- The Kolkata gastronomic scenario has adopted many food items from the foreign individuals who’ve migrated here, gave them its significant special touch and embraced them. One such considerably popular item is momo. From the roadside stalls to posh restaurants, this simple food has won our heart like anything. And as per my knowledge goes, Doma Wang makes one of the best momos in town. So, I had written about her Blue Poppy outlet in Salt Lake earlier. But since it has closed down for some reason, I am taking the liberty of updating the post to her new family venture, Blue Poppy Thakali..
A bit about momo first
So, if we want to write about a good momo place. Let me first talk about a momo and its difference from its other distant cousins. This segment will be pure gyan, so read ahead at your own risk.
Dimsum, as per the hong kong vocabulary, means a bite-sized food. It probably originated in Cantonese province in Guangzhou. And, traditionally, dim sums are mostly consumed with tea. Dumpling is a type of dim sum with the semi-transparent outer layer (mostly made with rice flour). The filling is mostly pork or chicken and these have to be steamed. they can be further categorized as Jiaozi and Baozi. Jiaozi is the smaller version and is served with chilly oil, whereas Baozi is much bigger in size and can be generally referred to as the Bao. Wanton is typically a Jiaozi in a soup. They tend to be of such a size, that can be fitted in one tablespoon finally, Momo is a Tibetan food- period. The outer layer is quite thick unlike Jiaozi and they are, in size, somewhere in between Jiaozi and Baozi.
In the 17th century, Momos came down from Tibetan highland, Lhasa to Kathmandu by Newari traders. And then were popularized like anything. Newari traders traveled between Lhasa and Kathmandu via the Himalayan valley and it took 10-12 weeks. The Newari traders settled in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok, Dharamshala and many other places. The first roadside momo stall, Tuladhar recalls, was seen in Kathmandu around 1942. There was a second influx of the momo when Tibetan refugees arrived; this variety, first-served in the various refugee camps, including Majnu ka Tila in Delhi and Bylakuppe in Karnataka, was less spicy than the Nepali variant, where the momo became smaller and spicier.
Apart from the usual Steamed, fried and pan-fried momo, there are other varieties. The other varieties are tingmo and thaipo. Tingmo is a Tibetan steamed bread and often called as flower bread. And Thaipo is 3 times the size of a momo. Of course, the Kothay is there, as the steamed momo finished on the griddle.
About Blue Poppy Thakali now
Okay, so Blue Poppy Thakali is the part of the chain of restaurants run by Doma Wang, popularly known as Doma Di, and is managed by Sachiko. It’s a joint serving some fantastic pork dishes, apart from the chicken ones. But let me clarify, beef is not served in this place, as she has the beef momo specialty restaurant, Shim shim for that.
It’s quite easy to reach Thakali. It’s tucked inside the Sikkim House at Middleton Street. Paid parking is available inside. And the google location can be found here. The place has an open setting. While the restaurant sitting is done decently, the crowd favorite is the inside space with traditional floor sitting.
About the food
In one word, the food at Blue Poppy Thakali is fantastic. The menu card has multiple items, which are impossible to cover in one visit. I’d suggest going with the assortment of momo in the first visit and other main courses on the next visit. Momos here has a thin outer layer, unlike other places and are served piping hot. Apart from the usual varieties, a flower momo (or open momo) is served, which looks nice.
From the starters
But, apart from momo, there are other fantastic dishes served at Blue Poppy Thakali. The first item, that I’d like to mention there, is the Chicken Choila. It’s a smoked chicken salad, with a spicy mustard oil dressing and chopped onion and green chilly enhancing the taste. This dish is the star attraction of the place and definitely should not be missed. Damn, every time I have this, I miss my peg of Old Monk rum.
The second dish is the Sungur Ko Khutta Ko Achar. I always tend to forget the name, so please pardon my spelling mistake here. It’s basically a pickled pork trotter. Khutta means trotter or leg and hence the name. More than an achar, it has a semi-dry gravy and pairs extremely well with steamed rice. Bein a trotter, the meat portion is slightly less, wherein it’s super soft and melt-in-mouth. If you go to Blue Poppy Thakali, don’t ever miss these two dishes- please.
Well, at Blue Poppy Thakali, I personally like Pineapple pork. Boneless pork strips are tossed in a sweetish spicy sauce and the balance is just perfect- every time. The pork thukpa is nice, but for thukpa, I prefer its beef counterpart at Shim shim- run by the same management. The pork shapta, every single time, needs to be customized (read spicier), to suit my tastebud. But, they’re damn good in taste.
Other food items
The Nepali thali and Sel Roti-aloo dum combo is quite a crowd pleasure at Blue Poppy Thakali, but somehow, they did never appeal to me, considering I have so many other tasty options. But let me tell you, if you’re nice to Doma Di, she personally can invite you to her wonderful cooking and that, my friend, is something to experience. The Phing Sha Labu ( a popular dish with Tibetans) or beef with glass noodles and radish is a subtle delight and even Beef keema with tofu (Mopo Tofu). But these are special items and are cooked at home by the lady.
Overall, Blue Poppy Thakali is a fantastic place and a must-go-restaurant, if you love Tibetan and Nepali food. Considering the place, pricing is slightly on the higher side, but food taste compensates for it. The dessert selection is quite poor, but the Nutella-Pancake is a must-have.
You might like to check my favorite places for Momo here
Bon apetit !!!
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