Today was a GOOD day, Alhumdulillah. I got passed some (read A LOT of) Dimsum! Momo’s to be exact, as well as Maki, Sushi, Nagiri, Sashimi and probably some other stuff that I can’t recall due to being in a food coma.
Momos are a type of Dimsum, native to Nepal. In case anyone’s wondering, all Momos are Dimsum by default, but not all Dimsum are Momos. The other menu Items we enjoyed stem from Japan, but everything on the Menu, just like most things in Dubai overall, had a unique flair to them. Never have I seen such creative and innovative combinations of flavors inside a dumpling or wrapped up in a roll of sushi rice.
Al Barsha, is now home to Moshi; currently a 6-week young Hidden Gem. Right across CityMax Hotel, you can sit down for an unpretentious meal on a budget that will teleport your tastebuds to the streets of Katmandu and Osaka. “Oh, but that’s such an inconvenient location in terms of parking”, you say? Well. The team at Moshi has actually arranged parking for you all in the empty lot right next to Citymax, and will validate it for you after your meal.
This sun-kissed little joint is a passion project of young but extremely ambitious and driven, Rahul. A passionate foodie, home-cook and lover of good food, Rahul reminds me a lot of myself.
“I love Momos and Sushi but could never find them under one roof. So, I decided to put them under one roof”, he says.
According to Rahul, he wanted to make Sushi and Momos as inexpensive and unpretentious as they should be. He also wanted to make variants of them for people who love the idea of sushi and maki but are averse to seafood. After trying almost everything on their menu, I can confidently say, “Mission: Accomplished”.
What really impressed me was that although the variants of Momos, Sushi, and Maki are SO diverse, every single thing is made in house. From the Falafel to the Egg Noodles, nothing is bought from outside, and EVERYTHING is made fresh!
Another very interesting fact that I became aware of midway, was that Moshi uses white cutlery for vegetarian items and orange for non-vegetarian items. It is so unusual for ANY restaurant of cafe to be this respectful towards customers’ preferences and peeves.
What did we eat? Ho boy. SO many things, all of which were SO good that I honestly can’t do justice to each of them without making this review more of a novel. We were spoilt for choice to say the least.
Here’s what we had though:
- Prawn Momo : just what you want a traditional prawn momo to be. Soft, juicy, and paired with that Red Chili Paste; invincible.
- Chicken and Spinach: Another hit. The name says it all.
- Chicken Tikka: Now this one should be had with their special Green Chutney. This is Nepal Meets India fusion at its best.
- Cheesy Chicken and Capsicum: Ohmagaa. So. So good. The name is self explanatory, but there’s that perfect balance of ingredients and flavors that makes each momo so flavorsome and savor-able!
- Lamb: Now this one reminded us of a Yemeni mantoo! These guys left no stone unturned!
- Buffalo: Again, very Yemeni influenced. Extremely flavorsome and tender meat.
This is basically a half-steamed and then pan fried momo. You still get that softness of the dough with a little crispiness on the outside. mmmMMM. We tried these in Cheesy Mushroom and Spinach Paneer , both of which were utterly fantastic. We also tried each of these flavors in a deep fried version, which is very much like a wonton but with SO much more of that delicious filling!
- Chicken Teriyaki
- Chicken Katsu
- Salmon Teriyaki
- Thai Green Curry chicken
- Chicken Tikka
- Prawn Tempura
- Cheesy Oman Chips
Some traditional, while others extremely creative and unusual, all the above Maki rolls work with one or more of the sauces offered, and had two things in common: 1) ALL of them were extremely delicious. 2) I could actually identify each of them by taste. I would put it in my mouth and go yup, this is xyz.
The Cheesy Oman Chips Maki roll deserves a special mention though. While M and I haven’t grown up in Dubai and until recently were quite clueless on what Oman chips even are, it seems that every single person who has grown up in the UAE, still has a fat kid inside them who loves this comfort food called the Oman Chips and Cheese sandwich. How did this concoction come into being? Probably due to the genius of some late night munchies or a mom who knew how to improvise when she realized she has no cold cuts for her kids’ school snack. These guys have taken this childhood favorite and turned it into a maki roll. Pure. And Utter. GENIUS. It just does NOT get better than that!
Sushi, Sashimi and Nagiri:
- California Roll: We wanted to try a classic, tried and tested sushi, for the sake of comparison against benchmarks. Moshi definitely met the mark.
- Tuna & Salmon Nagiri: Melt-in-your-mouth cuts of super fresh fish! What a treat!
- Tuna & Salmon Sashimi: The above, placed on a bed of perfectly cooked and seasoned sushi rice. Dipped in soy sauce and wasabi. Nuff said.
We also had a spicy Egg Fried Rice that was MADE to go with a chilled bottle of Barbican. My mouth is watering at the mere thought of how on point this dish was. And Indian style Chow Mein that reminded me of MY childhood.
By this point M and I were about ready to pass out from being fed so much and I swore i couldn’t put another morsel in my mouth. But then…..dessert arrived, and we all know how I feel about dessert!
- Nutella Maki Roll: Yup. You heard me.
- Peanut Butter Bars: Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter atop a velvety base of barley, this dessert could easily pass as a protein snack here. No guilt here, nope. I couldn’t stop stuffing my face with these.
- Coconut Momo: Deep-fried and wonton-like, this had had a sweet coconutty filling. A traditional Nepalese dessert, this item has a lot of potential but felt a little too dense and sweet for my liking. It has a lot of potential though, just needs some work. Wouldn’t mind it with some vanilla icecream. Yum.
All in all, this place offers GREAT, authentic flavors at prices so reasonable, you have to double check if they’re even in Dirhams.
The marketing manager at Moshi, named Khush (which literally translates to “happy”), is truly a burst of good vibes and energy. You just know when someone believes in their brand so much, they’re doing something right. Her hospitality is unparalleled, and although the food at Moshi is so good it could sell itself, this young lady is doing one heck of a great job. Thank you Khush, for inviting us, and for introducing us to what will definitely be one of our favorite Asian comfort food spots henceforth!