written by: hoodi
date visited: tuesday, December 26, 2006
address: 185 7th avenue at 21st st
web: they could use one to draw more crowds
ordered: miso black cod $10, red snapper carpaccio $11, toro tartar $9, nakamura roll $12, momoya spicy tuna roll $12, white tuna sushi $3, aji sushi $4, and tempura hot udon $13.
simple, sleek, and trés chic were our first impressions upon entering momoya. pooh and i were in the chelsea area this evening for a prior appointment, so we stuck around to dine. momoya’s interior was very streamlined and made great use of space. they even had their bathrooms well hidden down underneath their mini bar display. tables were lined up with just the right spacing in between - not too squish like other small places. pooh commented how even the lighting created the perfect ambiance and he wanted a room just like it someday in our home (granted we move out to the suburbs first :) the front of the restaurant had sliding garage doors with glass see through panels. we imagine that when the weather is warm enough, momoya would slide these doors up to create the sidewalk restaurant experience for their dining guests (most restaurants we've seen have doors that swing out or to the sides, so this was quite cool to us!).
our waiter served us efficiently and quickly. first came our appetizers, they were so beautifully plated! toro tartar was scrumptious with fatty tuna that just melted in your mouth! the ikura (salmon eggs), vinegarette, and wasabi mixture were in perfect harmony to give it just the right kick! it opened up our tummies and made us crave for more! after a few bites though, the tartar was a bit on the salty side. the red snapper carpaccio was submerged in a soy vinegarette topped with crunchy onion strips - the fish was just slighty chilled and so, so very fresh! pooh loved the miso black cod and stated that it was almost like morimoto's version of the miso chilean sea bass. momoya's cod was cooked to perfection, so soft and delicate, just the right amount of miso for taste, and an awesome sauteed spinach and mashed pumpkin to make the miso black cod a definite dish just to return to momoya! i had a headache for an hour prior to dining, but after eating these appetizers, my headache was gone! (seriously though, pooh said i was probably low on sugar as i had not eaten for about 7 hours. so, no, momoya's appetizers did not cure my headache, but it greatly improved it! :)
our rolls and pooh's sushi pieces came on one plate. again, very nicely plated and very colorful too. the nakamura roll consisted of yellowtail and cucumber on the inside, salmon or tuna on top, then scallop tartar to topped off the roll. needless to say, it was delicious! whatever the three sushi chefs did to the scallop and yellowtail (i could see that some seasoning/mixture was added to them), it was a great combination. fish was again very fresh and just melts in your mouth. the momoya spicy tuna roll was wrapped with seared yellowtail topped with a red sauce (maybe plum sauce?) and almond slices. whoever thought of this creation had great imagination! a roll that i could eat again and again! pooh liked the nakamura better though. pooh said his aji (horse mackerel) and white tuna sushi were very good too.
as i said before, our tummies were opened up, so even though the rolls were good sized for its price, we wanted more! we decided to order the tempura udon to see how their tempura was made and also to fill our hungry-for-more tummies. the tempura was flowery, the taste was aromatic, what can i say, even the noodles were “q” (meaning al dente). there was plenty of tempura (2 shrimps, 4 vegetables) and lots of different mushrooms (3 kinds!), submerged in a very inviting and warm broth! the broth was a bit on the sweet side, but that didn't stop pooh or i from gobbling all of it up even to the last drop! towards the end of our meal, many new guests were seated next to us. i definitely noticed the gorgeously handsome men, two of them sitting next to us must have been models! too bad though, they may all be unavailable to me, but maybe they'll go for pooh! :P do i need to say more??? get yourself to momoya and you'll be in for a scrumptious meal!!!
pros: super fresh fish, trendy interior
cons: had to ask for tea refills more than once
coolness: eye candy all around, sliding garage doors that swing up during warm weather days
would we return? absolutely, i almost wish we lived closer to the chelsea area just to eat there more often!
written by: hoodi
want to see more? click HERE to see ALL OF 2006 reviews!