Even though I love sushi and sashimi with all my heart, it took me about four months of living in Seattle to finally visit a Japanese restaurant. And although I’ve heard about how amazing Seattle’s Japanese food scene is, I’m so delighted that the first restaurant I went to was Momiji.
Momiji Seattle is located right in the center of what local’s would call “Seattle”. Located in Pike/Pine in the Capitol Hill District, Momiji is an easy uber from anywhere in Seattle. Or a gorgeous walk if you have the energy for it. If you want the full experience of a Japanese Restaurant, visit Momiji Seattle. With an extensive menu, high quality food, and peaceful ambiance, Momiji will be sure to delight anyone.
Momiji hit the nail on the head of appropriate ambiance. Don’t let it’s small front mislead you, this restaurant opens up in the back to sit many parties, while still giving you an intimate feel.
As you walk into the main seating area, a small outdoor Japanese garden enclosed by glass will welcome you. The main seating area is broken up into two areas on either side of the garden, allowing all parties to enjoy the scenery.
For a restaurant with high quality food, Momiji offers plenty of variety. their dinner menu includes kyoto style dishes, both a raw and grilled bar, sushi, sashimi, noodles, soups, an option of steamed, fried, or grilled plates, and even a vegetarian menu. This menu will make anyone in your party happy, especially if sushi tends to intimidate them.
My favorite part about their menu is that it gives you the option to explore or play it safe. They have plenty of more comfortable dishes such as gyoza, shrimp tempura, or udon. While it also satifies the adventurer with monkfish liver, sea urchin, and quail egg.
Vegetarian/vegan: Yes. Although much smaller, the vegetarian menu will be sure to surprise you with incredible flavors.
Alcohol: Yes, it’s Seattle. (Haha). Momiji has a lengthy cocktail, sake, and Japanese whiskey menu to satisfy anyone.
Sashimi pieces price between $3-8 per piece. A plate of 21 pieces of sashimi is priced at $40. I personally always get a sashimi plate at Japanese restaurants, because it’s much more cost effective than choosing your own pieces of sashimi. However, I had a difficult time choosing what to eat based on cost. If money is not an issue for you, you’ll be able to go to town. But if you have to chose where you can eat based on prices, save this restaurant for once in a while. It’s definitely worth going to, but probably not somewhere most people could afford to go on a weekly basis.
Most of the specialty sushi rolls cost ~$18 each, which is pricier than your average sushi joint. My oyster shooter was $7. Between a plate of sashimi, a cup of rice, an oyster shooter, and sake, I spent $74 on myself, including tip.
Value for Price [5/5]
Although I spent more than I wanted to, the price was totally worth it. The price matched the quality as well the amount of food served. The average specialty roll was ~$18, but rolls must have been at least 15 pieces each. When I get sushi rolls, I typically eat 2-3 rolls, while at Momiji I could have easily filled up on a single specialty roll.
The fish served on the Chef’s Sashimi special was fresh and serving on a gorgeous thin, long platter on a bed of purple and green seaweed and daikon radish. I actually enjoyed it compared to the large, elaborate platters made at some standard Sushi restaurants.
The sushi rolls were absolutely delicious and incredibly put together. Each roll looked distinctly different, and was held together tightly. I was most impressed by the eel roll, as the eel was well cooked rather than falling apart (which can often be seen at some lower end sushi restaurants). Nothing was too over sauced, and deprived of flavor.
Our server was excellent. He was professional, checked on us just enough, and wiped our table between dishes. He did forget a soup but came back in the middle of the meal to mention it.
The 3/5 is for a floor manager (?). Our table was very wobbly, and touching it made our drinks spill a little bit on the table. The floor manager came around and we asked if she could put a wedge (or anything) under the table to keep it balanced, and she said yes and never came back. But, she was in our area the entire night. Wobbly tables affect people’s experience. But, you can’t fix a wobbly table during service, all you can do is put something to wedge under one of the legs to make it stable enough to make people feel comfortable eating on it. She may have been busy, but it would have taken 60 seconds to get a piece of cardboard, rock, or folded up napkin to put under a leg to fix it (or to tell someone else to fix it).
4/5, simply because I have no complaints. If you didn’t notice anything, it must be clean. And I didn’t notice a thing. As a Nutmegger, I’m still getting used to tables be cleaned frequently during service. I don’t know if I’ve never noticed this in my life before, or not many places in Connecticut wipe tables during service. Regardless, I like it!
Momiji is right in the center of what a local would call “Seattle”. Located in the Capitol Hill district, you can hit a few small (but gorgeous ) city parks after, a farmers market, some shopping, a fun bar or brewery or even hit up a club. Momiji is a 25 minute walk, or 7 minute uber to Pike Place. In the opposite direction, it’s just a 10 minute uber to the Washington Arboretum. But don’t want to go far? You can see Mount Rainier from a look out point at Volunteer Park, just a 5 minute uber north (or a 20 minute walk).
But is it late at night? Just around the corner is Capitol Hill’s famous Unicorn, a carnival themed bar with the city’s best corn dogs and a sex toy claw machine. Sound a little too wild for your taste? Walk one block south to find Tavern Law. Inside Tavern Law, behind a vaulted door, is a speakeasy called Needle & Thread. Relive the Prohibition Era by having it’s bartenders design customized drinks for every guest. Want more Touristy things? It’s only a 12 minute uber to Seattle Center, where you’ll see the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Museum of Pop Culture, and the Pacific Science Center.
Visit Momiji Seattle
Make a reservation at Momiji at www.momijiseattle.com