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MoschMosch

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Hauptstraße 136 69117 Heidelberg

The void created by the closure of Mr. Whang’s restaurant left the busy Heidelberg Hauptstraße without a good Japanese establishment for several months.  Only a few weeks ago, though, a new restaurant reopened the doors here for the first time in a while.  MoschMosch, a Japanese noodle bar franchise in Germany, has confidently stepped in and taken on the responsibility of providing locals and tourists an alternative choice to the often heavy meal options in the surrounding German restaurants.

 

MoschMosch maintains a modern, stylish look that makes it seem almost out of place in comparison to some of the rustic establishments nearby.  Upon entering the place, guests are immediately drawn to the calming neutral color scheme inside.  Seating arrangements are dominated by natural wood fixtures – wooden tables and square stools.  Contemporary light fixtures further add to the chic and trendy design.  A bar area towards the back of the restaurant will also attract your eye’s attention, as will the large colorful caricature of a Japanese geisha – MoschMosch’s mascot.  The dining atmosphere itself is nonchalant and casual.

A good number of staff workers are always on hand, even when the place isn’t teeming with patrons, which is certainly a positive since you are almost immediately served.  Disposable chopsticks are provided, but standard utensils are also available.  A high level of cleanliness is maintained at MoschMosch.

Tables are all set with paper-thin menu placemats awaiting visitors at each seat.  While waiting for service, guests can learn a little bit of the Japanese language from the tiny phrase book section on the sheet.  The food and drink listings aren’t overly large by any means.  Rather, it is smartly focused on particularly popular noodle bar items.

 

For appetizers, one can order Japanese potstickers (gyoza) with various fillings, yakitori sticks, edamame, miso soup, and summer and egg rolls, among other things.  For main dishes, there are a few salad items, a handful of different types of ramen noodle soups with varying accompaniments, rice bowl dishes (donburi), and fried noodle dishes such as yakisoba and yakiudon.  Also on the menu are meals ideal for the summer, rightfully labeled summer dishes.  Drinks include a short list of wines and beers (including Sapporo Japanese brand beer).  MoschMosch also features its own homemade ice tea and lemonade, which are both refreshing.  The iced tea, though, is tastier and the sweeter of the two.

 

Despite a few minor drawbacks, yakisoba – ramen style noodles stir fried in yakisoba sauce – is worth ordering.  A truly versatile dish, the fried noodles are accompanied by an interesting medley of fresh vegetables, including carrots, green onion, cabbage, sliced mushrooms, and bean sprouts.  Sesame seeds and strips of seaweed top off the dish.  A small lime wedge is also given.  Meat can be added for a small extra fee.  For instance, adding chicken to the dish will add an additional 1,75 € to the 6,75 € price tag for a standard yakisoba.

There is a generous amount of meat and vegetables in the dish, more than the noodles will allow for.  With the large assortment of vegetables featured, there is quite a colorful amount of textures and flavors going on.  Crunchy bean sprouts and carrots complement the spongy noodles and the moist, juicy pieces of chicken.  The sesame seeds add a great nutty flavor, the seaweed a wonderful, nutritious dimension.  In an order of chicken yakisoba, the chicken is really well seasoned and a tad bit spicy.  The tiny pieces of meat offer another brilliant burst of flavor.

Consistency, though, appears to be a problem.  On one visit, the noodles were not flavored well with the yakisoba sauce.  At times, the noodles would be concentrated and full of flavor; in other areas of the dish, tasteless.  But fortunately, you can find condiments at each table to add flavor to the dish.  There is soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, as well as seasoning powder with chili flakes (not really spicy).

 

The Katsudon is a great choice for diners just diving into Japanese cuisine.  Katsudon is essentially Japanese style schnitzel on rice.  The dish is served in a large bowl filled with white rice and topped with various grilled vegetables – cabbage, sliced carrots, red bell peppers, and mushrooms – and pork cutlet.  The pork is breaded wonderfully with panko breadcrumbs, deep-fried until crisp, and topped with a chili soy sauce.  Sprinkled on top are sesame seeds.  The pork is tender and very flavorful.  Rice is also cooked well.  Unfortunately, the given amount of pork is insufficient for the quantity of rice.  Fortunately, the grilled vegetables make up for it.

Five different desserts can be ordered, each priced at 4 euros.  The Ti-La-Mi-Su is nothing to write home about.  Instead of lady finger biscuits, layers of cake are sandwiched between layers of cream.  Cocoa powder is dusted on top and the cold dessert is served with refreshing mint leaves.  The cake has bits of nuts within, providing a nice texture.  But as far as flavor is concerned, the tiramisu is merely a yawn.

 

A better option might be the Bananen-Frühlingsrollen, which are essentially banana spring rolls.  Drizzled on top of the hot, crisp rolls is a generous serving of viscous honey.  The banana rolls are sweet and have a delicate outer layer that works perfectly with the fruit.  It tastes like corn flakes with bananas and warm honey.  The honey adds an extra amount of sweetness to the dish and brings it all together.  Although the rolls are slightly greasy, the dish is a delightful snack and a fine way to end your meal.

 

Though far from serving up truly authentic and traditional dishes, MoschMosch makes a fine attempt at introducing a portion of Japanese cuisine into the mainstream.  After all, most Europeans associate sushi with Japanese and not much else.  With its simple, yet modern, interior, fresh ingredients, and its enjoyable number of noodle and rice entrées, MoschMosch is a good indication of the growing appreciation for international cuisine here in Germany.

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Summary:

With a handful of locations all around Germany, MoschMosch is a successful franchise of Japanese noodle bar restaurants serving up a number of appetizing noodle and rice dishes at moderate prices.  Most main dishes under 10 euros.  Service with a smile.

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
            Sundays and Holidays: 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM

 

Overall – 4 stars

  • Yakisoba mit Hühnchen – 4/5
  • Katsudon – 4.5/5
  • Ti-La-Mi-Su – 3/5
  • Bananen-Frühlingsrollen – 4.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.moschmosch.com/

Written by geschmack

June 28th, 2010 at 11:40 pm