Since I am fortunate to live very close to Himalayan (aka Jackson) Heights I tend to avoid the dumpling extravaganza that is the Momo Crawl. Now its sixth year the festival that Jeff Orlick started featured more than 20 restaurants serving the beloved dumplings of the Himalayan diaspora. Rather than participate in the crawl, I pay my respects to the winner the day after. This year’s winner took home a groovy yak leather wrestling belt that Orlick designed with local artisan Lhemi Sherpa. It features a gleaming momo and a rock from Mount Everest. And the winner is . . .
Nepali Bhancha Ghar, an unassuming two-level cafe, whose name means “Nepali Food House.” The past four winners of the people’s choice contest were Tibetan. As usual the Momo Crawl voting was quite democratic with crawlers choosing whichever momo they like. It was only by chance that I happened to choose the one dumpling that sets this year’s winner apart from the rest of the momo pack: jhol momo, which are served in a spicy chicken broth.
I’d ordered plain pork momo, but then I noticed some folks eating what appeared to be momo soup. So changed my order to jhol momo. Served in a spicy, garlicky soup/gravy these were truly the momo of champions. And good eating on a cold night too.
I caught up with Orlick later that evening who had this to say: “The fact that they are on the block where the voting was, and that they were the only ones serving the jhol momo, no one could compete.”
Nepali Bhancha Ghar, 74-06 37th Rd., Jackson Heights, (917) 999-0228