Restaurant Review: Cafe Momoko

>> Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rainbow Roll

I was reminiscing the other day with a couple of friends about all the great times we had during high school and university and how it literally does just seem like yesterday (a sign that we’re getting old). The funny thing was most of those times always occurred at a restaurant, bubble tea shop or over food of some sort. I guess looking back it was only a matter of time that I became a full fledged foodie. When we started talking about all the different hang outs of years passed, I realized that majority of those places were sushi restaurants. I guess I’ve always had a soft spot for Japanese food, so when I read about all the great things online about Café Momoko, I hoped that we could add to some of those great experiences and headed there for some delicious food and amusing times.

Atmosphere: A petite but charming restaurant with Asian (more correctly Japanese) flair.

Price Range: Mid $10s

Ocean Salad
Food: We arrived fairly early for dinner, but the restaurant was already getting pretty busy. It took us a bit to get seated, which is understandable because the place is literally ran by one person, the owner himself. He was very friendly and kept apologizing for taking so long to seat us. After we had some time to peruse the menu, he came back pretty quickly to take our order. We decided that we’d try a bunch of different items seeing that there were also Korean dishes on the menu as well. Seeing how there were only two people working in the kitchen (it’s a small establishment) our meal didn’t take all that long to arrive.

Dynamite Roll
We started with a simple Seaweed Ocean Salad, which consisted of seaweed, daikon (radish) and carrots in a light sesame vinaigrette. I’m use to the salad only being served with seaweed, so the addition of daikon was refreshing. It gave the salad an overall crispness that is normally missing. Next up were all the different rolls that we ordered, starting with the Beef Teriyaki Roll, which consists of cooked beef rolled up with nori seaweed and rice on the outside then topped with a bit of teriyaki sauce. I found that I didn’t need to dip this roll in to soy sauce since it already came with the teriyaki overtop, giving the roll a nice sweet tanginess. My only recommendation would be to serve a bit more of the teriyaki sauce on the side.

We also enjoyed the Rainbow Roll, where a traditional California roll is covered with an array of seafood (smoked salmon, tuna, salmon, prawn, avocado, mango), the presentation of the roll was stunning due to the multitude of colors forming each segment of the roll. Since each section was topped with a different type of fish or fruit, I got a different flavour profile for each bite. It’s definitely recommended for those who can’t decide on whether to stick with tuna or salmon, why not get a bit of each?

Super Shrimp
The Dynamite Roll came with a spicy mayo sauce, which I found to be less creamy than the convention sriracha mayo served with other dynamite rolls I’ve had before. Since it wasn’t so creamy I found that it didn’t overwhelm the roll and I could actually taste the shrimp more. Our last roll was the Super Shrimp, as you can guess, it came with a good amount of shrimp, both fried and steamed. This was probably our least favourite since it was a bit bland and the roll was very hard to keep intact once you lifted it off its initial serving platter. In hindsight we probably could have skipped this roll had it not been called super shrimp. I guess the name called out to us.

So to fully try out their menu we also got an order of the Spicy pork bulgogi and ordered it extra spicy (if you don’t like or want pork they also have chicken and beef, which you can ask to have it spicier). The owner offered to customize it since many people preferred to have the dish a bit milder. The dish also came with pickled daikon, kimchi, vegetable tempura, lettuce wraps (more like a meal rather than a dish). It was quite a bit more food then we anticipated since we’ve already gone through a good amount of sushi at this time. However, I had to take a couple bites at least just to get a good feel on what the flavours were. The pork, as promised, was nice and spicy, but it was a tad salty (guess that’s where the lettuce wraps come in). Once we ate a couple bites of the daikon, it helped to mellow out the saltiness of the pork, the flavours of the dish itself was good and the pork was very tender. A good sized meal if you’re not looking to eat any of the Japanese items on the menu.

Spicy Pork Bulgogi
My Picks: Rainbow Roll, Spicy Pork Bulgogi

Overall: Although we were at Café Momoko this time more so for the food and less so to idly pass the time like we did when we were younger. We still appreciated all the good chit chat and time spent there. Plus, when you throw in good food and great service, there really isn’t any bad side to this equation.

Café Momoko8 Weston Dr NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 246-4684

Cafe Momoko on Urbanspoon


Unknown July 20, 2011 at 7:32 PM  

Wow, sounds like it's in the middle of nowhere! :) This blog post makes me want to drive to the other side of the city for it! Hopefully it's not hard to find! :)

Bonnie Huang July 25, 2011 at 11:29 AM  

It is a bit out of the way, but definitely worth the drive (use your GPS for sure!).

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