Sunday, July 26, 2015

First Taste: Momo Sushi Shack Pop Up at the Mondrian

Momo Sushi Shack in Bushwick, Brooklyn is a place of legend. People wait outside for hours to have their famous sushi bombs, hand rolls and nigiri. Good news for Miamians, though: you now can get your hands on New York’s top rated sushi and WITHOUT the line.
Last week, Momo Sushi Shack’s much-anticipated pop-up finally opened at the Mondrian in Miami Beach. That's how. Which means that for the next two months, Miamians will be able to enjoy that famous tuna tartare gunkan, without the plane ticket and the wait (for now, anyway). 
I had a chance to try out the place with my boyfriend last weekend, and have nothing but great things to say about it.
Lets start with the obvious: despite the fact that the original Momo is located in, literally, a concrete box in Brooklyn, its Miami version is a lot more fabulous and high end, which is what you would come to expect from a stunning place like the Mondrian. 
Here, you can pick a table by the beautiful whiskey and sake bar, by the lounge, or outside, if you want to enjoy the Miami skyline view. Given that we got there just around sunset time, we opted for the latter.

Now, about that sushi.
With much anticipation, we started the night off with the Spicy McBomb ($6), one of Momo’s signature sushi bombs. The two rice hemispheres topped with delicate strips of yellowfin tuna and wasabi cream sauce were not only adorable, but incredibly delicious, and paired nicely with my dragon’s milk martini ($15), made with Tyku coconut sake and coconut syrup. 
From left to right: sushi bombs, tuna tartare with quail egg and hand rolls
The spicy scallop and spicy tuna hand rolls ($7 each) came next. The mayonnaisey chunks of fish were generously spread throughout the entire roll, allowing you to enjoy the flavor combination to the last bite.
Front of the picture: spicy tuna and spicy scallop hand rolls
The most best moment of the night came next, as the waiter brought over Momo’s famous tuna tartare gunkan ($8), a warship-shaped sushi made with some of the fattiest ingredients you can find in a Japanese restaurant: chopped bluefin chutoro tuna, avocado, pine nuts, and raw quail egg yolk. The combination of the fatty ingredients, the crunchiness of the nuts and the liquid of the yolk were unlike any sushi I’ve ever tasted before. After my first bite, I couldn't help but close my eyes and make a conscious effort to savor slowly in order to fully enjoy it. 
Oh, baby! Tuna tartare with a quail egg on top
To finish the night, we picked some of the rolls and two items from the nigiri menu: the wagyyu beef and the seared salmon. Even though we absolutely loved every single dish at Momo, the tuna tartare and these last two nigiris stole the show. The wagyu beef was incredibly tender, juicy and almost sweet, which is what you would expect from beef that comes from a fancy, massaged Japanese cow. The seared salmon was slightly torched on top, giving a slight crunch to the rich and almost creamy texture of the fish. If we weren’t so full, we probably would have gone for a second round!

Hello, lover! Seared wild king salmon belly. Love at first bite!
Juicy and tender wagyu beef (left) and uni gunkan (right)
Kani roll (king crab, avocado, mango) and Dragon roll (unagi, avocado, eel sauce)
The combination of Momo’s amazing food and the Mondrian’s beautiful setting made this a truly memorable experience for me, and as a Miamian, it fills me up with pride to see a top rated New York restaurant like Momo Sushi Shack make its way into our city… even if it’s just for a little while! 

Momo Sushi Shack is located at 1100 West Ave, Miami Beach.

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