What happens when a passionate foodie decides to take his love for food to the next level? A smashing business idea is born, of course!
I’m talking about Rahul – a serial sushi and momos lover, who decided to initiate the Dubai residents to the joys of eating Sushi and the healthy but unheard of Nepalese Momos. Moshi (short for Momos and Sushi) provides its patrons a preview of East Asian cuisine with an intelligent twist to suit local palates.
On hearing rave reviews from our peers, Mr HD and I decided to give Moshi a shot a few days ago. Both being complete newbies to the sushi world, we thought this would be a great place to begin.
Typical to most humble beginnings, Moshi is a relatively small place with just 3-4 tables – one of them overlooking the buzzing Barsha street on the way to Mall of the Emirates. So be sure you arrive well in time. For those lazy days, Moshi also provides the convenient option of home delivery.
Coming to the spread on the menu, we were amazed to find the likes of falafel and cheesy oman chips sushi on the menu, and we knew that’s where we’d like to begin. Having devoured the same with no problem at all, we slowly progressed on to the more authentic sushi such as raw salmon. I must admit that it was much harder for me to take than Mr. HD, who welcomed the switch to raw fish.
A couple of other varieties later, we moved on to try the Nepalese Momo’s and having eaten them before elsewhere, I liked them a tad better.
Having enjoyed our sumptuous dinner downed with jars of lemon with mint, ended with Nutella Maki rolls and Peanut butter bars – we caught up with Rahul – Moshi’s flamboyant owner for a quick interview.
A big time foodie, a passionate cook – Rahul, originally Indian but born and brought up in Dubai, has a great desire to taste and experience different cuisines from around the world. He loves to cook for family and friends with an ever growing interest to experiment new flavors with twists to staple dishes.
Read about Moshi’s conception, journey and way forward in our conversation below.
Mrs. HD: How did the idea of Moshi come about?
Rahul: While studying abroad in university, I took up a further interest in cooking and cooked for my mates few times in a week. Upon returning to Dubai, I realized my passion for cooking could turn into a career for which I would love to wake up everyday. Being a perfectionist when it comes to quality, I came up with a concept of high quality food at affordable prices. I wanted to create a middle ground.
With people being skeptical given the ‘sushi is raw fish’ myth, and most of my family members being vegetarian, it kept them miles away from sushi. I decided to bring in new flavors to sushi and encourage people to try something they would normally shy away from.
I stumbled upon momos on a trip to Nepal and fell in love with the different kick in flavors as opposed to regular dumplings. Since the region was lacking this traditional Nepalese delicacy, which is steamed and healthy with a twist, I decided to devise this unique concept – MOmos & SuSHI (Moshi) under one roof!
Mrs. HD: Tell us about the early beginnings of Moshi and the response so far
Rahul: It took a year of research and recruitment with a lot of planning. A lot of late nights, hard work and running around but it has been worth it. Coming up with different flavors for the sushi and momos is always the most exciting part of it. I would say Moshi is my baby.
It had always been my dream to open a restaurant that can cater to diverse groups and encourage people to be adventurous with food. For people to have never tried sushi to absolutely loving it – not just the classics but the fusion sushi as well. And for everyone who is unsure of what momos are and how they would taste, to actually enjoying them. It brings me great joy and a sense of achievement towards my dreams.
Mrs. HD: Which is the most popular item on the menu?
Rahul: Definitely the Cheesy Chips Oman amongst the local crowd and the Dubai raised. Prawn Tempura Crispy and Pero Pero Chicken are favorites as well.
Nutella Maki undeniably has a way into people’s hearts ;).
Mrs. HD: If you went to Moshi as a customer along with 6 of your friends, what would you order?
Rahul: Haha, what wouldn’t I order?! For momos: Pero Pero Chicken, Cheese Mushroom, Potato Cheese Corn, Prawn and Cheesy Chicken Capsicum. For sushi, this one is hard as I can’t choose but definitely the Moshi Dynamite, Soft Shell Crab, Falafel Hummus Cucumber, Cheesy Chips Oman, Chicken Katsu Air Roll, Chicken Tikka Air Roll, Salmon Sashimi and some Tuna Nigiri. I would order the noodles as they are absolutely different from your regular noodles (given that they’re made in-house, by hand, from scratch).
Fried rice too, as they have the street food style taste to them!
For refreshments I would choose Lemon with Mint or the Watermelon juice. For desserts, I would definitely have the Nutella Maki, Peanut Butter Bars and some Oreo Milkshake.Wow, I’m actually hungry now. Luckily, for me, it’s all on the house 🙂
Mrs. HD: What is the best compliment Moshi has received so far
Rahul: The biggest compliment for us is seeing a satisfied and smiling customer after a meal at Moshi. When we see familiar faces walking in regularly, we know they’re hooked and are Moshians, as we call them.
Mrs. HD: Any plans of expansion in the future or new dishes to look forward to?
Rahul:For now it’s only Barsha. You should certainly expect some new fusion twists in the near future.
Mrs. HD: What is Moshi’s main aim?
Rahul: To give customers a relaxed/at-home feel. Come in your gym clothes or PJs, use a fork or eat with your hand. No one’s judging you, just be yourself and relax. Sushi doesn’t have to be a stressful cuisine to be eaten only with chopsticks and only in a formal ambience. Street food is now being served at your neighborhood quick service/casual dining restaurant.
Mrs. HD: How does Moshi do their bit?
Rahul: Giving back to the community has always been a part of my personal life. Moshi took up the opportunity to provide hot food to our community’s construction workers who have built the foundation of every luxury we have. Moshi contributes 5% from every bill, including home delivery, dine-in and take out, towards a construction workers meal. Moshi fed 500 workers last month and couldn’t help but decide to continue the cause; hoping to feed twice as many workers in the upcoming drive.
We must say that Moshi is truly a business with heart – not just for the good they do to the community but also because of the way they put so much passion in every dish that they create. We wish the team all the best, and this is one place we know we will keep going back to.
So when planning ‘the scene’ for this weekend, don’t forget to pay this friendly little place in Al Barsha a visit.
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Until next time, xoxo!