GHT Blog

The Mo:Mo – Five Facts, Best Eats and mo’

January 21, 2016

Mo:mos Nepal

Delicious Mo:Mos. Photo by Ritesh Man Tamrakar.

The concept of dough wrapped around a yummy filling is a much loved food group in many cultures. The Chinese have the dim sum, the Indians the samosa, Italians have the ravioli and Latin Americans enjoy the empanada.
Nepal, more commonly known for its soaring mountains and friendly people than for its cuisine, offers something that arguably beats all of the above. The Mo:Mo.

Mo:Mos, a close contender to Daal Bhat as Nepal’s national dish, originally came from Tibet. The word “Mo:Mo” actually means “steamed bread” in Chinese. This culinary treat was introduced to Nepal by the Newar community who were the traveling merchants at that time. Traditionally Tibetan Mo:Mos were filled with yak meat and served with a variety of sauces. Over time the Newar merchants did us all a favor by altering the original recipe to include other delicious stuffings like chicken, buff (minced buffalo meat), mutton, pork, vegetables, paneer, fish, tofu and even snickers! (A must after a long day on the Great Himalaya Trails).

Some quick facts about this much-loved Nepali dish:

1. Shapes matter

The shape of the Mo:Mo will typically indicate what filling you can expect inside. Usually non-veg Mo:Mos are round, whereas veg Mo:Mos are half-moon shaped.

2. They’re not all steamed

The steamed Mo:Mo is the most common type, but you should also try the Kothey Mo:Mo (lightly fried) and the “C Mo:Mo” (chilly Mo:Mo, for those who can handle spice).

3. Beware of Mo:Mo parties

Mo:Mo parties, where participants get together to prepare these pockets of goodness, are a common affair. If you’re ever invited to attend this culinary gathering, beware…Prank fillings mysteriously find their way into the mix and you may very well find yourself biting into a chili powder or sugar laced Mo:Mo.

4. Go simple or fancy

Mo:Mos come in every price range, from NRS 30 per plate at a street vendor to NRS 250 in a restaurant.

5. There’s an event dedicated to all things Mo:Mo. For real.

Mo:Mo Mania, an annual event organized by The Bakery Cafe, is a fix every Mo:Mo addict dreams of. Besides sampling every kind of Mo:Mo under the sun, the event also arranges Mo:Mo making and Mo:Mo eating competitions. They deserve an award.

Ok, so where can you get some, you ask? Read on for some of GHT’s favorite Mo:Mo eats in Kathmandu.

The Bakery Cafe

The Bakery Cafe, with 10 different outlets in Kathmandu Valley serve some of the best Mo:Mos in town. Upholding strict quality control the ingredients and sauces are prepared at the establishment’s central kitchen and then distributed to its outlets.

The Gangri Sui Mai Restaurant

The Gangri Sui Mai Restaurant is popular for its innovative open-shaped Mo:Mo. When the Mo:Mos are wrapped they are left with four openings into which one can pour their signature sauces: peanut, tomato and green chili. Genius.

Le Trio

Le Trio in Patan is best known for its “Mo:Mo cha with Jhol Achar”, which is basically Mo:Mos in a creamy soup. This meal is divine on a cold winter’s day.

Places Restaurant & Bar

If you’re vegetarian or vegan Places Restaurant & Bar in the heart of Thamel offers an interesting array of alternative Mo:Mos fillings like pesto, pumpkin and chili chocolate. The latter may sound a bit too adventurous but trust us, it’s actually surprisingly good!

Paalcha Newari Kitchen

Paalcha Newari Kitchen adds a Newari twist to your traditional Mo:Mo with Jhaneko and Sandheko (both lovely savory flavors) paired with signature Newari sauces.

Royal Saino Restaurant

If you’re a greedy little Mo:Mo fiend and want to have it all, head over to Royal Saino Restaurant on Durbar Marg. This restaurant serves steamed, kothey and C Mo:Mos, all on one plate. Chicken, mutton and pork options are on the menu for non-veg Mo:Mo eaters and vegetarians can experience garlic, cheese, mushroom and peanut paneer fillings. This restaurant is obviously a must-go-to-right-now for Mo:Mo lovers.

The Société Lounge & Bar

Just when you thought Mo:Mos couldn’t get any better The Société Lounge & Bar goes and creates a spectacular Nepali/Italian fusion dish of Mo:Mos covered in pasta. A delicious combination. Obviously.

Local Mo:Mo Shops

If you’re looking for a traditional Mo:Mo experience the local shops are the ideal choice. Bagmati Sweets serves mouthwatering paneer Mo:Mos with tomato sauce which is definitely a must-try. Bishal Mo:Mo Palace, located in the small alley opposite the west gate of BICC, serves special veg Mo:Mo as well as the chicken and buff option. Unlike other restaurants, they also offer Mo:Mo with khuwa (sweet dairy product) and paneer fillings along with unique sauces like hot chili sauce and sichuan pepper sauce. Lastly, Everest Mo:Mo of Baneshwor offers affordable delicious Mo:Mos and has been satisfying local public vehicle drivers, youths and businessmen for years. Its specialty is the buff Mo:Mo served with tomato-sesame sauce.

Hit the town and explore, you’ll never have to go far in Kathmandu without hitting a Mo:Mo stall. Don’t forget to let us know your favorite eats!

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