Fusion restaurants intrigue me for its ability to create some truly unique dishes by combining two cuisines. MOMMI in Clapham in south London is such restaurant, marrying Japanese flair with Peruvian flavours. Only a short walk away from either Clapham station on the Northern Line, the hip interiors and warm lighting provided an opulent glow inside.
For the very first time, I wasn’t greeted with the same warmth as you’d normally come to expect from a restaurant. At least at the reception, I felt there was a noticeable lack of it and the person at the front had the same level of enthusiasm as someone watching paint dry.
I’d reserved a table in advance, arrived slightly ahead of time, and asked to change my table to be further inside the restaurant noticing how quiet and slightly empty the restaurant was at the time. The person at the front looked genuinely peeved off at having to tap a few buttons on her touch screen and asked rather rudely if I was sure I wanted to change. Surely my simple request wasn’t too much of a bother…?
Turning to the menu, and reckless knowing that I have a discount, I went for the most expensive set menu: The Andean. It’s quite well known that the less familiar you are with the ingredients, the most expensive dish will be. The dishes in the Andean set-menu might as well have been written in latin.
As much as the welcome sucked, the food is anything but. It was delicious. If you have the budget, or you’re entitled to a large discount as I do, then go for the Andean. It’s the priciest but also the most appetising in my opinion.The flat iron was juicy, the scallops were exquisite, the pan-fried salmon and prawns were mouth-watering, and the flame seared tuna with truffled onion ponzu is worth dying for.
I can’t fault the food in any way. But as we all know, restaurants are seldom judged on its food alone and I think MOMMI was badly let down by its lack of warmth on my arrival. I’m sure not all staff at MOMMI are like this as there was a few very attentive staff who came to ask how our food was, but the first impression was not a particularly good one.
It’s also incredibly pricey and without my discount, the entire meal would have set me back £88. That’s £88 for a set menu for two, two desserts, and a pale ale. I know I went for the most expensive set menu, but still! It wasn’t the most filling of dinners either. If I’m honest, I’d rather spend my money somewhere else.
Perhaps it’s only me who felt unwelcomed. I think MOMMI does great food and a pretty cool place to catch up with chums. But if I’m honest, I think I’d rather dine somewhere else where I feel a bit more welcome and comfortable.