The last time two sisters pooled their talents to bring comfort food to NYC it was an instant hit, so Mocu-Mocu has precedent on its side. Owners-sisters Aya and Tomomi Tatsushiro are opening their casual Japanese tearoom-inspired cafe today, describing it as both western-influenced and traditional, so we’re excited to see what exactly awaits.
The 40-seat restaurant and cafe (746 10th Ave., Hell’s Kitchen) is modern but casual, serving savory and sweet dishes developed in collaboration with cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo. The menu reaches back to the early 1900s for its inspiration — Japan had just reopened its borders after a period of isolation, and American cuisine began to influence the menus in traditional Japanese cafes called kissaten.
This is where the Tatsushiros asked, and we sagely nodded, what doesn’t taste better on a pancake?
The f ocu s is on two traditional snac ks : okonomiyaki , in which a pancake plays the role of a sandwich bread, baked and served open-faced with toppings like pork belly, coconut shrimp and veggies; and obanyaki — think an overfilled dou ghnut made with pancake batter, containing two fillings and customizable toppings .
There are also soups, sides, espresso drinks made with Irving Farm beans and a full bar, as well as a walk-up window serving coffee, tea and pastries.