Momo Kuro is the newest little sister in the Momo group of restaurants. Two years ago the first of the four restaurants, Momo Baohaus, opened its doors in Greenside, kicking off a revolution in Joburg’s palate and an eclectic Pacific Rim fusion in the city. Jodi-Ann Pearton gets a taste of its newest offshoot, situated in Rosebank.
Food type: A fusion of dim sum, poké and tapas
Best for: A fun-filled social gathering
Cost: R90 average main meal
Star ratings: Food: 4; Service: 2; Ambience: 4
Momo Kuro is no different from its other siblings in that it also delivers a flavour explosion. The attention to detail on the plates is fantastic and each plate takes the diner on a little adventure. This particular outlet focuses on tapas, bao and poké bowls, which is really fun for sharing. Plates are hearty – even the small plates are generously portioned and well-priced, so diners will feel rewarded.
Be sure to try to the Formoso calamari with mint, basil and ginger; the Siu Mai open dumplings; the crispy salmon ceviche tacos; the Szechuan prawn wontons; the pulled beef brisket; and the Peking duck.
The bao and poké bowls are larger meals, prepared with fresh ingredients. If there’s room after the delicious tapas, then the deep sea bao – packed full of fresh tempura prawns, QP mayo, pickled ginger, Sriracha, hoisin sauce, spring onion and coriander – is a must. The Mighty Duck is also a winner. There’s something to suit all palates.
After all the umami-packed main dishes, you may want to try a baklava bao or lemon yuzu tart to cleanse your palate.
Momo Kuro doesn’t have a liquor licence; however, diners are welcome to bring their own wine, beer or spirits free of charge. There’s a fabulous list of speciality teas on offer, well in line with wellness trends. There’s also a coffee station and a range of coconut waters and standard beverages on offer.
The service in this little restaurant is a letdown on this occasion. Attention to detail is lacking, and service staff are not well informed or attentive to diners.
Momo Kuro is quite literally hidden, taking underground dining to a new level. The physical address given doesn’t assist you in finding this secret little gem, either. When arriving, walk through the Keyes Art Mile, confirm with security personnel, climb the fire escape stairs then walk through a door to be presented with a magnificent view of Johannesburg and the back end of the bustling Marble restaurant. It;s quite a treat. In Japanese, the word momo translates to dumpling and kuro to black, and this is seen in the décor at the restaurant. The shop fitting is chic, clean and modern; well-suited to the artistic locale. The view over Rosebank is just sublime. The restaurant is incredibly loud, so don’t come here looking for a quiet date night or cosy get-together.
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