Tag Archives: Bao

Momo Baohaus

Bao… You know that soft steamed Chinese bun filled with delicious ingredients. The bun is light and airy and oh so delicious. Yeah that good stuff. I’ve been having difficulty finding good bao in Pretoria so when Momo Baohaus caught my eye as I was passing Greenside in Joburg I knew that’s where I was having lunch.

Momo Baohaus serves Asian dishes and specialises in bao, bowls (rice, noodles, and wokked greens), and sushi. And every dish on the menu looks tasty.

Some treats before ordering

From the street the restaurant looked empty but as soon as we were standing outside my friends and I were shocked by how full the restaurant was. We got the last table! And we still had to turn it into a table for 3.

As soon as we were seated menus appeared and a couple minutes later (yes, two minutes) a waiter was ready to take our drinks order. A friend and I decided to be adventurous and tried the Turkish delight lemonade and the lemongrass yuzu ginger beer. Surprisingly, the lemonade wasn’t too sweet. And it was tasty. The ginger beer was also tasty and had a bit of a tart taste and a bit acidic. But both drinks were delicious and refreshing.

Lemongrass yuzu ginger beer and Turkish delight lemonande

For food we wanted to order everything or at least I wanted to order everything. We started off with tapas: Korean fried chicken wings (spicy, crispy and dripping with sauce. So yummy); stir fried greens spring rolls (bland but the sweet chili sauce made it enjoyable); and the szechuan prawn wontons (the best of the 3: spicy, tender, and mouth-watering). The wontons are a must.

After that tasty treat we ordered bowls and bao. The Kung Pow bao definitely has a kick, thanks to the  gochujang (a red chili paste that is sweet, savoury, and spicy). The beef was crunchy and the bao was tender and sweet. It was perfect.

For the bowls we ordered the szechuan (chicken with noodles); Bangkok (beef with jasmine rice); and Seoul (beef with noodles). The szechuan bowl was the best of out all 3. The chicken was tender and spicy and the sauce was delicious. Definitely a dish to try. The Bangkok was also delicious but it could’ve had just a bit of sauce. Nonetheless the beef was delicious. The Seoul dish was also tasty. Although I having more than one shiitake mushroom would’ve been great and the beef was a bit too crunchy for me. Still, all the bowls were cooked well and were unique and tasty.

The food at Momo Baohaus is delicious and flavourful. Many of the dishes leave you craving for more. And the dishes are huge so you have enough for later in the day or for the next morning (when the flavours will be even stronger).

The service is also great! There was almost no wait between the dishes, which created only one problem: we ran out of space on the table.

I give Momo Baohaus 3.5 cupcakes (and order the wontons):

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Review guide:

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No rating (read: why have you even bothered to open)

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Poor (read: shit)

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Average (read: meh)

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Good (read: above mediocrity)

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Very Good (read: fling your money at them. It’s worth it)

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Extraordinary (read: if you have to make a sacrifice to be here, do it)

Hazelwood Food Market

I’ve been attempting to go to the Hazelwood Food Market for a few weeks but somehow something always gets in the way. Sleep is really important guys :-P. But I finally managed to drag myself out of bed and head to the market.

As it turns out, getting out of bed was the easy part. Finding the market was a different story. It turns out that the Hazelwood Market is not in Hazelwood but in Greenlyn. So don’t head towards Hazelwood. You’ll probably be as confused as I was.

The Market is at the end of the parking area of Greenlyn Village Centre. It’s a medium sized market but it’s packed with food, drinks and flowers. It brought a tear to my eye. I was so excited to see so much food in one area that I had no idea what to do with myself or where to start.

Walking through the market, I wanted to try everything but realising that I couldn’t eat everything, I focussed on a few interesting stalls. The first stall was The Pop Café, a Bubble Tea stall. Since we weren’t sure what good combinations to use, the gentlemen at the store kindly recommended 2 drinks. The first was a green tea with lemon bubble tea and melon boba. It was delicious! The lemon added depth to the green tea and the melon boba was refreshing. The second was a rooibos tea with passion fruit boba. This was refreshing as well but not as yummy as the first tea.


The second stall was the Churros. Every since being banned from eating Churros from a street vendor in Rio de Janeiro, I’ve been dying to get my hands on one. The stall has 2 variations: the normal churros (in mini or normal size) and a red velvet churro. Seeing that I’d never tried a churro, I thought it best to start with the original. There were 2 filling options: chocolate and dulce de leche. I decided to go with chocolate. The churro was divine! It was crunchy and sweet. Definitely well worth the wait, although I feel it may have been even more tasty on the streets of Rio.

