Say dumplings and people of a certain age shudder, recalling evenings sat at their mother’s dining table forcing down stodgy balls of dough found, inexplicably, in stew. What the hell was that all about? Luckily the British style of dumplings fell out of favour and now we’re much more likely to be shovelling down the dish with chopsticks than forks. But oriental dumplings are a very different kettle of fish, so to speak. Mó:Mo is actually the first dumpling bar in the UK. It’s quite a big risk narrowing yourself down to what many people have only experienced as a starter or side dish but word reached us both of the owner’s passion for what he was serving up and also how damn good it was.
You want dumplings? You’re in luck. You want something else? Hard luck. Mó:Mo offers up five different fillings and a mix’n’match option of chicken gyoza, pork and Chinese leaf, beef and celery, which we opt for. There are loads of ways of cooking dumplings and Mó:Mo go for one of the most popular and healthy, steaming. It gives them a lovely soft texture, not a million miles from ravioli and brings the portion of six of these little fellas in at under 300 calories, if you order them with the salad (£4.70 for the mixed portion, £4.20-£4.40 otherwise). Closer to a wonton wrapper, but thicker, we struggle slightly to tell these neat pastry parcels apart. But they all taste good and the DanDan udon noodles (£1 extra) have a lovely kick and are thick and filling.
Not bad at all. There might not be a massive range of dishes on offer but the idea of specialising with one dish is one more people should consider. The service was swift, which is important as many of Mó:Mo’s customers are grabbing a quick lunch before heading back to work.
WERE WE SUSSED?
It’s kinda cosy in the place itself – it used to be a sandwich shop after all – so we thought that we’d get take-out and discuss the meal privately. On the downside the photos were rubbish (the food is artfully arranged if you eat in) but we can be certain that we weren’t sussed.
Mó:Mo Dumpling Bar
Kensington Gardens (01273) 698129
Mon-Weds 10am-6pm, Thurs-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11-6pm