The third in a series of “Momos”, Momo &o fulfilled my desperate hunt for a beautiful poke bowl in Joburg. I’d been searching for months after (again) overindulging at Three Wise Monkeys in Sea Point, Cape Town over the December holidays. Simply put, Three Wise Monkeys can’t be beat in this department, and our numerous instagram pics of their Hawaiian bowls with delicate fish, pickled veggies and sticky rice are evidence that we’re fans. But Momo &o gives Three Wise Monkeys a good run for its money, and Joburgers are already catching on to this new treasure in the heart of Norwood. This is hopefully a sign of good things to come on the Grant Avenue strip. Its sister restaurants, Momo Baohaus and Momo Soko, have similar menus and are in Greenside and Illovo respectively.
Ambience: Trendy and relaxed (4/5)
Food & Wine: Tapas, Ramen, Bao and Poke Bowls. No license, BYO (4/5)
Service: Variable (2/5) (updated in Sept 2018 4/5)
Overall: We can’t get enough!
The restaurant is located on Grant Avenue, a buzzing road in Norwood. This area seems to be slowly recovering after a decade of neglect and with restaurants like Momo &o popping up, we’re very optimistic that more will come. The interior is cleverly clad in wooden crates with wood and aluminium decor.
FOOD & WINE
The menu consists of modern Asian-inspired food – tapas, ramen, bao and poke bowls.
We started with the Crispy Calamari to share. It was very tasty and light but the portion was much bigger than the usual tapas size. Probably adequate for four people to share as a starter.
Next up we decided to share the Deep Sea Bao which consists of two steamed buns with tempura prawns, ginger and hoisin sauce. We thoroughly enjoyed this course although it was again bigger than we anticipated, and the buns were probably slightly out of proportion to the rest of the ingredients.
And finally, even though we were full at this stage, the two spectacular poke bowls arrived. There are a number of bowls on the menu which essentially consist of the same ingredients with the difference being the sauce on the fish. Options are available to have a vegetarian and a rice-free poke. We both opted for the salmon option with rice.
As noted in the summary above, Momo &o is not licensed and you can bring your own booze. As is typical with this kind of food, pricing is not cheap.
At the time of writing this review I’d been to Momo &o three times (yes, the poke bowls are that good), and I experienced very variable service. There are a few inexperienced staff members that are not up to scratch but will hopefully improve. The hostess and one or two of the other staff members are excellent.
The afternoons are generally not too full, but be sure to make a booking for dinner or you’ll likely have to wait for a table.
(UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2018: All kinks seem to be ironed out and service now matches the excellent standard of the food.)
See their menu here.
124 Ivy Road (cnr Grant Ave)
Closed Monday and Tuesday;
Wednesday and Thursday 11.30am to 9.30pm;
Friday and Saturday 11.30am to 10pm;
Sunday 11.30am to 3.30pm
Tel: 087 980 5843
For other Equilibrio restaurant reviews click here.