A pair of Indonesian chefs is serving up savory Japanese cuisine off of New Territory Boulevard in Sugar Land. Chefs and owners Rudy Mulyadi and Indra Kasim run Mochi Sushi, which opened in 2013 in the space formerly occupied by Sasu Sushi Bar & Grill.
Mulyadi initially came to the restaurant looking for a job but learned the owner was more interested in selling the business altogether. A year ago, Mulyadi brought Kasim on as co-owner.
Indra Kasim, left, and Rudy Mulyadi own Mochi Sushi which opened in 2013.[/caption]
“You have to find the right person,” Mulyadi said. “Not necessarily a partner, just your right-hand [person].”
He learned from operating his previous restaurant in Corpus Christi—which he said was twice the size of Mochi Sushi—that it helps to have another person at your side in business. He has 10 years of experience as a sushi chef, moving from Corpus Christi to work in Houston and then in Sugar Land.
It took about three years of watching and assisting a former boss and sushi chef before he could make the dishes alone, he said.
“You have to learn from the basics first, which is cooking rice,” Mulyadi said he was instructed. “[I did that] for a year, [cooking] rice and cutting cucumbers.”
Just as Mulyadi learned, Kasim is learning the same skills by observing his partner. Kasim has about 15 years of experience in the restaurant business but mostly outside the kitchen, he said.
Tonkotsu ramen is pork bone marrow-based and made with sliced pork, wakame, chili, ginger, green onion, nori and a soft-boiled egg ($14).[/caption]
“How to present the fish, how to cut the fish—that’s what I like,” Kasim said.
Mochi Sushi offers tuna, salmon, yellowtail, squid, sea urchin, scallops, snapper, mackerel, shrimp, eel, crab and even fois gras on its menu. Mulyadi said he sources his seafood from the North Atlantic, Spain, Hawaii and Japan, and that the restaurant can prepare any fish as sushi or sashimi.
“When you make food for somebody, the food that you make has [to be something] you really want to eat,” Mulyadi said.
In addition to its namesake, Mochi Sushi also sells rolls, ramen and robata, the latter a Japanese grilling technique. Ramen is a big seller both in the U.S. and abroad, and Mulyadi said its success stems from its reputation as a Japanese comfort food with as many ingredients as possible.
“Even in Asia, outside Japan, there are so many ramen shops,” he said. “That dish is actually very complex. Just to make the broth, for example, it takes you about 10 hours.”
Mochi Sushi serves sushi, ramen and robata.[/caption]
Mulyadi said the spice level is “acceptable” and each bowl is served with the traditional soft-boiled egg. The restaurant has used minimal advertising, but customers typically come in groups, including some regulars.
“Of course, your big dream when you open your own business is [that] you make more than one place, and you don’t have to work anymore,” he said. “I don’t know how long it will take for us, but we just take it step by step.”
5854 New Territory Blvd.
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. noon-10 p.m., Sun. noon-9 p.m.