fatty blue fin tuna), Ebi (Shrimp), Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp), Botan Ebi (Sweet Prawn) and Japanese Wagyu Beef. Each sushi exceeded our expectations and the Wagyu was a revelation, as we know, there will be more to come.


We were taking things pretty slowly at this point and we opted for some warm cooked dishes later on, it was pleasing to have some grilled meats to provide a different point of view to what the kitchen team can produce.


<O-Tara Cod> 
The Pacific cod frilled with cod roe and served with truffle Ponzu sauce. Less is more and this almost mouth full bite makes the perfect serving seize.


A <Foie Gras & Wagyu> to follow, thinly sliced A5 Wagyu with miso marinated Foie Gras and Yamamomo (Japanese Bayberry) marinated with sweet vinegar and <Grilled Chicken> with balsamic, teriyaki, eggplant and smashed potatoes.


 Each meat was succulent and intense in flavor, having a point of view with the marinades and sides that we could not fault. We had the privilege to talk to Chef Masaaki Aoyama who flies in regularly to change menus and to experience his skills first hand, not to mention discovering his culture of cooking.


On the bar side, Momotaro focuses on Japanese inspired cocktails, with “The Shouchu Journey”, a list of signature flavored shochu creations base for the infused shochu cocktail selection. A wide selection of Japanese whiskeys, sake, beer, wine and spirits where several bottles are collector’s items.


Momotaro is a lively venue to see and to be seen, and to keep the buzz going live entertainment is offered with DJ’s during the weekends as well as live music with the Acoustic Duo on every Thursday.


Momotaro is not only about a Sushi’s hangout but puts twist on a traditional Japanese restaurant bar and lounge with a distinctly different and uplifting experience at this new dining destination.


Tried & Tested:
Location: 3.5/5
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Service: 4/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Experience: 4/5

Highlights :
Slick Ambience
Amaebi Tarutaru
Foie Gras A5 Wagyu Beef

 UG/F, 198 Wellington Street, 
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2865 0005

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.