New Sushi restaurant opens in McMinnville

Gabriel Nair, Staff writer

Local college students all know about the sushi bar, Sushi Kyo.  But what they may not know about is the new Sushi bar that recently opened: Momiji.  This Sushi bar has an array of different traditional Japanese food.

Momiji can provide everything from the traditional Miso Soup and Gyoza to the classic Sushi nigiri and sushi rolls to even regular Japanese entrees such as Yakisoba or Chicken katsu.  This past Wednesday, photographer John Christensen and I went and to take a look and sample some of the food that this new Sushi restaurant has to offer.

Christensen decided to go with the Salem Roll and the Honey Bee Roll.  The Honey Bee Roll is from the premium rolls section of the menu while the Salem Roll is from the tempura rolls section.  The Honey Bee Roll is made of smoked salmon, mango, cream cheese, cucumbers, spice tuna, honey, spicy sauce, seeds, crumbs, and green onions. This roll gave me pure bliss. The taste started off very creamy, but not too creamy before the taste of the mango kicked in.  But the mango flavor wasn’t overwhelming, but just right and the roll was topped off by just the right amount of spiciness.

The Salem Roll, however, was very underwhelming.  John and I both had high hopes for this roll, but it was very one dimensional, unlike the Honey Bee Roll. The Salem Roll is made of avocado, cream cheese, imitation crab, fried tempura, spicy sauce and eel sauce. The only thing that this roll had going for it was its creaminess.  The creaminess was just right, but after tasting the Honey Bee Roll, the Salem Roll fell flat.

I chose two rolls, the Miso Sexy Roll and the Godzilla Roll, but I also tried two different pieces of nigiri Sushi: tuna, or maguro, and blackened tuna.  The Miso Sexy Roll was my favorite roll of the four different that I tried.  The Miso Sexy is made of tempura salmon, asparagus, avocado, real crab, miso paste, grilled onions, sriacha, spicy, and eel sauce.  This roll was nice and smoky.  The meat was cooked perfectly and the sauces complimented the roll perfectly.

The Godzilla Roll was just as delicious as the Miso Sexy.  The Godzilla is made of spicy tuna, albacore tuna, escolar, avocado, grilled onions, fried tempura, fish roe, and eel sauce.  The Godzilla Roll had the perfect amount of crunchiness, and the filling was extremely delicious.  The filling of avocado and the other fish was satisfying.

The nigiri were very delectable as well.  The rice tasted just perfect, it wasn’t too soggy and not too sticky.  The fish that Momiji used did not taste too fishy, and dissolved easily in my mouth.  But of the two nigiri, my favorite was the blackened tuna.  That fish tasted brighter and smoother, but also had a little kick from the blackening and spices.  The blackening is achieved by using a blowtorch.

The final part of the meal was strawberry mochi ice cream.  Mochi is a Japanese rice cake that is pounded into pasted and then molded into shape before being filled in with ice cream.  The mocha ice cream can only be described in one way: “The perfect, refreshing end to a great meal” as described by Photographer John S. Christensen.

Momiji is open 9 a.m to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and closes at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It is located at NE, 913 OR-99W, McMinnville, Ore., 97128.

Another restaurant opening in McMinnville soon is IHOP.  IHOP opens next Tuesday.

When asked about RA Dylan Clemons had this to say: “I am excited to have another place to eat in McMinnville.”

There have also been rumors of a MOD Pizza opening in McMinnville.  Unfortunately, those rumors are just rumors.  According to the company, there are no plans to open up in McMinnville.