CHIReview

Momotaro review image
8.3

Momotaro

$$$$

820 W Lake St, Chicago
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Momotaro is huge, lively, and makes for a fun (albeit not so cheap) night. It has three floors, including the main dining room, a more casual basement izakaya, and a private area upstairs. But today’s review focuses on the main dining room – we’ll tackle the izakaya another day.

As big as Momotaro is, the menu is even bigger. There seems to be an endless amount of pages and section headers—cold, hot, “from the coals", robata yaki, sushi, and more. And because of the size of the menu, Momotaro as a whole reminds us of Field Day in elementary school. Field Day was the best – grammar and math were replaced with ball tosses, potato sack races, teachers in dunk tanks, and popsicles. But while Field Day activities were better than actual educational learning, some things were still better than others – dunk tanks > potato sack races.

The same is true with Momotaro. Even though it’s an incredible restaurant, it’s important to focus your order so you don’t end up with an above-average yet overly expensive meal. Our advice is to sample a little bit of everything with a focus on the following sections – cold, hot, from the coals, and sushi, the last of which should be whatever you prefer between rolls, nigiri, or sashimi. But even after aggressively attacking the menu on multiple trips, it feels like we’ll never get to it all. Which is fine by us, because it's fun to try.

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Food Rundown

Momotaro review image

Momomaki

This is one of those sushi rolls that makes us nod our head in enjoyment and approval. A mix of mainly big eye tuna and spicy octopus. Fantastic.

Maguro

A delicious serving of sliced tuna with garlic shoya and buckwheat for some texture. This is a great light starter.

Tsukune Dango

Please order this. Chicken dumplings are covered in mochi rice, and served in a karashi miso with a soft-boiled egg. It's incredibly flavorful and absolutely delicious.

Nigiri and Sashimi

It’s all delicous, from smoked aji to otoro to the sake. Rice is well-seasoned and the flavors of the fish shine through. Order a la carte, or get the Chef's selection—omakase that comes with around nine pieces for $70-$80 per person.

Momotaro review image

Spaghetti

This dish is rich and straightforward. Spicy beef curry is tossed with spaghetti, and served with scallion oroshi. And it's exactly what you want after a couple of cocktails.

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