Mocu-Mocu


 Does Manhattan need another Japanese eatery?

Well the correct answer is you can never have enough, though you’d hope they each carve out a unique aspect of that culture’s captivating cuisine or risk getting quickly turned irrelevant by us fickle city dwellers.

Mocu Mocu has good intentions, but it has some kinks to work out if it wants to last.

The staff is super friendly, so that’s a solid start. But the obanzai-style menu is a jumbled mess. You’ll see lunch and dinner sets and variations of those sets, then appetizers that seem to repeat what’s already included in the sets. Hmm.

Anyway, once you figure it out, you’ll see their okonomiyaki lunch and dinner sets are pretty traditional but not priced very competitively given the fairly small portions.

My baked okonomiyaki was a bit tough and the coconut shrimp too sweet for my taste. The side “salads” were mostly afterthoughts.

Kim chose the takoyaki set, which was much more skillfully made. The so-called “hot air balloons” are made to order, really flavorful and, true to their name, deflate quickly as soon as you cut into them.

Look for things to improve. They’ve only been open a few months and they seem eager for feedback — hence the free ice cream mochis for filling out a questionnaire.

I’m thinking they can do really well if they focus on their obanyaki — those fluffy Japanese pancakes filled with cream. They offer a nice variety here, from matcha cream filling to yuzu flavored apple compote. That’s what I’ll be coming back for.

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