Where in Utah to buy 6 tasty treats, from mochi to bulgogi

Also from Utah Eats: A summer menu at Mar | Muntanya, and a chance to be part of a world record.

This article is excerpted from the Utah Eats newsletter, compiled by Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune’s food and drink reporter. To get the full newsletter in your inbox every Wednesday, become a subscriber by going to sltrib.com/newsletters.

Hello, Eaters!

Wow, I stuffed my face at the Utah Asian Festival last Saturday at the Utah State Fairpark. For you Eaters, I have recommendations for six Utah businesses that were represented at the festival that you should check out, so let’s dive in.

The Fairpark was sweltering, so I knew my first stop needed to be a stall with iced coffee. I headed to Loki Coffee, which was sharing a stand with Tomodachi Bake Shoppe and Mims Bakery, two microbakeries that sell their baked goods at Loki.

(Loki Coffee is at 325 E. 900 South in Salt Lake City. Tomodachi’s pastries are available at Loki, Tuesdays through Saturdays. In addition to Loki, Mims’ pastries can be found at Holy Water Coffee, at 712 E. 100 South, and The Neighborhood Hive, at 2065 E. 2100 South, both in Salt Lake City.)

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Cold brew coffee from Loki Coffee, left, and a matcha croissant from Tomodachi Bake Shoppe, right, are pictured at the Utah Asian Festival.

I ordered a cold brew coffee on ice and added some oat milk for creaminess, and to pair with it, I ordered a matcha croissant from Tomodachi Bake Shoppe (both pictured above). The croissant was multilayered and laminated, but soft, which I like. I don’t think I could detect additional flavor from the matcha powder that was dusted on top, but it was still delicious.

I also tried a sample of sourdough from Mims Bakery for the first time, and found it to be everything I want in sourdough: Chewy and crusty, with just a hint of tanginess.

Next, I was craving bao buns, so I visited Xiao Bao Bao across the festival grounds. (Xiao Bao Bao’s permanent physical location is at 216 E. 500 South in Salt Lake City.)

I ordered one favorite standby bao (pork char siu bao) and one new bao (triple-chocolate bao, both pictured below). I’ve never had a sweet bao before, so the triple-chocolate was interesting. It was made with chocolate dough and chocolate custard, and had a bite of brownie in the middle — delish!

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Char siu bao, left, and triple chocolate bao, right, from Xiao Bao Bao are pictured at the Utah Asian Festival.

The line for Okan Japanese Treats was so long that I knew they had to have something good, so I got in line. I ended up trying mochi cakes (pictured at top) for the first time, and you can read more about my experience in the “Dish of the Week” section of this newsletter.

After that, I headed to Korean Bowl’s food truck for my first taste of chicken bulgogi. This was marinated chicken stir-fried with sliced onions and mixed with fresh shredded cabbage and carrots, served over warm rice, and it came with a little cup of sauce to pour over everything. I also got a side order of kimchi, which I took a bite of with trepidation (I’ve never liked kimchi), but I found that I loved it!

(Both Okan Japanese Treats and Korean Bowl have brick-and-mortar locations inside Ocean Mart, at 5651 S. 1900 West, in Roy.)

Live deliciously,


Food News

• Mar | Muntanya, a Spanish-influenced restaurant on the sixth floor of the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City, is offering a special Chef’s Garden Table Series every Saturday until Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m., according to a news release. This intimate dinner will be held at one communal table with eight seats, and executive chef Tyson Peterson will prepare, serve and talk about each dish. Some of the featured menu items include snow-aged wagyu, charred cucumber gazpacho and charcoal king crab, the release said. Tickets are $150 per person and available through Tock.

Booze (and Drink!) News

• Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Clearfield beverage shop Java Espress (585 N. Main St.) is aiming to break the Guinness world record for the world’s largest mixed soda tasting, according to a news release. All attendees will get a free drink and be able to participate in giveaways and games. For more information, visit JavaEspress.com.

Dish of the Week

I had no idea what to expect when I ordered a peach mochi and a strawberry mochi from Okan Japanese Treats at the Utah Asian Festival. I knew they were very cute (the pig was the peach and the rabbit was the strawberry, both pictured at top), and that’s about it.

When I picked up the peach mochi, I was surprised by how soft and cold it was. That ultra-squishy, slightly chewy outer layer is sweet rice dough, made with glutinous rice flour, according to the internet.

Once I bit into the mochi, I discovered that the interior was filled with cream and a bite of chilled fruit. Somehow, the textures and flavors of the rice dough, cream and fruit all worked together to form a beautiful bite. As I write this, I’m wondering where I’m going to get my next mochi.

(Note: Okan Japanese Treats also makes savory Japanese food, including onigiri, bento boxes and more.)