We still remember the first time we visited Momo I Am. It was couple of months after their opening near Lords, Prince Anwar Shah Road. The menu was short and the place small. We ordered their T-Momo combo, Chicken Shya-fale and Pork Thukpa, all of which we just loved. Also the colourful graffiti made the small place look unique. Returning home we posted on Facebook, “Why isn’t there a Momo I Am near our home :(“. Five years later it finally happened.
Located beside Kalyan Jewelers, diagonally opposite the City Centre block, this outlet is bigger. There are around 12 tables and an outdoor seating too. The first thing you will notice after entering the restaurant is their signature vibrant graffiti. Loved the wooden furniture too. The kitchen was separated only by a glass wall and we thought it a great move too, as the guests could see how clean and organised the kitchen is.
Coming to food, their offerings have increased from the humble single page one, when we first visited them, to a fat family dinner menu. The old favourites are still there though.
We began with the salad section. Indonesian grilled pork salad with veggies, apples and a sambal dressing. The meat was juicy and well cooked and it was fun having them with the apples. The veggies tasted good too along with the dressing. We thought the sambal would be more spicy, but what they served was more balanced and the overall mix of meaty, sweet and sour tastes made this dish an enjoyable one.
Next was the deep fried crispy lotus stems. This is one vegetarian appetizer we love. The one served here didn’t disappoint us either. It was crispy as per the name, and the spices made it a good Chatpata snack.
If you are bored with regular momos and want something different, Hangover Spicy Momo is something you can try. Served on a bed of mashed potatoes, the momos come with sit fried veggies with a spicy sauce. Though we didn’t find the sauce to be that spicy, but the combination of soft momos with crunchy veggies is what we liked.
Not only momos, but they serve good variations of other dimsum and wontons too. The Shanghai Chili Wontons had silky wonton wrappers, good seasoned filling and the heat from the chilis as the name suggest. If you like your food a bit spicy this would make you happy.
Among the dimsums the XO Crystal Chicken Dimsum was really good. Although we are huge pork lovers and the Pork Chive Water Chestnut Dimsum was as good to taste as it looked, the chicken one, according to us, was undoubtedly the better of the two.
But as far as dimsums are concerned, the best one of offer at Momo I Am is the Prawn Hargao. Filled generously with juicy prawns, these bite sized beauties were minimally seasoned so that we get the taste of what matters the most, the prawns. Loved these. Highly recommended!
Next came the baos. Chicken baos were filled with crispy chicken, pickled cucumber, lettuce in a teriyaki sauce with toasted peanuts. While the pork baos had double cooked crispy pork belly and lettuce in plum mayo sauce. Here the pork version was the undisputed winner. The baos were soft, and the slight fermented taste (like what we get in the Kolkata style bhaturas) prevented it from being just the wrapper round the fillings like a burger. Both the chicken and the pork fillings were tasty, but unless we take out a strip of chicken and taste it alone, it was hard to isolate the chicken flavour from the whole mix. The crunch however we liked. The pork version didn’t have this issue, and if you don’t have anything against pork, it is always better to go for it.
From their really long menu of starters came the next dish. Drums of Hell. Fried chicken drumsticks tossed in a special “hellish” homemade sauce. The drumsticks were crunchy on the outside and the sauce was not bad, not great either. Personally for us, not a bad dish to share among friends, but there are scopes of improvement here.
Among the veg starters the Asian Stuffed Mushroom was a good dish. Button mushrooms stuffed with cheese, grilled and finished with sweet chilly. Made perfectly and tasted good as they should. If you love mushroom and cheese this one is for you.
Momo I Am Mixed Chopsuey Noodles which came next was a delight though. We are not big fans of hakka noodles, but mostly go for the Cantonese style as Chopsueys are a bit too sweet for us. But here the sauce was not sweet and really flavourful with veggies, juicy pieces of chicken, pork and a fried egg on top. We loved it.
Harissa Pork acted as the perfect side for the noodles. The harissa sauce was yummy, the pork pieces juicy and the best part was the shiitake mushrooms. Even on our first visit to their Lake Gardens outlet we noticed how they add shiitake mushrooms in their dish in place of the more common button mushrooms to enhance flavour. Here too the shiitakes made the dish more enjoyable.
If you enjoy a complete meal in a bowl, the Bangkok Street Noodle Soup can be a good option. Flat noodles, veggies and meat in a coconut milk based broth. Coconut milk based broths tend to get boring after few spoons if not seasoned properly. Here the seasoning and the occasional bites of chilly helped cut through the coconut flavour and keep the affair going smoothly. A good and satisfying dish.
Not only the savory items, Momo I Am have some great offerings in the dessert section too. We almost loved the Cheesecake here which was served along with a scoop of vanilla icecream. The taste, the texture, the presentation – everything was nice. Only if they can improve the top layer of the cake it will be a complete delight. The top layer was too rubbery and thick. But once you dig past, it’s a beautiful and sweet journey onward.
The Raspberry Bao served with a scoop of vanilla icecream was great too and we are sure lovers of banana desserts will rejoice it. The sweet baked bao served with raspberry coulis was filled with sliced bananas and the combo really went well.
Although there are lots of restaurants inside the City Centre compound, we are not particularly fond of any of those. And it being our favourite movie destination, we are happy now that a reliable place is nearby serving delicious dishes at affordable rates. People living in Salt Lake must be double happy 🙂