On Thanksgiving Day, I turned 28 years old. People often ask how many times my birthday actually falls on Thanksgiving, and the answer is roughly every 7 years, depending on leap years. Every 7 years or so seems about right. This year, my brother got married the weekend before Thanksgiving, so I didn’t make the trip back to Cincinnati for Turkey Day/my day of birth.
Instead, I stayed in Chicago and bounced around with my friends here. On the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, my friend and I checked out Momotaro Chicago for my birthday celebration. This Japanese restaurant has been on my list for a while now, and of course I got to pick the place. I’ve heard so many amazing things about their sushi and it’s located in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago – West Loop! As I’ve discussed here and here, I’m a HUGE sushi fan, so I was super exited to eat at Momotaro.
Conveniently, Momotaro has a bar located downstairs called The Izakaya Lounge. Before our 7pm reservation, we decided to enjoy some drinks there. It’s a fun, 30-seat bar with a menu full of crafted cocktails, and Japanese whiskeys and sakes. It was a good place to unwind and get mentally prepared to indulge in all the food options they have upstairs!
We were promptly seated at the time of our reservation and I quickly opened the menu. So many things to discuss! They really have their bases covered when it comes to Japanese cuisine. Luckily, our waiter was super helpful in his descriptions on the items, and we were able to determine what we were going to enjoy.
So, let’s dive in! I have pictures along with the captions from the menu to showcase just how delicious Momotaro Chicago really is.
First, we had to pick a fine wine to toast to me gracing this earth with my presence for 28 years. We went with a lovely red wine.
Then, we had to decide which shared plates we wanted. We broke down the menu by section, and tried to pick one dish from each. The various sections on the menu on the front page included snacks, cold, hot, kushi yaki, from the coals, and rice & noodles.
SMOKED BACON & EGGS (Kushi Yaki)
CHAWAN MUSHI (Hot)
MAGURO NUTA (Cold)
That’s all we got from the first page. On the second page of the menu, the categories were broken down into nigirizushi, makimono, vegetable dishes, donburi bowls, small plates, and nigiri/sashimi. I told you they have a lot to offer! Their sushi was what I was most excited for.
We got two items from the makimono side aka sushi rolls, which were both amazing. The Momomaki may have been the best roll I’ve ever tasted!
MOMOMAKI & CHILI HAMA (Makimono)
BARA CHIRASHI (Donburi Bowls)
Let’s not forget about dessert. It was my birthday celebration after all! I was not walking away without any dessert, regardless of how full I was. We ended up getting three desserts, but one was on the house. My friend had told them while making the reservation that we were coming in for a birthday. How lovely!
THE COMPLIMENTARY DESSERT
Momotaro may seem complicated with it’s endless options and hard pronunciations, but don’t let that intimidate you! The staff is very helpful and accommodating, and won’t steer you wrong on recommendations. I definitely want to go back to try more of their sushi rolls and devour more of their delicious desserts. I also wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to have another drink at their lounge downstairs!
Overall, I was very impressed with Momotaro. Their food was done well, and the setting is perfect for a fun and fancy night out! It may have been on the more expensive end of our usual dining budget, but that’s what TREAT YO’SELF and birthday dinners are for 🙂