Restaurant Openings

The Breakdown: Momi Nonmi’s Striking Sashimi Rose

Chef Chris Chung brings Japanese small plates with a healthy twist to Cambridge.

Photograph by Toan Trinh

1. Japan exports excellent seafood, “but nothing compares to what you catch with two or three hours till service,” Chung says. That’s why he sources his seasonal, firm fish—this fall, it will be black sea bass—from local purveyor Red’s Best.
2. Thin daikon petals recall the favorite flower of Chung’s wife and business partner, Elaine Wong.
3. Hawaiian red seaweed adds a visually appealing, traditional element.
4. The fish’s delicate sweetness is enhanced by acidic tsukemono (pickled vegetables) and a hint of bitter radish.

After he shuttered his ambitious Lincoln sashimi bar/French restaurant, AKA Bistro, last year, Chris Chung decided his next project would be closer to the city—and his heart. So the Hawaii native began developing the forthcoming Momi Nonmi, the type of lively izakaya he’s long wanted to see in the Boston area. The concept is also inspired by Chung’s health transformation—the Uni alum recently shed more than 80 pounds with exercise and a mostly gluten-free diet. That translates to a menu of small bites such as edamame croquettes with yuzu ketchup, Hawaiian loco moco with gluten-free gravy, and a striking sashimi rose (pictured). “When I go out to eat, there are not too many healthy options,” Chung says. “My izakaya [will have] a little more balance.” Moderating enjoyment of Momi Nonmi’s traditional sake service? Now that will take some self-control.

1128 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-945-7328, mominonmi.com.


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com