April 11, 2010

Located in the very sweet Heddon street, Momo is a couscous place which has opened in 1997 and which keeps being one of the places to go in this area.
Like in Sketch (opened 5 years later by Mourad Mazouz as well), you enter in another world when you push the door of this restaurant. All night long you don’t feel as if you were in London but rather in a warm place like North Africa – decoration and music help you to get into this special mood.

I’ve been there twice, in the evening only. That time we were four people, celebrating two birthdays and a new job. Momo was then the best place to celebrate all of that!

As you got it, the menu is mostly made up of couscous, tagine and the traditional kemia as a starter.
We started with briouats – delicious pastry filled with cheese, mint and potatoes – and char-grilled aubergine. Portions are ok and quality is there; good way in.
After that we got two couscous Momo – lamb shank, lamb skewers and merguez – one chicken couscous and one lamb couscous. Yes, we like couscous.
Of course all of that was going with chickpeas and vegetables.
We can’t deny it, everything was just delightful, exquisite, delicious! The meat was well cooked and the grain was great. However we regret there wasn’t more chickpeas and veg sauce as the end of our couscous got a bit dried.
We asked for more sauce and couscous then and we got it! But apparently it was quite an exception… What a pity.
At first sight, like at the Medina, you really think the portion is TOO SMALL. And finally, you finish it with difficulty! But with pleasure of course 🙂

As we would celebrate two birthdays, we had ordered a chocolate birthday cake. When the time came, lights got down, music stopped and restarted suddenly very loudly with tomtoms – the lady who acts as a manager cheered on everybody to clap and shout – great moment then. And I can say the cake was more than nice. Actually we asked a doggy-bag to take the rest away. So gourmand I am! Mmmmmmm

After this great evening, we couldn’t move from this twilight lit décor (candles on tables!) as the bench was really really comfy… and our stomach more than full…

The hard time of the bill arrived…
Count around £10/starter (to share) and between £15 and £20 for the main course. The birthday cake was around £30.

== The Mo’Café ==

After such a good meal, it was time to get a good drink! Why not staying in this amazing institution?
Let’s go to the Mo’Café, next door. Here the atmosphere is as much relax but a bit more quiet. The idea is to recreate a kind of Marrakesh souk where you can seat confortably and get sheesha pipe, drinks and even some Moroccan food at anytime. Note that all the furniture in the café is on offer for sale!
I guess it must be a nice place to go during summer, to spend hours on the terrace.

I forgot to mention that almost all the staff speaks French. They are well trained and even put your napkin on your lap! Warm welcome in a warm place (a bit weird coming from French people, I know).

> Tips:
As well as the restaurant, the café and the terrace, you can also continue your evening in the bar/disco downstairs. Live music sometimes!
Here is the program

> Verdict: E5
To conclude, I’d say Momo is a great restaurant to go with friends or with your dear love. Excellent evening guaranteed 🙂
One reproach would be about portions which could be a bit bigger. Of course some would say it’s already far enough; but to me, couscous is a generous dish which should be served in abundance. This “detail” contributes to the pleasure of savouring a good couscous.
I wouldn’t say that’s the best couscous I ever had. But the ambiance, the décor, the casual staff, the good food anyway form a whole which makes me fan of this place. It’s like an escape and this is what I’m looking for in this kind of restaurant.

Infos: Momo – 25, Heddon street, London, W1B 4BH – 0207 434 4040 – Picadilly Circus – opening hours

Momo on Urbanspoon

One comment

  1. Great review and a very nice place indeed. I didn’t go for the couscous, just for the momo grill which had a wide selection of delicious meat and was an excellent choice. The atmosphere is, as you say, well removed from the busy London streets outside and was perfect for a gathering of close friends.

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