Yesterday Eater shared news about Moshi Moshi’s big debut to the public in Tacoma (110 N Tacoma Ave.), and today presents a very first look at the menu, filled with Japanese dishes made entirely on-site, from ramen noodles in vegan broth to miso, vinegar, and shoyu.
Chef Aaron Grissom, who’s leading the kitchen for owners Buoy Ngov and Yu Nanakornphanom (Indo Street Eatery), is a Tacoma native and self-described “ramen head” who’s excited to bring some of the noodle soup experiences he loved in Los Angeles back to his hometown. That includes real options for diners with a variety of preferences, like a vegan ramen broth. “Modifying our cooking mentalities, I don’t think that existed here in Tacoma much, but we wanted a wholesome bowl of noodles for vegans and vegetarians,” Grissom said. “I carried that with me from LA, which is saturated with preference and allergies.”
At the moment, the vegan ramen is the only one being served with Moshi Moshi noodles, as Grissom is still gathering the right equipment to ramp up production and make all of the noodles on-site with a kitchen team that includes “ramen all-star” Adam Mickelson, formerly of Austin’s iconic Ramen Tatsu-ya. The vegan broth is made with shiitake mushrooms, kombu, and wakama seaweed, soaked overnight to flavor the water, then blended with brown rice miso and black soybean miso aged for half a year each as well as shio and shoyu koji. Koji is the sweet inoculated rice grain that ferments miso, sake, and many other Japanese products. “I treat miso like my children, name them after friends I made in Japan — I’m nerded out,” Grissom said.
The vegan ramen is also currently the only meat-free dish on the menu, whose carnivore-approved dishes include pork belly bao with kumquat, dashi-fried chicken karaage, a pork katsu sandwich with dried prune sauce, and all four yakitori skewers, like pork meatball and chicken thigh. And the restaurant’s signature broth is the milky, pork bone-based tonkotsu. “We’re influenced by Kyushu [home of tonkotsu ramen], but it’s not true tonkotsu, it’s rich but with other flavors and roundness from true fermented skipjack tuna katsuobushi and kombu. It’s a well-balanced soup.” The dish is finished with items like wood ear mushroom, tamago (soft-boiled egg), and kakuni (pork belly simmered in a flavorful sauce).
It’s all meant to pair perfectly with Japanese alcohol like sake and shochu and creative cocktails like the Paper Crane with Japanese whisky, Aperol, Cardamaro, and yuzu.
Grissom said he believes with restaurants like Indo Street Eatery and Moshi Moshi, Tacoma has turned a corner in its food culture. “I think we’re attempting to be a progressive city, trying to do good food without being pretentious, while sticking to who we are: blue collar and gritty, but that doesn’t mean we can’t care about our food and technique.”
Moshi Moshi Tacoma Opening Menu Page 1, April 2018 by Adam on Scribd
Moshi Moshi Tacoma Opening Menu Page 2, April 2018 by Adam on Scribd