MoMo Dumplings may be celebrating their grand opening on Saturday, July 14th, but they’ve been doing pretty steady business since their soft opening on the 6th. I’ll just admit now that I’m not unbiased when it comes to this place. I first met the MoMo crew at last October’s Boise Urban Market, and over the months between then and now I have slowly become addicted to their food. The second I heard that they were opening a storefront, I started checking their Facebook page daily for news. If all you want to know is whether or not you should go check them out, the answer is YES. They’re open seven days a week from 11 AM until 9 PM (7 PM on Sundays), so odds are they’re dishing up dumplings as you’re reading this and you should stop reading and go there. If, on the other hand, you can’t get away right now or you’re on the fence about it, allow me to rave a bit about my current favorite restaurant…
MoMo Food of the Himalayas is the newest independent ethnic eatery to hit the Valley, and a couple of things make it stand out. First of all, they’re serving up a style of food that is otherwise completely unrepresented here (I love sushi and Vietnamese noodles, but come on). Second, they opened up in Meridian (just off Eagle and Franklin), which is where I spend most of my free time when not in Eagle.
MoMo isn’t just a cute name for a restaurant, it’s also the name of their main dish, a dumpling you can read more about here or here. The short version is that it’s a savory dumpling, reminiscent of a dim sum item, and a popular street food in Nepal where the all four of the proprietors are from. Luckily for the rest of us, they’ve decided to share their obsession.
|Fried MoMos with dipping sauces|
The MoMos are available in half or full orders, with turkey, pork or vegetarian filling, and come with signature, spicy or soy-ginger sauce. All of them are very worthwhile, but my personal preference (brace yourself for a shock) are the turkey ones. I’m not having as much luck choosing a favorite sauce, though lately I’ve been leaning toward the spicy.
|Chicken salad and black eyed peas|
Samosas are also available, as are kiddie meals and a chicken salad unlike anything I’ve had before. However, the only thing on their menu which might actually be better than the momos themselves are the rice bowls, and there’s only thing even better than that…
|Combo plate – meatballs makhani and momos with spicy sauce|
The combo plate comes with a half order of momos and your choice of sauce, and half a rice bowl. The rice bowl is usually what I’m craving, but it’s nice not to have to choose. The rice is a saffron-infused basmati and comes with mixed veggies and sauteed black eyed peas. You choose between turkey meatballs in makhani sauce (my fave), ground turkey in their signature sauce, or you could choose a vegetarian bowl if you’re so inclined. For those keeping track, yes that means that both the rice bowls and dumplings are available in vegetarian options. I adore the peas even though I’ve never really had an interest in them before, and though in many dishes the mixed veggies would seem slightly undercooked, somehow the textures just seem to work with all the other components.
I’ve had a hard time churning out this write-up, deleting it several times and starting over to make it more a review and less like an advertisement. Oh well, so be it. These are great people putting out great food that nobody else around here is doing. What else do you need to know?
Food: I’ve never had a bad thing from these people, though to be honest I’ve never ordered the fries. A+
Value: Nobody else in the Valley is making this stuff, so it’s hard to judge what it’s worth. Some of the items do seem to be priced a little high, but then again I’ve never been left mourning the lost cash. A
Service: These people are insanely sweet and attentive. Especially Raj. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the guy NOT smiling. A+
Atmosphere: The interior is a pretty casual diner type. Clean if slightly spartan and a little on the small side, it’s nonetheless a very pleasant place to be because everyone from the staff to the customers always seem to be happy. A
Final Grade: A+