11 August 2015
Mommi ticks all the right boxes; a kicking vibe, DJ decks, Japanese/Latino fusion and rather contrived, urban art on the walls (apparently the artist is the brother of an Aussie starlet no less). It's pedigree is from the team behind Camden's KOKO. This was my second visit to make sure I was not jumping to conclusions or for that matter experiencing something out of the ordinary.
A limited South American wine list offers a couple of easy choices (try the Uruguayan Albarino) and is good value - bottles are a all GBP25.00
Cocktails are excellent - Original Pisco Sours executed perfectly but are GBP8.50 a pop, so quite dangerous to get stuck into.
The raw bar also seems to please and the sashimi of Tuna we had worked well. The ceviches on the other hand are not what one would expect if you have spent any time in Latin America (specifically Chile and Peru). The problem with Mommi is that their enthusiasm for fusion seems to have grown into a passion for sweetening anything and an obsession with Sweet Potato in so many of their dishes. Sweet potato, why?? Is it my imagination, or are restaurants around London sweetening our food surreptitiously?
I asked our very helpful waitress for the most traditional ceviche having tried the sea bass and salmon 'Pisco Sour' on my first visit. I was advised to try the Lobster & yellow tail. As with my first visit, the result was tasty, but not what I'd expected, and sadly far too sweet for what I wanted. Ceviche should be chilled, tart and with a hint of chilli heat, not sweet and at room temperature. Some may find this delicious, I find it sickly and off-putting.
From the Robata Grill we had the scallops and peas. they were fresh, excellent and sitting on superb crushed peas. Chicken Teriyaki with Quinoa was slimy and dull. The salmon & beetroot was deemed good, not spectacular and the Long stemmed Broccoli average.
From the Hot Kitchen the Purple Potato croquettes were a terrible mistake, floury, dull and remained 80% uneaten - small bites taken by all three at dinner and not one finished- in fact one mouthful reappeared and quickly disappeared into my friend's napkin it was so disliked.
Crispy Pork Bites came with three small pieces of pork and masses of pieces of sweet potato - enough to irritate the most mild-mannered of diners. The sweet potato was listed as an accompaniment and not the star of the show, yet was the only thing visible when the dish arrived. The minuscule amount of pork bite we could find was very good.
The pork belly, again with the dreaded sweet potato was average, lacking texture, combined with the sweet potato it tasted like baby food.
Short rib Teriyaki with Quinoa did not fare much better deemed equally as sickly sweet as our original ceviche. The caramelised giant Peruvian corn also remained largely uneaten, as again was so sweet it overpowered the supposedly tempering influence of Yuzu of which no essence was discernible at all.
If you have a sweet tooth, like sticky glutinous food and love, and I emphasise, really love sweet potato, you'll be in heaven. As for the rest of us who have average tastes bordering on the savoury, you'll either have to order very carefully or steer clear.
On first arriving I wondered why such a superbly turned out place wasn't packed. They hold a proportion of the tables back for walk-ins, so that could be the answer, but I think it has something to do with the fact they are operating in a bubble with a sugar coated belief regarding what people should be eating rather than what they want to eat. Cuisine wise they've lost my support I'm afraid.
Last dinner was GBP175 for three including four Pisco Sours and one bottle of Albarino.