Looking for a change of pace when it comes to brunch? Tired of the eggs benedict and the omelet station? Head over to Moksa Restaurant on Massachusetts Ave in Central Square. Moksa is the creative culinary brainchild of Chef Patricia Yeo of Ginger Park and Om fame.
Chef Yeo is calling Moksa an izakaya, which is a Japanese drinking establishment with some food. But Moksa is an eating establishment with some drinking. The drink menu is impressive and unique and you won’t be disappointed no matter what you order. But if you are going for brunch you might as well try a bloody mary, but don’t order an ordinary bloody mary or a Sake Mary. Spicy and flavorful with fresh ginger, this Sake Mary will wake you right up. Not a bloody mary or sake fan, give the Eye of the Tiger a try. A single malt scotch with mango with habanero is another drink that will wake you up. How about bourbon? The Red Viper is bourbon infused with hibiscus and kaffir and is the color of cranberry juice, but a lot stronger. No matter what drink you decide on, all of them are bound to prepare your palette for the culinary pleasure before you.
Your first glimpse of the paper menu/placemat may make it seem small, but it is big in adventure and flavor. For those of you who have never had dim sum, it is basically the Asian version of tapas. The menu is divided up into six sections: Asian BBQ Meats, Fried, Pan Fried, Steamed, Noodles & Rice and Eggs & Savory Pancakes.
Dim sum, like tapas, is the perfect way to share and try many dishes. Starting off with Asian BBQ Meats, do not miss the Tea Smoked Duck. Thin slices of perfectly cooked duck breast are served with a slightly sweet and spicy cucumber and apple salad. From the fried section you must of course go for the spring rolls. Whether you go for the Five Vegetable Spring Roll or the Five Spiced Chicken Spring Roll you can’t go wrong. Both are full of flavor and crispy and crunchy and not at all greasy.
When you are looking over the Pan Fried section of the menu, do not skip over the Edamame Potstickers. Even if you think you don’t like edamame, order these as they might just be the best thing on the menu! As for the Steamed section, the buns are always a sure thing and Moksa has a huge hit with their Miso Eggplant Steamed Bun. You will never know that this is a vegetarian steamed bun. It is full of big and hearty flavors that even the most carnivorous of people will be satisfied with.
Make sure you leave room for the Noodles & Rice dishes. This section of the menu has such intriguing dishes, that it will be hard to not just order them all. The Silver Pin Noodles is a vegan dish but don’t let this keep you from ordering it. The noodles are a little bit chewy, but in a good way, the mushrooms and the snap peas are a burst of freshness. The Mushroom Chow Fun is….well fun! The big broad noodles are always fun to eat and the mushrooms add a nice contrast to them. If there is one dish to steer away from it might be the Vietnamese Beef & Rice Noodle Egg Pho. It tastes a bit bland, but maybe the addition of some acid from a lime would have brought it to life or some spice from peppers.
Last section of the menu is Eggs & Savory Pancakes. The Spicy Kim Chee & Shrimp Pancake is unlike anything else. Tangy kim chee is offset by the pop of sweet shrimp and the fire of sriracha. Mere words cannot describe how good this dish is and you better order more than one because you won’t want to share it.
No matter what, save room for dessert! The dessert menu changes daily at the whim of Chef Yeo, but if there is Green Tea Ice Cream on the menu, get it! The color itself is a feast for the eyes and the subtle green tea flavor along with the creaminess leaves this as the perfect ending to the meal. Chef Yeo’s version of Churros…..just get them, they are that good!
So if you find yourself hungry in the Central Square area of Cambridge on a Saturday or a Sunday between 11am and 4pm, head on over to Moksa at 450 Massachusetts Avenue and take your mouth on a culinary journey.