What: Momo I Am
Where: New Town (Shop no. G-B, near Chinar Park crossing) and Lake Gardens (195C Lake Gardens, near Bandhan Bank)
Meal for two: Rs 600-plus
Having hit the bullseye with its Tibetan and Chinese fare in Lake Gardens, Momo I Am set up shop near New Town this year. t2 dropped in at its Chinar Park outlet and caught up with Darjeeling boy Reevu Wangdi —
co-owner with friend Pravakar Yonzone — to know what’s been bringing on the hungry tide at its 15-seater in south Calcutta since 2012...
Why do you think Momo I Am clicked so well with foodies?
Haha! I guess because we were hands on from the beginning. We did everything... from taking orders, serving to even cleaning tables! Our food is authentic yet has modern twists. People also like our ambience. And our menu is pocket-friendly.
We have always wondered why it’s named Momo I Am!
It was an accidental name (laughs). We wanted something catchy and were toying with the sentence ‘I Am Momo’ but that sounded funny. So we flipped it and that worked!
So who are the fans?
Mostly the young crowd like students and young working professionals because of the affordable pricing and ambience. We do get elderly people and families coming in as well.
And what are the pop bites?
Drums of Hell, the baos, especially Pork Bao, Chicken-T Momo and Pork Chilli. People looking to have a wholesome meal settle for the bowls or thukpas. Our portions are quite big, so that makes people happy.
The Chinar Park outlet of Momo I Am is larger but the food is just as delicious. The 45-seater has many similarities with its Lake Gardens sibling — funky artwork (here the walls are covered with works by American propaganda artist Shepard Fairey), wall graffiti (done by Reevu) and outdoor seating. What’s new? Beverages and desserts.
Veg Thukpa: A hot favourite, this thukpa has a thick, flavourful stock cooked for three hours with veggies such as celery, carrots and cilantro root. Rs 130
Brucelee: Made with fresh ingredients instead of flavoured syrups, this drink has hints of cilantro roots, cucumber, lime, and orange and cranberry juice. Rs 150
The desserts are sourced
from a city hotel bakery.
We loved the Tiramisu
and Chocolate Dome.
Hangover Momo: The name suggests it’s a good cure after a night of binge-drinking. The momos — available in veg, chicken and pork variations — are stir-fried with tomatoes, onions, bell pepper and drizzled with chilli oil, and come on a bed of mashed potatoes topped with Schezwan mayo.
Rs 150 to Rs 170
The baos are wow! It’s like a taco made with a soft bun that is stuffed with either pork, chicken, fish or veggies. We tried Chicken Bao (Rs 160) and Pork Bao (Rs 170) and loved both! The crispy chicken came drizzled with teriyaki sauce and topped with crushed peanuts. The pork belly is paired with a tangy plum mayo.
You can pick up pickles made of
dalle chillies sourced from
Rs 200 onwards
Text: Deborima Ganguly
Pictures: Pabitra Das