Momo Bar Manly

Time Out (Sydney) - - FOOD & DRINK - Jor­dan Kretch­mer

EVER TRIED A Nepalese dumpling? They’re called mo­mos, and you can find some of the best pudgy little pork pock­ets on the North­ern Beaches at Momo Bar Manly. Seems sim­ple, right? Wrong. This little Mar­ket Lane kitchen is also do­ing poke bowls. Yes, the Hawai­ian fish salad. Stay with us, be­cause some­how Nepalese-Ja­panese-Hawai­ian-via-the-North­ern Beaches works an ab­so­lute treat. Lo­cals know it – a small queue snakes out of the shopfront and vir­tu­ally ev­ery ta­ble is taken up on a Fri­day lunchtime. What looks like a sim­ple salad bar is in fact hid­ing a bounty worth queu­ing for. Even though the menu hinges on two dishes – poke and mo­mos – the com­bi­na­tions for each are count­less. For the for­mer you pick your pro­tein (salmon, king­fish, tuna or tofu), base (cab­bage, brown rice, or half and half), and five top­pings – go wild with shred­ded nori, jalapeños, pick­led ginger, radish and avo (they don’t even charge ex­tra for na­ture’s but­ter). Bright green edamame, vi­o­let cab­bage, soft hunks of ul­tra-fresh salmon and shreds of or­ange car­rot come topped with sweet toasted sesame dress­ing and fried shal­lots for crunch. It’s nour­ish­ing, fresh and fill­ing, and maybe the best poke bowl we’ve had in Syd­ney. It’s a long haul from Honolulu to Kath­mandu, but here you’re

jump­ing from is­land vibes to Hi­malayan com­fort food in a Vin Diesel-ap­proved culi­nary hand­brake turn. The dumplings come filled with pork, chicken, lamb, lentils or veg­gies. ‘Manly style’ means they come with a slosh of yoghurt, pa­prika and warm­ing, soupy chicken broth. The dumpling skin is thin but sturdy enough to hold a gen­er­ous nub of juicy lamb, which is com­ple­mented by the gar­licky yo­gurt. The sin­gle thing we’re miss­ing is a big spoon to cap­ture the momo’s broth when it’s pieced, but it’s added to the bowl of soup that re­mains, spiked with the rich pa­prika but­ter. Don’t turn your nose up at the len­til dumplings. The tex­ture of the little dotty legumes may be un­usual in a dumpling, but they are hearty and earthy, and as a bonus for plant-based eaters they make them ve­gan too. Sure, Nepalese dumplings and poke is a sur­pris­ing combo, but we swear it’s a trans-sea­sonal win­ner. Every­one loves to jump on an In­sta­wor­thy band­wagon be­fore you can say ‘rain­bow bagel’ – but Momo is a true tasty uni­corn.

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