Moshi – Momo and Sushi is a little restaurant with a big reputation. This is the place of Instagram fame that introduced the world (or at least Dubai) to the now-near-famous Chips Oman maki.
Moshi is a portmanteau of momo and sushi, and the menu cleverly reflects a fusion of different cultures and cuisines. They take the humble momo and maki roll and make them fun, accessible and culturally-relevant to those who may not normally have such adventurous tastes.
Moshi is located in Al Barsha across from the Citymax Hotel, with enough space to seat about 15 people. As their social media manager explains, Moshi was designed with college kids in mind who should feel equally comfortable visiting in their PJs as they would with their vegetarian grandmothers who have never before eaten sushi. I’m paraphrasing a bit, but you get the gist. In other words, don’t go here expecting a traditional Japanese sushi bar.
Moshi was founded by a clever young Indian chap named Rahul who grew up in Dubai and is a bit of a cook himself. He works with his team to develop all of Moshi’s recipes and you’ll even find him lending a hand in the kitchen. (Bear in mind this also means you’ll get a hit of chili in some of the dishes that you may not be expecting.)
In fact, you can tell that this is a millennial outfit because not only are they super-hot on social media (check them out on Twitter and Instagram) but they’re also avid CSR advocates, contributing 5% of their revenue to feed local construction workers.
On top of that, they have a loyal following of those in the know, they’ve recently made Zomato’s Super Sushi collection, and the aforementioned signature Cheesy Chips Oman maki roll is well-known among Dubai’s foodie circles.
And when you go there, you’ll know why. This hidden gem is such a find that you almost don’t want to share it with your friends.
This restaurant is casual and fun. You get the novelty value of their inventive sushi and momos, but you also get a darn good meal. It turns out that this is also a great option for vegetarians or for healthy eaters. Plus, you’ll get a lot of great snaps for Insta.
Don’t live near Al Barsha? No worries. They’re opening a second branch soon in Oud Metha with enough seating for at least 60, and they’ll deliver as far as Sharjah with a minimum order of AED 200 or Abu Dhabi with a minimum order of AED 300.
Keep reading at your own risk. You’re going to get hungry!
Arabic maki rolls? Never thought I’d say those words in the same sentence. But Moshi effortlessly combines classic Arabic ingredients and gives them a Japanese twist. In the fore is the Falafel, Hummous and Cucumber Maki. In the back is the Cheesy Chips Oman Maki, inspired by the UAE’s unofficial national dish, the Chips Oman sandwich.
You’ve already seen the close-up of the Cheesy Chips Oman Maki. Below is the Falafel Maki, which is served with a tahini dipping sauce. The traditionalist in me found the sushi rice a bit too tightly compressed for my liking, but I still loved the unusual flavour combination.
The Moshi Dynamite Roll was one of my favourites. This is a more traditional maki roll of avocado, prawn and crab stick drizzled with a homemade spicy sauce, tobiko and spring onions.
Extreme close-up of the bright orange tobiko which are ready to pop in my mouth.
Below are the Soft Shell Crab and Prawn Tempura Maki Rolls, both coated with panko crumbs to give it a crunch.
Clearly I’m not a vegetarian, but the great thing about Moshi is that they have so many veggie options. Below is the Asparagus and Cream Cheese Maki, an item which hasn’t yet made it to the menu but which I’m sure you can request. Veggies can also choose from Mushroom and Asparagus, Tofu, Eggplant, Hummous and Cucumber, and much more.
Moshi even offers their own version of the Vietnamese fresh spring roll which they call Air Rolls. They leave out the seaweed and instead wrap the fillings in a layer of rice, lettuce and rice paper. Below are three varieties from back to front: Chicken Tikka, Chicken Katsu, and Chicken Thai Green Curry. To make it even healthier, they’ll omit the sauce or the rice as you wish.
I fear the maki rolls have got all the attention, but the momos deserve some love too.
Dare I say these were the best momos I’ve eaten outside of Nepal. You can have them steamed, pan-fried or deep-fried, in a number of meat and veg varieties including paneer and spinach, edamame, or buffalo. My favourite was this gorgeous piece of perfection below, the cheesy chicken capsicum.
But wait! This place is not just sushi and momos! They also have a small selection of rice and noodles, plus salads and other light bites. Below are the Veg Fried Noodles served with Moshi’s special spicy sauce. And it only gets better – the dough of their noodles is completely made by hand!
Below is a new item on the Moshi menu, the Chicken Sticky Fried Rice. This is not a traditional flavoured fried rice, since as you can gather, everything here has the special Moshi touch. There was so much flavour in this fried rice. Slightly sweet, slightly sticky, slightly spicy, and super delicious.
Why not cap off your meal with a Moshi Salad? This colourful salad is made of shredded red cabbage, lettuce, carrots, a sweet chili dressing and crushed peanuts on top.
Moshi also offers a range of milkshakes, including the Kinder Bueno Milkshake below.
And last but not least, you must have some sweet maki rolls. The Nutella Maki below are crepes rolled with Nutella drizzled with even more Nutella – gluttonous. To the right are their healthier dessert option – peanut butter bars which are not too sweet and taste a bit like protein bars.
Verdict: There are so many things to love about this place. From the fun and inventive menu, to the delicious sushi and momos, to their CSR initiative, to the extensive vegetarian options, to the free parking and wi-fi. The only drawback is the size of the restaurant, so time your visit carefully or order for delivery.
Note to self: I love Moshi!
Al Raha Building, opposite Citymax Hotel
Behind Mall of the Emirates
Al Barsha 1
Tel: 800 66744
Chow for now!