MOMO YAMA: 324 Great Neck Rd., Great Neck, (516) 504-0012
HOURS: Sun. through Thurs., 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri. &
Sat., 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
CREDIT CARDS: All major
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes
Just a short ride from the Queens border in Great Neck is a new
restaurant thats drawing attention for its exquisite Japanese cuisine. The
restaurant is new it opened in August but the recipes are time tested.
Momoyama owner Jae Hwang brings his 42 years of hotel and restaurant
experience in some of the worlds best hotels into Momoyamas kitchen. Hwang
started at Tokyos Hotel Imperial, before becoming the head chef at the Hotel Lotte
in Korea. He came to New York in 1983 as a chef at Manhattans Essex House Hotel,
before opening a small Sushi restaurant in the East Village. He sold the restaurant four
years later and in 1993 he opened the first Momoyama on 41st Avenue in Flushing. Hwang
also teaches Japanese/Korean/American cooking privately, at the Flushing YM-YWCA.
"My head has a lot of recipes inside," Hwang said.
"Im happy when customers are happy and they enjoy."
The atmosphere at the newest Momoyama restaurant is an extension of its
owner casual, warm and friendly. Visitors to the restaurant are greeted in the
lobby and escorted to the left, where among walls covered with colorful aquatic murals are
walnut wood tables with black Formica tops. The unpretentious atmosphere blends nicely
with the service. The staff of 10, including Peter Fong who served customers during my
visit, is amicable and informative.
I sampled a wide variety of dishes. Appetizers included baked clams
breaded and stuffed with minced vegetables, deep fried whole yellow snapper in a brown
carrot and onion sauce, and a sushi platter, featuring fluke, black bass, tuna and salmon
served over white rice with pickled ginger, teriyaki sauce and hot horseradish. No
surprises here, the tastes were all as good as can be found anywhere. There are, in fact,
22 appetizers to choose from.
Accompanying the wide range of appetizers were over 20 choices from the
Sushi a La Carte menu, including fluke, eel, tuna, crab meat, octopus, mackerel, shrimp
and scallops. Prices range from $1.50 to $3.50 ands the combinations are too plentiful to
list. Assorted raw fish Sashimi join Sushi in a dozen menu items which range
from $11 to $28.
Perhaps the nicest thing about Momoyama is they take American
sensitivities into consideration. Unlike other Japanese restaurants, diners here can find
ample hot, hearty choices on the menu good for cold fall and winter nights.
I ordered the Momoyama Delight: grilled beef, salmon, scallops, shrimp,
lobster and vegetables on bamboo skewers served on a sizzling platter with hot soup on the
side ($18). It arrived at the table promptly and once there I quickly agreed that the dish
was named accurately. The serving was plentiful. The vegetables carrots and
broccoli florets were cooked to the right consistency, and the grilled beef,
salmon, scallops, shrimp and lobster were cooked to perfection.
Momoyama is definitely worth a visit.