4.126 Momo

Cycle 4 – Item 126

11 (Sat) May 2013



from Potala Restaurant

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with Momo

Potala Restaurant is a Tibetan/Indian/Nepali restaurant.  Perhaps the only restaurant in Korea to offer Tibetan cuisine.

The plan had been to join my cousin KW and his colleagues for dinner.  Traffic was so bad, however – every buddhist in the country, and many additional thousands from other countries, apparently, had converged downtown, a block away from the restaurant, to stage a parade in honor of Buddha’s birthday next Friday, perhaps the longest parade in the history of Korea, which shut down most of the streets in the area – that the meal was pretty much over by the time that I arrived.  The parade made for after-dinner entertainment.

On the way back to my car, I encountered the restaurant and dropped by for takeout.  Since I hadn’t eaten dinner yet, it presented an opportunity to add “Tibet” to GMTD’s list of countries.  Ironically, I wouldn’t have even noticed the place if not for the buddhists – I had parked far away to avoid the crowds – a too-good-to-be-true karmic coincidence that didn’t occur to me at the time, not until just now.

Momo is a Nepalese/Tibetan dish.  It’s a dumpling filled with minced meat (e.g., lamb, goat, yak – just what one would expect from a Nepalese/Tibetan dumpling), folded into a flour-based wrapper, then steamed/boiled/pan-fried.   The name derives from the Chinese “饃饃 (steamed bread),” which is what dumplings are called in some parts of southern China, according to our nanny.  Not only in name, the methodology is most likely Chinese in origin as well.  Similarities in certain dishes from the general region are inevitable.

The first item on the Tibetan portion of the menu was momo.  I ordered it because of the name.

They were okay.  Consisting of beef, likely in deference to the local palate, the seasonings had a South Asian flavor, further enhanced by a spicy curry dipping sauce.  The skins were a bit rubbery.  Not too bad at 8,000 won for 10.

My nickname for IZ is “Momo.”  As a play on “Ian,” I started calling him “Eeny Meeny Miny Mo,” soon shortened to “Mo” then doubled for cuteness to “Momo.”  Now that I know its meaning in Chinese, which is perfect, I’m considering making it an official middle name.



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