by Jigme Wangchuk
Momo Corner is a famous eatery in Thimphu, Bhutan. It is located near Centenary Farmers' Market in Chhogyal Lam, one of the busiest thoroughfares by the side of Wangchu River.
Started by a young couple, Wangchen and Tshering, this restaurant specialises in meat and vegetable momo, a type of dumpling that is popular in Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal and parts of India.
The dish is similar to the Japanese gyoza, Chinese baozi, Korean mandu, Mongolian buuz and Afgan mantu.
This restaurant that targets the average Bhutanese boasts of visitors like the king, the prime minister and cabinet ministers, among others. What customers like most about Momo Corner is the stark cleanliness of the restaurant and the quick service.
Kitchen staff starts work very early in the morning and has everything ready by around 8am. Wangchen and Tshering take turns to supervise the kitchen, besides making sure that customers receive the best service. By the time the restaurant is ready to open in the morning, there is already a long queue of people waiting at the door.
"We get really busy the whole day, especially during weekends," says Tshering. "We don't have enough staff and the space is rather small."
|More momo: Conveniently located near the Centenary Farmers' Market, one of the busiest thoroughfares in Thimphu, Momo Corner has become the city's favourite food joint
Fridays, Saturday and Sundays are the busiest days due to the weekend vegetable market nearby.
Because of its immense popularity, the restaurant is trying to set up a chain in Thimphu.
"It's really difficult to get helpers but it's a good idea to expand, of course," says Tshering, who is at the counter taking orders and making sure that everything is in order in the kitchen at the same time.
It is almost 9pm and Tshering's two assistants are tidying up things. It is about time to close.
"Thank you for coming," says Tshering, with large grin of satisfaction. Tomorrow is going to be another busy day. — Kuensel Online (Bhutan)