After walking around for a bit, we found Katayef Persian Pasteries and bought 6 traditional Jordian sweet – Qattayef- with Nutella fillings. The pastry is deep-fried and soaked in sugar syrup before serving. It sounds sickenly sweet but it’s not. Somehow, the pastry balances out the sweetness and you can eat many in a row. Trust me, I’ve tried it and I don’t have sweet tooth, thanks to Banting.

The next stall was the reason I got out of bed – Bun Box – a stall that sells steamed buns and dim sum. Ever since Cape Town, I’ve been struggling to find mind-blowing bao (steamed buns). But I think I’ve found my fix. Their steamed buns were light and fluffy. I had the pork boa and the pork was tender. It was delectable. I think I’m going to become a regular of the market, just to get my hands on their steamed buns.

The last stall was the Fudge and Turkish Delight stall. Here, plain and rose Turkish Delight was spread over a huge pan. The Turkish Delight is made from corn syrup and after making peace with the fact that I’ll never find pistachio Turkish Delight in South Africa, I bought way to much Rose Turkish Delight. The Turkish Delight was sweet but yummy. I keep sneaking into the pantry at home to stuff 3 into my mouth.

I’m pleased that I dragged myself out of bed and went to the market. The market has almost everything a foodie would want, at decent prices. I can’t wait for next week Saturday :-D.

Market details:

  • Opening hours: 8am to 2pm
  • Venue: Greenlyn Village Centre, Thomas Edison Street
  • Bring cash with. Some vendors don’t have Snapscan or card facilities

Stalls to check out:

  • Hazel Tree Pancakes
  • Katayef Persian Pastries
  • The Juice Bar
  • Corrado’s Cucina
  • Pizza Cones
  • Taco Kombi
  • Belgian Waffle Cafe
  • Fudge & Turkish Delight
  • The Pop Cafe
  • FlatBread
  • The Bun Box
  • And all the churros you can get your hands on 🙂

Downtown Ramen

There’s been a number of dives that have opened in Cape Town. One of which is Downtown Ramen that opened in April this year. Downtown Ramen is located in Lefty’s, on Harrington Street. Although the place is small, it’s cosy and warm with the unique art. The menu is also quite small, with the main dish being the Shoyu (pork ramen).

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My favourite to start off with is the bao. Bao is a steamed bun that’s normally sweet. Downtown Ramen has 3 varieties: charsu pork belly, beer braised beef shortrib, and smoked aubergine and teriyaki tofu. Both the pork and beef come with a citrus pickle that adds a refreshing flavour to the heaviness of the meat, which is succulent and tender 😀 . The vegetarian option is just as tasty. The spicy pickle cuts through the melt-in-your-mouth teriyaki tofu, with the aubergine adding more flavour.

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Aubergine and tofu bao
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Beef bao

For mains, there’s four options: shoyu (ramen with pork belly); kimiko(vegetarian ramen option); laksha noodles; and thai beef massaman. The shoyu is a definite must-try! The noodles are done perfectly and the pork belly is tender, although a bit too fatty, while the delicious miso and ginger broth added more flavour.

Shoyu
Shoyu

The laksha noodles are really spicy! That warning is there for a reason. But before the chillies hit you, the laksha is creamy and delicious. The chicken and tofu are tender. However, after a few bites, the spiciness kills your tastebuds. Or maybe my boyfriend and I are just whimps 😛 .

Chicken Laksha
Laksa Noodles

The beef massaman is very much a curry with noodles. The dish contains beef, noodles and potatoes. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this dish as much as the shoyu and was quite disappointed. Although the beef was tender, there was no coconut broth and the dish was very dry. The combination of the potatoes and noodles was a carb overdrive for me and made the dish too heavy.

Beef Massaman
Thai Beef Massaman

Nonetheless, Downtown Ramen is the perfect place for your ramen cravings, but I honestly wouldn’t go for the curry dishes. The service is great although it does get busy, so getting the attention of the only waiter can take some time. The place gets busy from around 7pm, and doesn’t take reservations, so it’s best to get there early.

I give Downtown Ramen 2 cupcakes out of 5.

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Review guide:

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