Momos, dumplings, dim sums - these little balls of dough; steamed, fried or even baked; have become an intrinsic part of Bangalore's kitschy food landscape. From little roadside shacks and trolleys to Michelin starred restaurants, from traversing Tibetan to Korean to Cantonese cuisines, the dumpling has come a long way in the city. Here are a few restaurants not to be missed for the perfect dumpling experience:
Taste of Tibet, Brigade Road
If were to go on a momo trail in Bangalore, where better to begin than Taste of Tibet, at the Indo-Tibetian Plaza, just off Brigade Road. Among their noodles, rice and other curries, the momos — fried or steamed according to your preferences — are the clear favourite. Apart from the more common veg and chicken fillings — chicken, according to an employee, is the most popular — some people come specifically looking for the beef variant too. Dine-in and parcel facilities are available.
Snakart, Brigade Road
One of the first outlets to sell momos out of a trolley cart in Bangalore, Snakart definitely made momos more accessible in the city. Situated right outside Rex theatre and next to Nilgiris, this little kiosk is more frequented than a regular restaurant on Brigade road on any given day.
Although not great on variety (chicken and vegetarian momos) the place is popular for its affordable prices and authentic taste. Served along with the typical hot chilli sauce, the momos are priced within the `40 - `60 range.
Momo Hut, Koramangala
A little shack that's almost become synonymous to Koramangala's Tibetan fare is Momo Hut. Nondescript, accommodating up to 6 tables, this little restaurant serves great momos at an unbelievable price. They serve two kinds of momos like most other places: the steamed and the fired kind, with chicken, beef and vegetarian options to choose from.
The chicken momos are the most sought after dish here, in which the succulent momos dripping in chicken broth, melt in your mouth at first touch.
This is a place where you can eat to your fill for under `100, if you can ignore the cockroaches running amok under your tables, and definitely don't mind playing hide and seek with the little rats that care to make guest appearances every once in a while.
HongKong Noodles, Ramamurthy Nagar
If you live in the northeast part of town and don't feel inclined to drag your feet to the bustling city areas for a steaming hot momo,
Hongkong Noodles in Ramamurthy Nagar might be just the place for you.
Here, you could sample steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried or szechuan style momos with vegetable or chicken fillings. Located on T C Palya Main Road, near Koshys Hospital, it's a restaurant that also home delivers.
Hae Kum Gang
For the non-vegetarian clans, Hae Kum Gang, a Korean restaurant located at Ashok Nagar right above Plan B, is probably a must visit. With an array of dumplings that vary from chicken to pork to shrimp to kimchi (a spicy, fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings), the dumplings at Hae Kum Gang are inventive yet quite authentic. The Korean palate tends to run a little sour and is definitely an acquired taste, but for the especially adventurous ones, this place is a treat.
"Most of our ingredients are imported from Korea itself, especially the sauces, which lend the dishes the authentic Korean taste," says one of the waiters at Hae Kum Gang.
Make sure to order a glass of Sangria here to wash down the heavy dumplings.
The Momo Shop, R T Nagar
The Momo Shop, R T Nagar, as it's name indicates, has only dumplings, save a veg clear soup to complement it, on the menu. What's more, the momos here are 'Darjeeling style' to use proprietor chef Ronald George's words as the hill station was where, during his mountaineering course, he was introduced to the Tibetan delicacy.
"And when I returned to study engineering in Bangalore, I went around tasting momos at various places across the city, but I felt that they missed the flavour of the Darjeeling momos," he tells City Express. So after a 10-year stint in the corporate world, he turned to his calling — cooking and serving momos — simple veg and chicken — with spicy tomato chutney — one and a half years ago.
Ronald believes in keeping his menu simple and currently, has no plans to innovate.
"Veg and chicken momos are what I serve; I could include pork, but a lot of Muslims live in the locality, and they wouldn't eat it. Most days, unless it's a festival when Hindus avoid non-veg, chicken has an upper hand over the veg momos," he says.
Momo Shop is open from 6 pm to 10 pm, Monday to Saturday.
Mister Momo Man, Kammanahalli Main Road
Suraj Subba started selling momos on the streets of Bangalore, nearly six years ago.
Previously a modular kitchen installer, Suraj hailing from Darjeeling, wanted to set out and do something by himself. He started out selling momos in places like Koramangala and Indiranagar, but is now mostly found in Kammanahalli main road.
"We only sell two types of momos - chicken and vegetarian, as we sell to a wide group of people and most of them prefer these two varieties. We serve momos with peanut sauce and garlic chilli sauce," informs Suraj.
A plate of eight momos will cost you no more than `50 to `70. Mister? Momo Man sells on the road next to the Jal Vayu Vihar Bus Stop, from 5 pm onwards.
Yauatcha, 1 MG mall
If your pockets are running particularly deep sometime, a perfect restaurant to whet your dim sum appetite would be Yauatcha, the Michelin starred Canotonese restaurant/ tea house, located within 1 MG mall. A speciality not to be missed here is the Cheung fun, a rice noodle roll from southern China, commonly served as a variety of dim sum. A thin roll made from a wide strip of rice noodle, filled with shrimp, pork, beef, vegetables, or other ingredients; the three style mushroom Cheung fun and the prawn Cheung fun come especially recommended.
For the extremely health conscious, they serve baked dim sums as well - the Fried turnip cake with vegetables and the Crispy duck roll are probably as exotic as it gets.
As you shop or are waiting to catch a movie at malls, you could probably head to Beijing Bites or WoW. At Beijing Bites, you could have the fried wontons or try out the szechuan, manchurian, chilly or pepper-salt momos. WoW offers prawn, mushroom and even chocolate momos, in addition to momo burgers. Dil Sum in Koramangala serves this snack too and so do the Chaipatty restaurants.