Even though the Momo group was a pioneer of the ‘bowl’ movement in Johannesburg, we’d have to argue it’s the tapas that really stand out.
The Momos all share the same menu, with the exception of each venue’s signature dishes, which in this case are ramen bowls. There are six options, the majority served with beef brisket. They vary slightly in heat and ingredients, but most flavour profiles are similar – a bowl of ramen noodles (made on-site) with chicken/beef/veggie broth and a multitude of sweet, sour, spicy and fresh toppings. They’re tasty but not out-of-this-world good. But then one could argue that the Momo & O offering is all about fusion and affordability – and from this perspective they deliver.
The tapas and bao are what bring people back for more. The enormous bao aren’t what you’d consider to be authentic – but they’re delicious, so who cares? On the tapas front, the fiery green beans, consisting of smoky wok-fried green beans with ginger and chilli, is one of the best items on the menu – simple but delicious. The gyoza potstickers with a sweet plum sauce are fantastic, and the twice-cooked beef ribs and Korean fried chicken wings are wonderfully sticky and sweet.
The only disappointing part of the menu are the Momo bowls, which are too sweet and lacking in depth. Stick to the ramen, tapas and bao and you’ll leave full and happy.
If you have room for dessert, you can choose between lemon yuzu tart with home-made strawberry sorbet, a dark chocolate matcha tart with pistachio gelato, and the ‘deep-fried bun’ with salted caramel dip.
The BYOB policy will appeal to those looking to save a buck or two, complementing the affordable dining. The non-alcoholic selection includes Asian teas as well some fun and funky lemonades, ginger beers and other soft drinks.
Friendly, helpful staff offer satisfactory service.
Cool and minimalist, with wood furnishings and black metal chairs. It’s about simplicity more than comfort, but the space is light and inviting.
Dinner with friends, but it’s by no means a romantic date-night venue.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.