I’m about to say a sentence that you probably never expected to hear: there’s a new Japanese/ Peruvian fusion restaurant on Clapham High Street and it’s SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS. Mommi is the latest raw bar and grill that cooks up the freshest Ceviche and Chirashi sushi, with a healthy side of LA interior and art. I went to check it out this week, after quickly ditching the idea of Nandos (don’t judge me, I wasn’t in a good mood) when we were lured in by it’s exterior; the kind that just seems to shout “hey, forget your woes and come inside you guysssssssss!”.
I’m so glad we did. The interior is awash with black, gold and stylish booths. The bar looked incredible, hopefully a nod to the cocktails they serve. Even the loos were impeccably stylish and you can tell they’ve invested a lot of money and time on them. It was a vast improvement on the loos I used at a festival only a few days before. My life is on the up. The collaboration with LA-based photographer Ben Watts (brother of Naomi) is felt throughout, with his Vanity Fair, Nike and Rolling Stone history providing the vibes that you want to sit and dine in. I felt cooler just being in there.
Now, I’m not a huge sushi fan. Probably because my sushi experience is limited, apart from Chotto Matte in Soho which was to die for. No literally, I thought the wasabi was pureed avocado. I don’t know why I did – contrary to what these blog posts might suggest, I’m not actually an idiot and I did know what wasabi was – but it was a memorable mistake and they had to bring me tissues. I lost not only my dignity, but quite a few taste buds that day. Anyway, I came to Mommi prepared for the wasabi so it was ok.
To start we had the warm quinoa bread with Aji Panca jam, a Peruvian red pepper. A contrast between spicy and sweet with a chutney style texture, it was perfect to warm my stomach up – I wasn’t prepared to leave without having sampled most of the menu (because it was not being paid for by myself, so you’ve gotta fill your boots when you can).
You order a mix of sharing platters and you can have anything from fresh raw fish to grilled Peruvian corn drenched in truffle oil. The salmon, seabass and sweet potato Ceviche was mouthwateringly good, as well as the flame-seared beef Tataki with a coriander and onion ponzo sauce. From the grill we tried the split prawns with garlic and lime teriyaki, as well as the aforementioned corn – which was the richest, most sumptuous corn I’ve ever eaten. It’s huge, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a melt-in-the-mouth caramelised flavour. Only made better by the truffle oil and yuzu, a rare citrus Japanese superfruit. I left feeling so full and content and with the need to get back there ASAP to sample the Mommi fizz, because it contains my four favourite things: gin, champagne, lemon and watermelon.
Sushi is actually meant to be a mood-booster, with the fatty Omega-3 acids found in fish shown to reduce depression. As well as the Vitamin C in the Nori (seaweed) and the folic acid in avocado, you are good to go. PLUS, Mommi gave us the cutest things, after our dessert of Japanese pancakes and bean paste ice cream – handmade Guatemalan worry dolls! I used to collect these when I was younger, I don’t know where I got them from but I definitely had a set. I also remember having some that were sewn onto a headband. I’ll just let that image linger. But I need them more than ever now. You put them under your pillow, tell him/her your worries and it’ll take your worries away during the night. So when I got home I popped it underneath and prayed it wouldn’t come to life in the night do something creepy like cut all my hair off. But, I woke up (with a full head of hair) and the very same day I got offered a really exciting role at a magazine. I’m remarkably more worry-free than I was yesterday. Make the trip to Mommi whether you’re in a good mood or not. It’s not super cheap but for the quality I think it’s really good value. Ideal if you’re after a change, plus fusion food is totes hot right now.
People say that food can’t solve your problems – but after a trip here, I laugh in the face of that statement.
Some imagery is taken from http://www.wearemommi.com/