MoMa Bistro

If you’re a person who likes to be the first of your friends to discover a new restaurant, then psssstMoMa Bistro in Richmond has only been open for ten days!

MoMa Bistro

Owners Xin Mao and Henry Mok took over the space from Cucina Toscana, and have completely transformed it.  It’s now bright and contemporary, with candle-filled mason jars and cutlery tied with twine.

MoMa Bistro

Mao and Mok, two ambitious young chefs who went to culinary school together and have since spent time in the kitchens of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Emsemble, Cin Cin, and Cioppino.  They call their food “contemporary West Coast,” with French, Italian, and Asian influences, and combined their last names, Mok and Mao, to name the place.  It’s impressive and inspiring to see this kind of ambition, and I’m happy to say that they make really good food.

MoMa Bistro menu

I started with a refreshing little amuse bouche – a chilled ginger and carrot soup with basil oil.

amuse bouche

Then it was onto official appetizers: I had the beet, arugula, feta, and hazelnut salad with raspberry dressing.  The red and golden beets had a spiced flavour to them – I could especially taste fennel – and the peppery arugula was perfectly dressed.  This was a nice way to start.

beet salad

Next I tried the prawn fritters, which were finished with toasted sesame and seaweed, and came with a mildly spicy togarashi aioli.  They were rich, crunchy, the prawns were juicy, and I liked the earthy dusting of seaweed.

prawn fritters

The pork belly, one of their signatures, was next.  I’m picky when it comes to eating chunks of pork belly, because far too often the fatty bits have to be gnawed through.  Fortunately, MoMa served me a piece that was crispy on the outside, with layers of tender meat and soft, butter-like fat streaked through the inside.  Bravo!

pork belly

It was served with coarsely-mashed peas, pickled radish, jus, and chili oil.  My one complaint is that the peas (or were they edamame..?) weren’t salty enough.  Otherwise, I liked the kick from the chili oil and was ALL OVER that pork belly.

pork belly

I also tried their special yesterday – sous-vide rack of lamb with taro root puree, a savoury mix of mushrooms and edamame beans, and a sprinkling of a Chinese spice mixture.  Lamb is not something I typically order, but this was crazy tender and delicious.  I also loved the warmly-spiced seasoning, and it was interesting to see lamb paired with taro.

rack of lamb

Fully meat-ed out, I moved onto dessert.  I had a matcha crepe filled with red bean cream, served with crispy bread crumbs, compressed pineapple, vanilla ice cream, and strawberry sauce.

matcha crepes with red bean cream

My favourite parts of this dessert were the various garnishes– the bread crumbs, strawberry sauce, and pineapple all had more presence than the matcha crepe.  It was okay, but didn’t particularly thrill me.

MoMa-Bistro22

Overall, however, my meal at MoMa was an excellent one.  This is a style of food that speaks to Richmond’s mix of culinary styles, ambitious next wave of chefs, and general appreciation of pork belly.

MoMa Bistro

Thanks to everyone at MoMa for the great meal, I commend you for using Ocean Wise products on your menu, and  I wish you the best of luck!

 

MoMa Contemporary Bistro

8580 Cambie, Richmond BC

604-276-0576

Cash and cards accepted

Some vegetarian options available, though menu is fairly meat-heavy

I asked if I could have a tasting menu, but prices for appetizers range from $11-$15, entrees from $19-$33, and dessert from $7-$8