Who doesn’t love Japanese-style barbecue? Moku Moku, an Izakaya owned and operated by the folks of excellent Momo Sushi Shack, has opened at 43 Bogart St in Bushwick, right next to Momo. Following the opening of Okiway, it seems that Bushwick has become the hot spot for Yakitori, Okonomiyaki, Yaki Soba and Ramen.
Opened in the former Olive Valley space, Moku Moku isn’t doing sushi, but rather a more meat-heavy menu focused on Yakitori, which in Japanese means grilled chicken. But it’s not just chicken they’re serving here — on the menu you’ll find specialties including grilled beef tongue, chicken gizzards and beef heart.
“We did Yakitori at a block party at Roberta‘s a couple years ago and the one thing that sold out was the chicken hearts,” says co-owner Phillip Gilmour. “I think the general attitude of New Yorkers is ‘I’ll do anything once (or more).’ I think that especially applies to people in Bushwick.”
Chicken Gizzards and Chicken Hamburg with soy cured egg yolk
Japanese-style chicken wings, french fries, and one insanely good-looking corndog are on the menu for the less-adventurous palette, along with vegetarian options including a killer salad of Mizuna leaves, grilled veggies, and a sesame dressing.
The Takoyaki Corndog
Moku, which means smoky in Japanese, is the flavor of choice here – the chefs will be grilling on a gas grill with lava stones. But like any respectable Izakaya, drinks are equally important. They’re serving several kinds of sake and a small selection of beer and wine to complement the smoky, umami-rich flavors of the food.
Vegetable Skewers, Moku Salad, Yaki Onigiri and homemade salts.
They’ll be using the same local purveyors as they do at Momo: Heritage Foods, The Grange, and Bushwick Campus Farm – making it one of the few Izakaya restaurants to do so. “I thinks that’s what will separate us from other Izakaya places,” says Gilmour. Sourcing their chicken from Snowdance Farm in upstate New York, he tells me Moku Moku will utilize the whole bird in everything including grilling the skins, doing a confit with the gizzards, and simmering the bones for hours for ramen broth. “Ask any of the servers ‘Where do you guys get your chicken?’ and they will respond with pride in their voice. How many other Izakaya restaurants can say that?”
Takoyaki Corndog and Moku Salad
Moku Moku is located at 43 Bogart St in East Williamsburg. Hours: 5:30pm-11pm, Sunday-Thursday. 5:30pm-midnight, Friday & Saturday. Cash only. (718) 418-6666.