Good things come in small packages. Whoever came up with that saying was clearly referring to that ice-cream filled mochi that we Filipinos have grown to love.
Upon seeing for the first time a mochi ball, its small, opaque and plain exterior won’t really impress you. But as soon as you literally sink your teeth into the round piece of mystery, you’d know a surprise awaits on your next bite. Who knew that the texture would be so light and chewy and is filled with ice creamy goodness that you just can’t get enough of? Eating mochi is always a wonderful surprise and delightful treat. And that’s the reason why we are eternally grateful to Mochiko for introducing to us to that sweet delectable dessert!
In the quest to discover and bring something new to the market, entrepreneurs and husband and wife Nowie and Odette Potenciano discovered mochi balls during one of their trips to Japan. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake snack that’s traditionally eaten during the Japanese New Year but can also be eaten all-year round. Nowie and Odette knew they had to bring mochi to the Philippines but in a more innovative and appealing way. Also a distributor of Fruits in Ice Cream (FIC), this led them to the idea of filling the mochi with ice cream instead of the traditional mochi fillings like azuki (red bean paste). Being the forerunner in bringing the deliciously sweet ice-cream filled mochi in the country, Mochiko has established itself as one of the best dessert places in the Philippines!
When and how was Mochiko established?
The first Mochiko shop was opened in Cliffhouse Tagaytay in September 2010. This was after we went to Japan to learn how to make the mochi and a lot of experimentation. Two months later, we also joined Mercato Centrale and that helped us get a lot of exposure to people who love food.
What is Mochiko’s food/business philosophy?
With Mochiko, we simply want to offer a very good product. We do this by making sure we only use the best ingredients in our mochi. We use real Biscoff Cookies, real Oreos and very good fruit jams. We work closely with FIC for our ice cream and we do not use commercial ice creams unlike others who have tried to copy us. While this means our mochis are on the expensive side, we would rather still make sure that we offer the best product that we can give and not do any shortcuts. At the same time, we also want to make sure that our customers have a great overall experience – that’s why we try to think of all the details like how our shops look, how the beautiful the packaging should be and how fun our mochi is to eat.
Why do you think mochi is such a hit with Filipinos?
We think that Mochiko mochi is a hit because it offers a lot of different textures and flavors in one bite. When you bite into our Potato-Chip Chocolate mochi for example, you get three different flavors: the chocolate, the sweet rice flour and the salty potato chops. Plus you also get three different textures: the creaminess of the ice cream, the chewiness of the mochi and the crunchiness of the potato chips.
What are Mochiko’s popular flavors? Where do you get your inspiration for developing new flavors of mochi?
Our most popular flavors now are Speculoos Cookie Butter, Oreos & Milk, Cookie Dough and Red Velvet. We get inspiration from everywhere! We eat a lot of dessert and when we find a flavor combination that we like, we turn them into mochi!
What sets Mochiko apart from other establishments that offer mochi ice cream?
First of all, we only use the best ingredients in our mochi. We only use real ice cream with a lot of milk from FIC for example. Others who have copied us just use commercial “ice creams” made with vegetable oil. We also put in real cookies, cake, jams, chocolates in our mochi – and this is what others have not been able to do. Secondly, we always come up with new and exciting flavors. We are the only ones with creative flavors like Cookie Dough, Potato Chip-Chocolate, Red Velvet and Vanilla Rose.
What can dessert and mochi lovers look forward to from Mochiko this 2014?
We will always have new flavors to look forward to of course! And we have a secret new product in development that we feel people will love.
Yoshimoto Nara is a famous Japanese artist known for his depictions of seemingly cute and innocent with a hint of mischief animals and children. Is there any particular reason why Yoshimoto Nara’s artworks are your choice of display in your shop?
Yoshitomo Nara is a personal favorite of ours and we thought that his prints would simply look nice in our shops. You’re right in that his work seems innocent and cute on the surface but there is a little edge in them. That’s something that we like for Mochiko – we didn’t want to be overly cute but a bit more sophisticated. Inspired by things Japanese but slightly different and not stereotypical.
Mochiko is on a roll from opening a small store in Tagaytay to now having 23 branches nationwide in just 3 years! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:・ﾟ✧
With over 20 flavors including Pocky chocolate, green tea and speculoos, Mochiko mochi has a flavor for everyone and we can expect that they will always come up with new and exciting flavor combinations that will give our taste buds a treat!
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