Moto Restaurant has been open since 2004, but despite its many accolades, I have never made it there–until now. It recently received a coveted Michelin star for 2012, and the news encouraged me to go.
Chef Cantu’s signature innovations were on display: his custom-designed fork, with its corkscrew shape that held fresh sprigs of oregano, and his special “trade secret” printer that can print on edible menus. As you can see in the pictures, the menu was printed using this technique. The menu also served as a wrapper that the diner is supposed to make a maki roll with the included bamboo mat. The fork accompanied a pasta made with freeze-dried chicken “dough.”
My reaction to the initial reviews when the restaurant first opened was that the menu was too gimmicky for me. However, after experiencing it for myself, I have to say that I had fun while also enjoying the meal. Other surprises included a dish that had oysters “smoked” at the table. A mysterious smoke-filled globe is placed on the table with a small opening to let the smoke escape, revealing oysters in the shell inside. Then there was the table candle that was poured onto another dish. The fuel was apparently some kind of edible material. My favorite dish was the cigar, made with collard green “tobacco.”