Columbus dumpling restaurant gets thumbs-up

The Mom Says:

The Nepalese and Tibetan restaurant Momo Ghar is located in one of the most exotic locales in all of Columbus.

The tiny eatery is housed in Saraga International Grocery, which features food items from around the world. Captive Born Reptiles, a store specializing in exotic pets, is located in the same plaza. (And yes, the kids insisted we go there after our dinner.)

Upon entering the grocery store, we meandered slowly past the unfamiliar fruits and vegetables in the produce section and hurried through the frozen foods as we made our way to Momo Ghar in search of steamed dumplings.

We initially sat at the restaurant's lone four-top table but eagerly moved to the counter, which offers a view of the employees rolling and stuffing dumplings, when a spot opened.

Since the dishes each come with eight dumplings, we agreed on three different options. We ordered jhol momo ($8.95), Kathmandu-style dumplings filled with chicken and spices and served with plenty of spicy momo sauce; Tibetan momo ($7.95), a pork-filled dumpling; and the vegetarian dumplings ($7.95). We also ordered a round of hot milk teas ($2.25) to counter the cold air coming off the nearby freezers.

My favorite was the Tibetan momo. It was flavorful but not spicy. The jhol momo also was good but had a little too much heat for me. I found the vegetarian dumpling, which was stuffed with cabbage and carrots, a bit bland.

The experience—this meal truly felt more like an adventure than a dinner out—really clicked with the kids. They loved the idea of eating food from such a faraway place. Yet, the meal was really inviting. They were eager to try it—especially after watching the cooks prepare it before their eyes. We agreed we need to add Momo Ghar to our eating-out rotation.

—Melissa Kossler Dutton

The Kid (Age 12) Says:

The menu described the jhol momo as drowning in “spicy momo sauce,” and I liked the sound of that. I was not disappointed. I loved it. The flavor was amazing. I really like how the sauce blended with the savory dumpling. The sauce was extremely spicy, but it tasted delicious to me.

Still, my favorite dish was the Tibetan momo because of the delicious pork inside. The jhol momo was stuffed with chicken, but I liked the pork better. It had a smoky flavor that I enjoyed.

In my family, we have very different opinions about spicy food. My dad and I tend to really like it. My brother usually avoids it. My mom is sort of in-between. We did a good job of ordering food to fit all of our likes, though we all agreed the vegetarian momo could have been more flavorful. For those thinking about trying the food, you will find something you like at the right spice level.

This is a really casual place and the service is really fast. You could drop in and try it easily. But the restaurant is very small and you might have to wait for a table. I definitely recommend sitting at the counter because watching them prepare the food is entertaining.

I think most people would enjoy the dumplings. They are soft and flavorful. They have a twisted top like a Hershey's Kiss, but were the size and color of a pierogi.

It's fun to think that you can eat food from halfway around the world right here in Columbus.

—Nick Dutton

The Kid (Age 11) Says:

When I first got there, I was surprised Momo Ghar was located in a supermarket, but once inside it seemed like the perfect spot for an international restaurant.

When we got to the restaurant, I noticed that it was right near the frozen food aisle and the live fish market, which made it kind of cold. Luckily, you couldn't smell the fish from your seat, but if you went around the bend, you definitely could.

When I was looking at the menu, I noticed that the descriptions of the food were very vague and it was difficult to know exactly what you were ordering. We ordered the vegetarian momo, which the menu said was filled with cabbage and seasonal vegetables. It had a lot of carrots in it. If you like carrots, it's a good option. Fortunately, I do.

Next time, I would order the Tibetan momo because that was my favorite. It was meaty but not too meaty—a nice balance of meat and vegetables. The filling looked like nothing I had ever tried before. Tell your kids to go for it, it tastes good.

I also tried jhol momo. It reminded me of Indian food. It was very spicy and topped with herbs, which gave it a fresh taste. I would mainly recommend this one for people who love spicy food. The milk tea was great to wash down the spice.

Another cool feature about Momo Ghar is you can sit at the counter and watch the worker make the dumplings. It was cool to see how fast he could roll and stuff the dough to create a perfectly formed dumpling. When we asked questions about the food, the people were nice and friendly. I wish the server would have asked us at the start if we had questions about the menu or made some suggestions.

My recommendation is to go there with a sense of adventure and people who like to try new foods, order a few things and see what you like.

—Alex Dutton