43 Bogart St
City: Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 418-6666
Site: Visit the restaurant site
2nd Cuisine: Family Friendly
Payment: Cash only
Reminiscent of a street food shop in Japan, Moku Moku has a carefully casual, Bushwick air. It started as a waiting area for Mo Mo sushi shack and remains connected by an open door so, if you’re looking for the “Japanese comfort food” spot, pay attention.
Long wooden tables span the austere room where cooks do their thing in full view. The place is new and we were early so the only waitstaff was a very helpful young woman who cheerfully explained menu items and brought our orders. The place is barebones, on everyone’s radar and very good. There are plenty of drink options including beer and wine with four or five types of sake you can enjoy hot or cold; the six ounce glass is a generous pour.
The menu showcases groupings like Skewers, Chicken, Oven, Grill and Stove and there’s a separate specials menu.
Following some of the suggestions offered, my dining partner and I selected both the vegetable and the chicken set. They were preceded by the Moku salad of mizuna, grilled asparagus, radish and other veggies tossed with sesame dressing. A bowl of classic miso soup came along. Chicken is selected by part: we opted for a thigh skewer, a breast skewer spiced with togarashi paste ($3) and a regular breast—the results all arrive as bite sized pieces. The veg skewers, composed of whatever is good at the market; turned up as five pieces of a slightly spicy crescent-shaped pepper; four mushroom hunks, cherry tomatoes and okra, all delicious. Six kinds of salt—rosemary, ebi (shrimp), yuzu and others-- each in its own dish, are provided for dipping. Finally, we were each presented with a “veg onagri,” i, e., that translates as a large rice triangle with various bits inside, the outside light brown and crispy.
Other chicken offerings are skin ($2.5), a popular item in Japan; heart and tenderloin, each priced differently, all wallet-friendly. Had we gone for Oven items, we could have eaten a chicken hamburger (at $10, the most expensive item on the menu other than the $14 chicken ramen with garlic chip) or chicken gizzard. Grilled items include the one-half pork chop or beef tongue. From the Fryer come French fries with a choice of two salts, Brussels sprouts or chicken wing with sweet soy sauce and black pepper.
Seafood is represented by skewers of fluke as well as scallops and shrimp, all seemingly very fresh with that special Japanese salty kick. According to owner Philip Gilmour, the $8 tako corndog with tender braised octopus and Japanese mayonnaise is the most sought-after menu item.
The entire place is minimalist and very cool with gluten-free and vegan offerings as expected. Not just a hipster hangout, it’s possible—and not even hard—to eat well here. It’s cash only. It’s also evenings only from 5:30 to 11 PM Sundays through Thursdays and open from 5:30 to midnight Fridays and Saturdays
Review By: Mari Gold