Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Moshi Moshi or Sayonara?

It wasn’t the catchy restaurant name that got us barging in Moshi Moshi at Regis Center, Katipunan. Neither was it the green and white interior that dared to scream animo verde in Blue Eagle territory. It was gluttony, really—the Japanese Kitkats that decorated the walls sucked us like a magnet, as we hoped would be freely given out as we made our googly-eyed, kawaii entry.

However there were no Kitkats or even mochi to spare, only J-pop that was more sappy Saizen than bouncy One Piece. With that chirpy reception, it was difficult to detect what the actual humans bellowed in welcome, whether it was a Moshi Moshi, banzai or even Baka! (“stupid”).

With this line-up-and-order method, it was midway between fastfood and fine dining or simply put, the BonChon Chicken style of speeding things up. BonChon Chicken, coincidentally, happens to be the neighboring stall, so this must be a Regis Center Oriental-mad-dash-express-eating trend.

I did learn one lesson: Never flip the placemat, expecting more food, or suffer, stare at and endure the Moshi Moshi mascot's evil grin.

Moshi Moshi has a limited menu assortment and sadly, does not offer my Japanese cuisine staples: tofu and noodles. It was a purely rice-and-viand feast, a splendor to the rice eaters but devastation to those upholding I-want-something-else-but-rice. Do not expect maki or sashimi to make a cameo either because this place is fast food, express meals for the third world diners, devoid of gourmet, sake and Kitkat.

In an effort to maintain harmonious relations with our manga mates, I forbade my brother from sneaking in food from nearby Bonchon, despite the nagging temptation of cluck-cluck chicken. It was Moshi Moshi all the way, grease streak and carbo fest, and meals finished in a couple of minutes.

[caption id="attachment_1353" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Takoyaki"][/caption]

The Takoyaki was cheap, perfectly seasoned and topped with gigantic bonito flakes. I spied bits of tako (octopus) that were not consistently spread among the 6 plump balls. This led me to think that my octopus meal was born with only 3 legs. Poor thing. The batter was too soft and rather undercooked, that if takoyaki would come in sashimi form, this is how it would taste and look like. Since I’ve developed this strange fondness for the three-legged octopus and its offspring, I choose to promote its longevity and abstain from octopus dishes from now on. Tentacle swear.

[caption id="attachment_1350" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Okonomiyaki"][/caption]

The Okonomiyaki was thoroughly baked and more nourished with greens, which at least made me feel like I was finally ingesting something aside from dough. Still, the same set of seasoning made it feel like eating takoyaki again, except that this require more chewing power. Interestingly, the okonomiyaki was the most expensive item in our receipt and so the hopes on this one were sky high. If there’s such thing as typical okonomiyaki, then this marks the tiny spot. However if I were to pursue the real okonomiyaki, then we’d have to drive far South (ahem, ahem Pasay Road) for that.

[caption id="attachment_1351" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Chicken Karaage"][/caption]

I expected the Chicken Karaage to be plump, breaded and filled with soy goodness. What we got were flouredchicken chops leaving grease stains on bond paper. The mini mayo siding served more as an ornament than an actual sauce, leaving a dry and papery after taste which water alone cannot save. It was the excess Takoyaki sauce that saved the day, now if only it was available in thermoses as well.

[caption id="attachment_1352" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Tendon Bowl"][/caption]

The rice bowls are available in regular and level up, which is of no consequence or appeal to me since the thought of “more rice” can only bring horror and muffin tops. The Tendon Bowls purchased by my closest kin did seem to do the job of filling them up, but as for gastronomic satisfaction, the fact that my Ossan kept on mentioning “un-fresh oil” can only mean the negative. However Onichan did take his time finishing his bowl, giving rise to the conclusion that oldies may have a thing for grease, but the Blue Eagles will always have a hungry welcome for Moshi Moshi.

As for me, it’s more of “Ja ne, Moshi Moshi!” After all, with so many interesting restaurants sprouting along Katipunan, there are so many others that this Maroon-blooded, green archer can choose from the blue highway. Do I hear cluck-cluck or something sweet and inspiring?


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