Magic Momo Kafe, 588 Barkly St, West Footscray. Phone: 9972 2616
So we never made it back to Magic Momo Kafe, after our initial momo-focused visit, to assess and enjoy its efforts at a trans-national menu – though we heard the burgers were actually quite good.
Too late for all that now, though, as the place has changed dramatically.
There’s a rather nice fit-out in a more restaurant style and the menu is now hardcore Nepalese.
We remain bemused that chowmein is part of Nepalese food culture but we have come across it before – at our fondly remembered visits to the now defunct Fusion Cafe & Mo:Mo Bar in Footscray central – and we’re happy to give it another whirl.
Magic Momo’s egg rendition ($7.95), with its egg noodles, cabbage and other vegetables, is satisfying if rather plain.
We’re inclined to say a heavier hand with the salt shaker and higher spice levels are required, but no doubt this dish is exactly the way it’s meant to be.
Of course, a visit here simply necessitates a momo experience – so we go a fried serve of the pork numbers ($8.95).
They’re good, though rather small.
The casings are pleasantly chewy and mildly spicy innards blazingly hot and juicy.
From the four-choice fish section of the menu we choose “Nepalese-style gravy fish” ($13.95).
It’s a bigger serve than the above photo suggests.
The gravy appears to be a no-nonsense tomato-and-onion-based number that is mildly spiced and has a heavenly, lemony tang. We’re later told one of the seasoning ingredients is dried oregano!
The flavour of the fish – butterfish, we’re told – is mild but comes through nicely, something quite rare in fish dishes from this broader part of the world.
This is recognisably the same dish as I’d tried a few nights previously, but the earlier portion (see photo below) was a good deal more moist and several degrees more excellent.
We love it that Magic Momo Kafe is providing an alternative on a stretch of Barkly Street that seems destined to reach doubles figures of Indian eateries in the not too distant future.
And we’re interested in trying what appear to be Nepelese-style versions of thalis they offer – chiura sets (with beaten rice as previously experienced at Fusion Cafe & Mo:Mo Bar) and khana sets.
See menu below.
On the basis of this meal, though, we suspect homely, simple and satisfying is the go here – rather than whizz-bang.
But often that’s a fine, thing, too.