Momos are having a moment, at least in Somerville, where the second restaurant bearing the Nepalese dumpling name has popped up in as many months. In April, Tasty Momo opened its doors and on June 1, Momo n’ Curry began beckoning customers with its cheery orange sign, and the promise of “fresh Nepali and Indian fast food” on the ever-expanding outskirts of Union Square.
Though the pint-size restaurant looks built for takeout, there are a few small tables and a cozy granite bar facing Somerville Avenue, where you can sip complimentary chai tea and even get a peek at the Prudential building, if you look past the bustling Market Basket parking lot. Food arrives in plastic takeout containers with disposable cutlery, but it’s a fine spot to settle in for a casual dinner.
Orders do come relatively fast, and it’s all homemade, including the momos, fat little dumplings stuffed with chicken, buffalo, goat, or veggies, to name a few. A chalkboard lists several flavors and rotating specials.
The chicken chili momos ($7.50) are compact little dumplings in chewy wheat wrappers, coated in a sweet-and-sour tomato-based sauce with bell peppers and onions. If you like the sweet heat in this dish, try the chicken chili straight up ($7.50), which has tender stir-fried pieces of poultry coated in the same sauce. The buffalo momo ($8.50) encases a more flavorful filling; it comes with sweet chutney and a fiery dipping sauce.
The restaurant serves both Nepali and Indian food, but owner Lokesh Adhikari is from Nepal. This is the second restaurant for Lokesh, who owns Cafe Momo in Manchester, N.H. One specialty that seems to straddle both cuisines is the goat curry ($11.99); the brick-hued dish is deeply savory with a touch of sweetness from tomatoes in the sauce. It’s delicious, but not for dainty eaters. The meat, with bones intact, is best nibbled off your sticky fingers. Curries come with rice, but an order of the notably crisp garlic naan ($3) is a great way to soak up whatever is left on your plate. Vegetable stir-fried noodles ($7) are addictive, with a thick slick of oil, flecked with black pepper and thin strips of carrot, onion, and cabbage.
The menu is relatively short, a collection of momos and curries (as the name implies) but each dish feels thoughtfully prepared.
Momo n’ Curry is still new, and though not the only Nepali (or certainly Indian) spot in Somerville, it will stand out. Not just for the quick service, flavorful food, and super-affordable menu, but because there’s plenty of room for more momos in this town.
Momo n’ Curry
431 Somerville Ave.,
Union Square, Somerville, 617-764-1563
www.momoncurry.com. All major credit cards accepted. Not wheelchair accessible.
Prices Appetizers $3-$9.99, entrees $7-$11.99
Hours Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-
What to order Chicken chili, buffalo momo, vegetable noodles,
goat curry, garlic naan.
Catherine Smart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.