Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Newa Taste Of Nepal & India – C-Momos And Mo' for the Tenderloin

"C-Momos" (momos with chili sauce)
San Francisco may never develop a "Himalaya Heights" neighborhood, like Jackson Heights in Queens, NY where you can find two dozen places serving momos within a short stroll from a single Metro station, but with the recent opening of Newa Taste of Nepal & India in the Tenderloin we have as least four venues to enjoy the delicious meat-filled dumplings in San Francisco.

Fried Momos at Newa
Newa is a casual spin-off of nearby Red Chilli, a more formal Nepali & India restaurant around the corner.  There are four momo offerings at Newa: steamed chicken, vegetable, fried (chicken) and something called C-Mo: Mo (we'll get to that).  On an initial visit I had the fried momos, having previously enjoyed the steamed chicken momos at sister restaurant Red Chilli. The fried momos turned out to be chicken as well, and deep fried, though they were not overly greasy. The chicken was well seasoned and the supplied orange-ish colored dip (different from Red Chilli's) had a nice heat level to it. On my departure. I asked the young woman at the cash register about "C-Momos," which, she explained, are also chicken momos with a savory topping.

A little Googling proved  that "C-momos" are actually a thing, with the "C-" apparently shorthand for "chili," and that put them at the top of my list for today's return to Newa. This, I've now decided, is the momo option to go for at Newa. The same chicken dumplings, but steamed and searingly hot, are drenched with a spicy sauce replete with tomato chunks, onions, chilis and spices I couldn't identify. The dish was so tasty that I could barely wait for the momos to cool enough to eat, and left me with the regret that that I hadn't ordered a made-to-order naan bread to soak up the remaining sauce.

The establishment's name, Newa, refers to the indigenous people of the Katmandu Valley, and to a cuisine (also called Newari) which is a subset of Tibetan cusine. In fact, only one dish on the menu is called out as Newari, Newari Khaja, which appears to be a Thali-like mixed platter. Overall, it looks to my uneducated (in this culinary area) eye to be a typical Nepali cum Indian affair, with a small Nepali menu and a vast array of Indian goodies.

The place is small and takeout oriented, with only two hand-made shareable wooden tables. I'd suggest visiting off-peak if you want to eat onsite.

Newa Taste of Nepal and India
407 Ellis St. at Jones St.
The Tenderloin, San Francisco