Zuzu Momo Restaurant and Bar
If you go to Italy, you’ll find ravioli….
In Poland, pierogies….
And when in Japan, you’d get gyoza…
But if you want a taste of Nepal, you just have to head to Everett to try a Zuzu Momo.
Located on Main Street in Everett, Zuzu Momo is the dream turned reality for owners Nirajan Tuladhar and Niraj Shrestha, who longed to bring the flavors of their homeland to the States, where dishes like these can be hard to find. In fact, many of their customers have never even heard of the cuisine.
“When they come in, and they try the dumplings like, wow, where is this from? And I say Nepal..and they say some place in New Jersey, or something? Some people don’t even know that Nepal existed. Like, I had to tell them, Hey, this is where Buddha was born. This is where Mount Everest is from.”
“It’s kind of amazing how people don’t know about Nepal and bringing Zuzu Momo to Everett, Massachusetts. It’s like, bringing our food and educating about Nepal and what the culture is. It’s amazing.”
So they set up this modern looking space with a comfortable dining room, an intimate bar and a fun patio for outdoor dining.
“I wanted to have a very Nepali setup with the American vibe, with a cozy feel. It’s very welcoming. It feels like home. We have patio outside for people who want to do outdoor dining. It The food versus the drinks versus the atmosphere inside. It’s one of a kind.”
Since the word MOMO is in the name of the restaurant, getting an order of this delicious signature dish should be a requirement.
“Zuzu means ‘King’ in Newari. So ultimately we’re trying to say it’s king of momos.”
But what exactly IS a Momo?
“That’s a great question. Everybody has their own versions of momos, obviously mines better. So we have our own blend this has been passed down to families over family.”
These traditional Nepali dumplings can be stuffed with anything from beef, to pork, to vegetables. From there, you can have your momo steamed, deep fried or pan-fried.
And each one is made with love by Niraj’s mother, Nilam.
“She is one of the fastest momo maker that I know when she comes in, she makes 1000s of momos in like, in few hours, it’s amazing.”
And while they all certainly taste amazing, these two owners are pretty partial to the steamed version.
“Because we steam them. It’s actually creating a soup inside. So when you bite into it, there is a soup that comes in is that’s the essence of really the momo for me.”
“I love steam. When it’s right out from the steamer, it’s like so juicy. That it’s like when you put in your mouth just melts. So that’s the best.”
And the Nepalese flavors aren’t just in Momo form. There are starters like the Samosa Chaat.
“We basically smash the samosas and put some yogurt and some pickle like sauces and a tamarind chutney we mix them all together. When you bite into it, it will be very tangy but also very crispy and soft because you have the fried dough on the outside as well as the potatoes on the inside.”
If wings are your thing, Zuzu Momo has you covered, with options like super spicy Mad Chili, seared in a tandoori oven with onion, bell pepper, red chili and Sichuan pepper tossed in chili sauce. Or the flavor packed Tandoori Masala Wings.
“The tandoori masala wings are basically marinated wings and then we do is we put them in our tandoori oven which is basically a clay oven where we make our nan so it’s slowly cooked.”
And for an ultra meaty wing, order the Chicken Lollipop.
“It kind of feels like a lollipop because you have this whole bunch of meat on top and then you can kind of hold your lollipop on your hands.”
That Nepalese flavors continue right through the entree selections, with dishes like Shrimp Chili featuring a tasty combination of shrimp, onions, bell peppers in a spicy sauce and the Zuzu House Biriyani.
“Biryani is South Asian street style food. It’s a fried rice with a lot of Indian local spices, all kinds of meat, like the shrimp, chicken, paneer and a lot of vegetables. It tastes like goodness. You can smell cumin, you can taste ginger, you can taste garlic. It’s a it’s a mixture of a lot of things.”
And you should always get an order of Zuzu’s version of Chicken Tikka Masala.
“Chicken tikka masala is basically a chicken dish with the gravy sauce in it and the gravy sauce is based out of tomato and onions. People just love it and they pair it with rice or nan. And the sauce is just amazing. It just melts your heart.”
And at dessert, you’ll want to try Yomari- a traditional delicacy not often found in these parts.
“Yomari is a very ethnic food back in Kathmandu.”
“We sell two kinds of yomaris, one with molasses and one with ricotta cheese. You have to be a little careful because it’s very hot inside but it will be a mixture of sweet and a softness when you bite into it. It’s absolutely delicious.”
And whether this is your first momo, or your thousandth, you’ll eat like a king at Zuzu Momo.