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Momo Soko

Momo Soko
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Cost
R80 avg main meal
Ambience
Local cuisine, Quick meals
Food
Asian, Modern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
BYO No corkage

Critic's review

Kate Liquorish

Food
Following the success of their Momo Baohaus in Greenside, Aadil Mayat and Tim and Lawrence Lai have brought their modern take on Asian street food to Illovo in the form of Momo Soko. And it’s an absolute hit.

The menu is similar to that at the original Momo offering a range of bao buns, tapas-style small plates and bowls, but instead of sushi you’ll find a list of soko, or skewers. Everything on the menu is bursting at the seams with flavour; the steamed bao buns are seductively sweet, soft and packed full of crispy fried tempura, roasted meats and tofus, with an assortment of kimchis, pickles, sweet and spicy sauces, mayonnaise and fresh herbs. They are dangerously good and wonderfully anti-banting.

The soko, on the other hand, are cleaner, fresher and more savoury with an emphasis on citrus and spice. You’ll find different mash-ups of miso, garlic, spring onion, sesame and chilli enrobing these little grilled delights. The Fitzroy, a grilled prawn skewer with red-chilli drizzle, fried garlic, toasted sesame and spring onion, and the Aoraki, a grilled sirloin skewer with miso butter, garlic, lemon and crushed peanuts, are both fantastic.

Then, for those wanting something a little more substantial, there’s an assortment of comforting Momo bowls, all served on a base of rice, noodles or wokked greens. They’re a visual delight of slaws, vegetables, ramen eggs, mushrooms, herbs and sweet, sticky and spicy chicken, beef or tofu. There’s also a choice of three poké bowls consisting Norwegian salmon alongside pickles, slaws, kale, veggies, seaweed and punchy dressings.

It’s a feast for both the eyes and the senses, with every dish a delight.

Drinks
They don’t have a liquor licence yet, so you can BYOB without paying a corkage fee. I would, however, recommend trying one of the speciality teas, which work as the perfect digestive accompaniment to all that’s sweet and spicy. (The Iron Buddha comes out tops in this department.) Also on offer are Turkish Delight lemonade, lemongrass-yuzu ginger beer, coconut waters and craft ice teas.

Service
The waiters are youthful, friendly and casual in their approach, which works with the laid-back, contemporary feel of the place.

Ambience
Momo Soko is minimalist, contemporary and cool. It’s located between 86 Public and Beefcakes in the Illovo Muse Centre, so there’s not much to look at in terms of the surroundings, but the space itself is open and bright and lends itself to casual lunches and vibey dinners.

And…
It’s hardly been open a week and people are already struggling to get a table, so make sure you book for dinner.

(June 2017)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • This spectacular restaurant is a winner every single time. From the ambience, which is a cool vibe as it’s busy spot in Illovo, to the mouth watering and absolutely to die for food. The BYO booze policy with no corkage fee is absolutely great as you cut down on cost and can bring along your favorites. Bear in mind the dishes are all very reasonably priced which makes you just want to order more and more. The food is the real show-stopper, beyond my expectations and consistent each and every time. A good variety of seafood and vegetarian dishes, makes this gem suitable for everyone. Make sure to book a table as this magical spot is always busy with happy faces enjoying their bao’s , poke bowls or tasty tapas. Best done shared. Love and Light. Laughter and yumminess.
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  • The Hipster place to eat in 2018! Laid back setting means you can visit any day of the week. This is the type of place which is great to share tapas style with friends or to order a bowl and go solo. Everything on the menu is packed with flavour. For starters we had the firecracker chicken which i loved because its deep fried and spicy. other starters we chose were the korean fried wings, gyoza and Kalbi Beef. my favourite again was the firecracker chicken. Next! The Kung Pao Bao was a highlight for me as its right on trend with the 'David Chang' vibe. You have to try this. Although sadly after ordering some other Bao though i realised they all have the same base of spring onion, hoisin, qp mayo and sesame (would love some differentiation). On the soko side of things i had the K2 beef and krokatoa chicen - the taste was good but o think I will stick to tapas starters and bao. we orders the yuzu and chocolate desserts but I think dessert can get a skip.at this restaurant (the sorbet with the yuzu dessert was wonderful. had to add that!)will be back to try the momo bowls.
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  • Our table had a selection of Bao’s for starters which was a highlight as always - you can’t go wrong ordering one (one of the girls “complained” she could not eat anything until supper the following day as the portions were so big!!). For mains we all had a variety of bowls (hot sechuan chicken one was VERY HOT so beware) the overall comments were yummy, nice crispy veggies, noodles so-so and wow it’s spicy. The deserts seem to be an afterthought altough the ice cream was delicious the tarts were very average so opt for a pot of tea rather to end your meal.
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  • Excellent. Freak and thoughtful dishes. Lots of exciting options, thus too many to choose, so will def be back.
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  • Momo Soko is an all round hit - vibey, friendly staff, delicious food, and well-priced... even ended up at their sister branch, Momo&O, 2 days later! Would definitely recommend a visit (probably worthwhile booking as restaurant was full).
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  • Momo Soko is most definitely one of my favourite restaurants in Johannesburg. The food is absolutely sublime. Going all out on tapas for the table makes for a wonderful dining experience - the beef short ribs, chicken wings and salmon sashimi tacos are a must! The Colonel Bao is also delicious and forms part of an extensive list of various baos. The Bowls are also packed with flavour - and if you're feel like something fresh, the poké bowls are incredible. Really - the food is just amazing! It is situated at the Thrupps Centre - I'm not a fan of restaurants in centres - But I think they do try to make the most of the location. Service has recently been less exceptional than in the past, but still very friendly and effective. A must!
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  • I have recently developed an obsession with the poke, a Hawaiian raw fish salad that is quickly emerging as the latest hipster food trend. I have tried it at every possible location in Johannesburg and the poke on offer at Momo Soko is by far the best in town. The ingredients are fresh and everything is carefully selected to complement each other and bring out the flavour of the beautiful fresh salmon. Momo Soko's signature dishes are the variety of skewers so we also tried the crispy tofu skewer which was perfectly cooked and made with fresh tofu. We also tried the lamb bau which was tasty although slightly on the pricey side. The restaurant has a beautiful and cozy atmosphere and the staff are friendly and give great service. Momo Soko is officially my go-to poke spot.
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  • Good food, good experience. Service from management was good, but from wait staff a tad hurried. Their bowls are fabulous! We especially liked the sokos and the Momo bowls. Compared to Momo Baohaus, the tapas style dishes weren't as good. The dessert options have increased! Both the chocolate matcha and the lemon yuzu tarts were incredible! Try both if you like dessert, or the chocolate if you like sweet, or the lemon if you prefer some tang. A great dinner nonetheless and worth a night out.
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  • Where do I even begin...Momo Soko has crept deep into my heart and is currently one of my favourite restaurants in Jozi! I actually discovered it on UberEats and fell in love with their poke bowls. We only recently visited this hidden gem as they are always fully booked on the weekends (i.e. book in advance). It was definitely worth the wait! For starters we had the Mighty Duck Bao and the Fuji Soko. They were simply DELICIOUS! For mains we had the Salmon Maui Poke and the Salmon Kauai Poke, which were both flavour explosions. Not only are the flavours divine, but the presentation is absolutely beautiful. The service was great and best of all you can BYOWine :) The whole evening was really wonderful and I highly recommend that you give it a go! #EatOutBest
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  • Due to the incredible aesthetics of this vibey emporium we thoroughly enjoyed our Colonel bau from Master Lai
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways

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