Posted April 13, 2015
By SIYUAN TONG
Momi Gyoza Bar, a newly opened Japanese restaurant in downtown Brickell, will probably be a small disappointment for diners with high expectations.
A small U-shaped room with three long communal tables, orange dim light and pop music in the background, this was all I saw and heard when I stepped into Momi Gyoza Bar.
Without the choice of having our own table, my friend Linda and I had to share a table with many other diners. While some people actually argue that this is a nice family style, I believe there should be more people like me prefer a bit more private space instead of huddling in the middle of other guests.
The décor of the restaurant was not bad, but I just felt it is a little short of what a Japanese restaurant should be. There was not much decoration on the white walls, except some red metallic chains, which I did not even know how that fitted with the whole theme of the restaurant. The pop music in the background was also a distraction and out of my expectation in a so-called Japanese restaurant.
When we walked into the restaurant, nobody was there to tell us where to sit. Only a waitress gave us a glance and told us to pick a seat ourselves. Preferring a more quite area, we sat on the less crowded table behind the wall, and then found ourselves totally ignored.
We had to ask for a passing by waiter to get the menu — a piece of paper, which I literally thought that was the take out menu for a second. Looking through the menu, I was surprised by the high prices — $7 for a bowl of miso soup and $3.99 for only one “Pickle Veggie + Mushroom Dumpling.”
However, I still underestimated how much the meal would cost because the food is not only expensive itself, its quantity was not that much as well. The “pork pan sear gyoza” I ordered did have 12 pieces as it promised on the menu, but each gyoza only had a little filling inside. The “Hong Kong pork sausage hot pot rice” that Linda ordered came out as a cute tiny pot with a relatively big wooden base.
“Eighteen bucks for such a small pot of rice?” Linda was a bit shocked, “though I thought the quantity might not be that much, this is still beyond my imagination.”
The food was good however. Both the gyoza and the hot pot rice were well cooked. We did enjoy the taste of the food, but we cannot enjoy them for too long due to their amount—they can be finished very quickly. Was the food worth the money? I would say no. Yes, it was delicious, but not amazing, and the portions were all very small.
I was not sure if the food was truly in Japanese style, except for some well-recognized Japanese food like ramen. Apparently there were plenty of dim sum choices like all kinds of steam dumplings on the menu. I could totally go to somewhere like South Garden Chinese Restaurant or some other Chinese restaurants in Miami for some cheap and probably better-quality dim sum.
The service in the restaurant was another thing that bothered me. Besides the long waiting for the menu to come, it also took forever to find our waitress. She never came back after handing us the food and we waited at least five minutes to get her and ask for check.
As a sister restaurant of Momi Ramen few steps away, Momi Gyoza Bar gave it a try for more variety of food type. Taking the whole experience, I would not say it is a perfect restaurant to try. However, if you do not care that much about the ambiance and the service, but just want to enjoy some food and have plenty of cash in your pocket, it should not be a bad choice.
- Momi Gyoza Bar
- 1036 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Fla. 33130
- Price: $$$
- Cash only
- Rating: three out of five stars – decent food; fair décor; not that good service