Best Of 2020

Best Yoshoku Ramen Pop-Up: Mochiko

Best Yoshoku Ramen Pop-Up

Pining for a new taste of Japan in the Queen City? Track down Mochiko’s next pop-up dinner. This culinary endeavor takes inspiration from a style of Japanese cuisine known as “yoshoku,” which infuses Western recipes with Eastern ingredients and sensibilities. Erik Bentz cooks the savories and Elaine Townsend bakes the sweets. If you’ve explored all of the city’s ramen options, you owe it to yourself to experience a bowl of Bentz’s incredibly thoughtful noodle soup. Mochiko gets its noodles from Keizo Shimamoto, who operated New York’s acclaimed Ramen Shack. Shimamoto now makes noodles in small batches and Bentz figures a Mochiko pop-up is the only place to eat them outside of New York City. He also excels at dishes like karaage, omirice and gyokai tsukemen. Townsends’ variety of sweet pastries and confections walk the same line with creations like blueberry sticky buns dusted with kinako (roasted soybean flour that tastes kind of like peanut butter), ume kouign-amann (a French croissant-like pastry glazed with syrup made from salted and pickled Japanese plums) and even Hong Kong milk tea donuts. They have plans to open a physical location of their own, so keep your eyes open. Mochiko, facebook.com/mochikocincy.