Friday, October 15, 2010


It has been such a long time where I've been so impressed with dinner. Recently, my dinner excursions have been good, but very casual. But sometimes it's nice to just go somewhere a bit more refined.

The restaurant itself, looks incredible. A basement space with crystal lighting features on the ceiling creating a sense of occasion. The attention to detail is impressive - from the entrance in the lift where the lighting is immediately dimmed with just artifacts glowing - I believe this is because the restaurant is dark so the dimming of lights is in anticipation of your arrival, to allow your eyes to adjust.

The space itself, the seating, the tableware all impressive. The seats were incredibly comfortable and we easily and casually ate our way through four hours (unknowingly, but then again, I'm fantastic company, really I am).

We opted for the Arabesque set menu, which allowed us to choose 2 entrees, 2 mains, 2 sides and the full selection of desserts which would be plated separately at the table. What a fantastic choice.We started with some raw vegetables and oil/molasses with some spice rub. Nice, but raw vegetables are...raw vegetables.

For entrees, we opted for the spiced calamari and the special of chicken wing and liver terrine.I could not fault either of these dishes at all. The spiced calamari was amazing. It is difficult to describe, but the complexity of flavours is the first thing that hits you, texturally superb with the fritters and crunchy calamari giving it the crispness of the dish.The terrine was equally impressive but out of the entrees, the spiced calamari was the hero.

For mains, we selected a duck pastry and loin of lamb. Unfortuneately, I was so into my food I forgot to take a photo of the lamb dish. The pastry had a light dusting of icing sugar which added another layer of sweetness to the dish. The lamb was incredibly yielding but so well seasoned and balanced with the giant cous cous. Often, with "degustation" or "set menus", there is one or two dishes that don't hit the highs as some of the others. There was not one dish I would not happily eat again and again.

Dessert was interesting, in a good way. A green apple and turkish delight souffle, Pinenut icecream with blood orange jelly and saffron meringue with persian fairy floss (that was green!), and an incredibly rich bittersweet chocolate tart. Of course, there was also a plate of fresh fruit and sorbet. The blood orange was unbelievable, and for a moment, we were more interested in the fruit than the rest of the dessert!!

The impressive component of Momo is how the dishes are composed. The souffle for example, when eaten by itself, without the turkish delight at the bottom tasted more like egg, but when you get a mouthful of the turkish delight the dish is transformed into something far more complex. The meringue, pinenut icecream and blood orange jelly was interesting. The flavours were quite confronting, for me, it was the saffron meringue. Pinenuts are often associated with savoury dishes, but in this instance it was used in the ice cream. Again, tricks on the palate!

Rich chocolate tarts are always rich chocolate tarts. Quite difficult to finish, but still satisfying. The fruits were interesting with blood orange that was one of the sweetest blood oranges I've had for a while and the darkness of the fruit was fantastic. I can't seem to find blood oranges that dark at the markets.

We finished with some coffees and of course petit fours, and being a middle eastern restaurant, you really can't expect anything less than impressive turkish delight (those cigar things were great too).

Overall, love it.


MoMo, 123 Collins St (Grand Hyatt Hotel), Melbourne

MoMo Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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