When you think of the most ubiquitous street food in Nepal, there flashes the sight of piping hot momo that warms the cockles of your heart and make you drool. It goes without dispute that this dish has risen to become the go-to dish among the masses especially the young crowd. Hence we are on a momo trail across Kathmandu to check out the varieties available on the streets. To guide us on this fascinating culinary trail we are joined by host Kamal.
Our first stop was Ghangri Cafe at Jhamshel, Kathmandu. This place is famous for what is known as an open momo or Sui Mui momo. Available in chicken, pork and buff, they are loved for their unique shape and of course unparalleled taste. One bite is enough to fall in love with the open momo. The three different chutneys accompanying the delicacy pervades the stuffing inside the momos through the open ends and transform them into tiny bombs of flavours.
The next stop was Mahabharat momo in Patan Dhoka. Before trying their popular Jhol momo, we first witnessed the momo making at their kitchen. This kind of momo originated from the Newari community. It was fascinating to watch a team of young workers efficiently doling out momos at lightning speed. We then tried a plate of freshly steamed momo that is to be eaten with creamy and spicy sesame, peanuts, soyabean and fresh coriander based broth. The momo and the broth are served separately and one has to dunk them in the broth and have them together to get the real feel of the combo.
Then was the turn of another batch of jhol momos at Narayan Dai Ko Mashangali. This variant was completely different from the previous Jhol Momo as the broth here was thin, spicy and tangy due to the use of a local sour fruit called Lapsi. They serve you fresh chicken, mutton or buff momos in a bowl which you need to submerge with ladle full of this runny broth that from the huge clay vessels kept at the counter and relish. The taste was indeed very unique and irresistible.
The next destination was a Sinka restaurant which is famous for Chaat momo and the unique sizzler momo. The first one was a zesty sweet and sour combination of fried chicken momo, curd, chutneys, peanuts, onions and chaat masala. This chat was quite unique and flavoursome. The second dish was a sizzler comprising steamed chicken momo, stir-fried noodles and stir-fried veggies. This one was flambeed with rum and had very interesting international flavours.
Our final destination on the trail was a quaint momo cafe named Noyoz. Here we tried some lip-smacking smoked pork, Kothey momo and Aloo nimki. Smoked pork was succulent, fatty, flavoursome, smoky and hearty. Though not a momo dish, the aloo nimki with a multitude of flavours was a welcome change.
No wonder it was a memorable momo trail with our foodie host Kamal.