Great find in Canberra
Earlier this year I saw a restaurant called Momoda as I was walking past on my way to meet friends for a drink and since then I have dined there about four times. On this occasion, a few months ago, I arranged for a group of friends to join me for dinner. I invited my Chinese friends, my friend Jon and another friend Anne (who I have known since school). The menu is extensive with vegan and vegetarian options and also with lots of meat and seafood dishes.The name Momoda is Chinese slang meaning kiss-kiss which is an expression of affection used at the end of text messages similar to “mwah” in English. Cute! The food here is delicious; so many choices for me as a vegan and lots of great dishes for my meat eating friends as well as the many choices of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails and drinks.I always order the cauliflower san choy bowl which comes with peanut satay and baby cos lettuce which allows you to make your own little parcels of deliciousness. Also on my list is my absolute favourite – crispy eggplant with Chiang-Jiang red vinegar, roasted sesame and ginger chilli. Now this is good!
I have also ordered the wild mushroom bun, with pumpkin seed, king mushroom and black pepper which was very good and there is a dumpling called the double cheeseburger dumpling – yes you read correctly; that is definitely a combination of West meets East – we didn’t order this. All the buns and dumplings we have eaten here have been great!
The Enoki Mushroom Spring Rolls are really good and my friends chose the meat version; Mongolian Kangaroo Spring Rolls with Sichuan chilli salt, wombok and ginger salad. I must say I have never heard of a Mongolian Kangaroo so who knows how both link but anyway they were good I am told.My friends shared quite a few dishes including the scallop and prawn dumplings topped with diced pickles, Grandma’s sticky pork belly; twice cooked pork with caramel lemongrass chilli jam, the pork and Chinese chive dumplings with black vinegar and ginger chilli dipping sauce and the BBQ pork Char Siu buns – all delicious I was informed.The restaurant’s interior is worth the visit; dimly lit with a really lovely decor that includes Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling, fans on the walls and unusual items like an old leather suitcase displayed on a shelf and non-Chinese lanterns hanging on the walls – all adds to the ambience I think.
The owner Irean is from Mainland China and has a wonderful sense of humour. I love that she remembers you from previous visits. And to top it off, my Chinese friends Peter and Katie said to me at the end of the evening that they loved each of the dishes and because they are used to typical Chinese food they were so impressed with the quality and variety of the dishes. I guess this is because the dishes are traditional Chinese but with a very modern twist. Certainly not the Aussie/Chinese dishes like beef in black bean sauce or sweet and sour pork; both dishes my Chinese friends have never heard of.
Definitely a restaurant worth visiting.