Tasty Mo:Mo is one of those restaurants I pass continually and always say I’ll try out, but never get around to. It’s an unassuming Nepalese institution, housed on a corner of Magoun Square only a short walk away from the Powder House roundabout. The vinyl sign above the door boasts one claim: “Delicious Dumplings,” written in Papyrus font. If you haven’t seen the SNL skit about this font, pause to do so now.
I always prefer to scope out the tables at a restaurant. I feel it gives me a better sense of the business: its customer base, popularity, general atmosphere. Unfortunately, the busy week left me without time for a lavish in-house meal, so admittedly, I ordered delivery. In keeping with the budget theme of Spoonfuls, this is certainly not an ideal choice. Delivery fees are insane. They make cheap food a $40 luxury to be dropped on your doorstep. I appreciate the convenience of the process, but in the future, I’ll choose a little fall walk and enjoy the sun while it lasts.
That being said, there’s nothing like a dinnertime lay-about: My friend and I set up in front of a new Simpsons episode with our steaming foil containers and a blanket each. We decided on the kothey, or pan-fried momo with chicken, an order of veggie chow mein and ras malai for dessert. It is safe to say, they really weren’t joking about the dumplings. It was a privilege to be able to split 10 of these very ideal little packages. The filling was tender and juicy, and the crisped bottom provided a nice crunchy contrast. It feels almost patronizing to mention how pretty the wrapping job was, but after careful examination, that perfect circle on top still maintains its mysterious origins.
The dumplings came with two sauces: a thin, creamy, tikka masala-like sauce, and a spicy alternative. The spicy one had an initial kick with a flavorful finish, but the kick put me off a bit, so I stuck to the former. We were initially skeptical about the curry-dumpling combo, but they really complimented each other nicely, with the creaminess of the sauce balancing the salty filling and adding a touch of spice. I had only tried Nepalese food once before, and the cross-cultural flavors are really something else.
More of the masala sauce went on to the chow mein we ordered. This was pretty standard, but still tasty, with a nice variety of veggies and occasional crispy noodles and onions. The flavor was definitely there, but the sauce on top helped add some much needed moisture. We happily cycled back to the noodles after dessert, because the savory-sweet divide is a farce.
The Indian restaurant I previously worked at introduced me to ras malai. On the menu, it’s described as “Soft cheese patties in a delicately sweetened and flavored creamy milk sauce.” The cheese tastes like a combination of ricotta and, weirdly enough, soft tofu. I’m describing it poorly, but it really is delicious, and the milk sauce is a worthy drink when no one’s looking.
Overall, I’d definitely return to Tasty Mo:Mo. I hereby verify their claims with my weighty Spoonfuls guarantee.