August 15, 2019

Japanese-Inspired Pop-Up Mochiko Blends Innovation and Tradition to Create Artful Eats

Mochiko is a new Cincinnati culinary endeavor that takes inspiration from a style of Japanese cuisine known as “yoshoku,” which incorporates Western recipes with Eastern ingredients and sensibilities. Elaine Townsend bakes the sweets and Erik Bentz cooks the savories. If you've dined at Money Chicken or Pleasantry in the past few months, it's possible you've seen adverts for one of Mochiko's pop-up events. Bentz’s ramen, omurice and fried katsu cutlets are served alongside Townsend’s beautiful and diverse range of pastries and desserts. This duo has already established a cult-like following with some devotees that have yet to miss a meal since their first event in May. Their latest dinner at Money Chicken sold out in the first hour. Follow Mochiko on Instagram @mochikocincy to find out when you can get a chance to try their dinner menu at the next pop-up.
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Mochiko owners Elaine Townsend and Erik Bentz
Mochiko owners Elaine Townsend and Erik Bentz
A bowl of tori shoyu ramen
A bowl of tori shoyu ramen
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.
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.
Japanese-Inspired Pop-Up Mochiko Blends Innovation and Tradition to Create Artful Eats
Shoyu tare — the soy sauce-based concentrate that really makes ramen such a distinct dish
Shoyu tare — the soy sauce-based concentrate that really makes ramen such a distinct dish
Japanese-Inspired Pop-Up Mochiko Blends Innovation and Tradition to Create Artful Eats
Japanese-Inspired Pop-Up Mochiko Blends Innovation and Tradition to Create Artful Eats
Japanese-Inspired Pop-Up Mochiko Blends Innovation and Tradition to Create Artful Eats
Bentz's ramen features tender char siu (essentially Chinese barbecued pork), sliced chicken breast, boiled egg, pickled bamboo shoots and sliced scallion. He tops it with chi-yu — clarified rendered chicken fat from bones provided by TS Farms in New Vienna, Ohio — to give it a beautiful sheen, and a nori garnish.
Bentz's ramen features tender char siu (essentially Chinese barbecued pork), sliced chicken breast, boiled egg, pickled bamboo shoots and sliced scallion. He tops it with chi-yu — clarified rendered chicken fat from bones provided by TS Farms in New Vienna, Ohio — to give it a beautiful sheen, and a nori garnish.
Gyokai tsukemen: cold noodles dipped in a separate bowl of hot seafood broth with an egg and pork
Gyokai tsukemen: cold noodles dipped in a separate bowl of hot seafood broth with an egg and pork