New Asian restaurant opens in Malvern


Never a Noo-dull moment: A plate of green dragon sushi, beef udon noodles, honey walnut shrimp and tiramisu is served at Malvern’s new restaurant Moca. Moca opened four months ago in October.

By Isabelle Emmanuel and Vaishnavi Sriadibhatla, Staff Reporters

Chefs meticulously craft their dishes in the kitchen as waiters scurry about, jotting down orders. 

There is never a noo-dull moment at Moca, a new Asian-fusion restaurant that opened in Malvern this October. Moca replaced the previous location of Margaret Kuo’s, another Asian-fusion restaurant that shut down due to the pandemic. 

Opening the new restaurant has been a tedious process, as illustrated by Conestoga senior and manager Michelle Huang, whose parents own the restaurant.

“I’ve been helping (my parents) with the process of opening,” Huang said. “That includes licensing, which you need for everything from construction to the name of the store that’s outside the light box. We opened about four months ago, but I’ve been working on this project since last April.”

Asian fusion puts a twist on traditional Asian food by combining ingredients from multiple countries to create innovative dishes.  Moca’s menu offers a wide range of foods, from Thai curry to poke bowls. When preparing dishes, chefs prioritize the quality of their food.

Our chef has 40 years of experience working with food, and he’s helped tons of restaurants open. We always make sure our ingredients are the best, and we order from Japanese and Chinese companies all over the Philadelphia area. Taste-wise, we always make sure our customers are happy.

— Michelle Huang, Senior and Restaurant Manager

Moca is highly acclaimed for their exceptional customer service and friendly staff, as expressed through their Google Reviews which display an exceptional 4.9/5 stars. Sophomore Ally Gibbs shared her experience dining at the restaurant. 

“I think (the atmosphere) is very welcoming, and the waitresses and hostesses are kind and good at communicating,” Gibbs said. 

Overall, the response to the opening of the restaurant has been positive. Although established recently, Moca has found loyal customers within the community.  

“The previous location was also a Chinese and Japanese fusion, and they were there for 30 years, so they definitely had a big reputation in that area,” Huang said. “Moving in we had an extra boost because there were already so many people who knew that place, and those people would be curious to see who moved in.”  

Their newfound success has come with some downsides though. On busier days, the employees can find themselves swamped with orders.  Sophomore Phoebe Li has worked at the restaurant since its opening in October and dealt with her fair share of crowded days.

“There’s some days, like the weekend of the Super Bowl, where it’s busy, but we always have to maintain customer service,” Li said. “A lot of people were waiting for their orders for over an hour and the kitchen was really busy, but (since) we offer the best experience, we were giving away extra items just to make sure the customers aren’t sitting there waiting for nothing.” 

Even with all the obstacles a new restaurant faces, Li feels confident in the future of Moca. 

“I’m sure that Moca is going to be one of the best restaurants in the area because I’ve seen how hard everyone works,” Li said. “Everyone (who) works there puts their best effort every day.” 

Isabelle Emmanuel can be reached at [email protected].

Vaishnavi Sriadibhatla can be reached at [email protected].