7 March 2019: Come to the Coburg Velodrome they say. A day full of fun, flavour and festivities is for sure they say. An occasion to celebrate Nepal and relish a particular gastronomical phenomenon. Come to Momo Fest the excited organisers urge. Because, you must they say! If you don’t then you are missing once-in-a-year congregation of thirty varieties of momos, they warn.
Solangture, the organiser of Momo Fest 2019, is all pumped up and juiced up to serve an expected 20,000 momo and music lovers at the northside venue. Apparently, nearly ten thousand visitors have already registered online indicating growing popularity of the yearly event.
Momos are enticing already but then singer Bipul Chettri is adding gun powder to the flavour bombs.
You can call Momo Fest, as it arrives at its third episode, a niche festival because all it does is celebrate Nepal through these little balls packed with flavours that will transport you straight to the cosy, traditional eateries across the historic Kathmandu city.
This annual festival has seen strong growth year after year, Raju Shakya from Solangture claims. According to Mr Shakya, the fact that Time Out Melbourne has listed the Momo Fest among things to do in March in Melbourne city is a testimony to its growing popularity.
Other popular lifestyle publications like Broadsheet, Concrete Playground, Urbanlist, Where To Melbourne and Visit Melbourne have also covered the festival. Not many Nepalese festivals draw attention of media outlets outside the community as Momo Fest does.
Although Momo Fest is a free-entry event, donations will be collected at the venue which will go towards MIT Group Foundation’s charity projects in Nepal. The Foundation, established in 2015 by Nepalese-Australian Rich Listers Shesh and Jamuna Ghale, aims “to provide relief to poverty stricken people and to assist in times of need for the poor and destitute in developing countries”.
Traditionally, momo brings the family together as people gather around to work in groups to cook up these flavoursome little balls. There can be many variations too, buffalo meat being the most popular ingredient back in the Himalayan nation. However, chicken and goat meat are equally popular now.
You cannot go to a Nepalese restaurant – be it in Nepal or here down under – and not smell the ubiquitous momos! That will be like travelling to France and not feel the cheese!
Momos are undoubtedly the most popular of Nepalese dishes. Although it looks like many of its Asian counterparts, momos are quintessentially Nepalese dumplings that burst with authentic Nepalese flavours.
You only have to eat once and mate, you are hooked!