If you are in any way affiliated with Berkeley High School, it’s safe to assume you’re aware of the insane amount of restaurants scattered across the East Bay. Each weekday, at exactly 11:41 a.m., I hear those familiar three long lunch bell beeps. It always manages to transport me into a hunger-focused frenzy and causes me to completely forget about my current task. I immediately start to wonder what food choice would give me the most satisfaction for that particular day. Even with all these options, I often just resort to my few favorite lunch spots.
As I hurry to escape my classroom, I’m hit by the overwhelming feeling of choice. Within minutes, Shattuck Avenue becomes flooded with thousands of students, all racing to be first in line at Sliver or Starbucks. These options, while maybe obvious and convenient, don’t leave room for much variety. Even by just walking a few more blocks past the usual sandwich and coffee shops, a whole world opens up with an even wider selection of cuisines and flavors.
Because BHS is right in the heart of Downtown Berkeley, we have access to much of the East Bay’s vibrant food culture. Even during the weekend, I often find myself near downtown, wandering up and down Telegraph Avenue in search of the perfect snack. Most of the time this proves to be a harder task than I expect. How could there be so many options yet I can’t seem to pick one? When I start to feel indecisive, I often find myself gravitating towards one specific place: a small Nepalese restaurant called MoMo House.
In almost every country, across the entire globe, there is some sort of dish that takes the form of a dumpling. On top of what’s usually thought of as a dumpling exists perogies, gyozas, and just about anything else with some sort of filling, concealed inside a sheet of dough. In this case, chicken, beef, or vegetables are stuffed in the center of a thin wrapper and either fried or steamed, served with delicious sauces and optional cheese. If anything, I love momos just because of their simplicity and incredible flavors. Within every bite, you get a mouthful of each spice in the filling, tangy sauce, and the rich “broth” forming through the cooking process, all prominent by themselves while still creating a symphony in a bite.
MoMo House sits almost at the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way. I love finding a seat in the corner on a quiet Sunday while enjoying these perfect bites. Of course, momos aren’t the only thing they sell, but to me, they are the most notable.
If you are a long-term momo enjoyer or just seeking a new place to enjoy, I recommend MoMo House for those days when you find yourself in a dilemma like my own, wandering through Berkeley with no real destination in mind.