Momo Soko is the sister restaurant to Greenside's popular Momo Baohaus, the creation of two Taiwanese brothers who introduced the taste of Taiwanese street food with a few twists, including Chinese, Korean and Japanese influences, to Johannesburg.
While Momo Baohaus is cheekily named for its signature fluffy bao (stuffed steamed buns), Momo Soko celebrates the Chinese barbecue skewer or 'soko' (an anglicised spelling of the Chinese pinyin word shao kao). A ubiquitous Chinese street food snack, shao kao are heavily spiced flame-grilled skewers that are popular throughout the country.
At Momo Soko there are 11 soko to choose from, all named for mountains, (an idea inspired by the word Momo which means dumpling in Nepal). Stand-outs include the Aconcagua, a tangy prawn skewer drizzled with ginger, scallions, garlic and sesame and made even more perfect with a squeeze of lemon; the green basil and mint topped lamb Matterhorn skewer; and the Kilimanjaro, chicken spiced with a chilli, cumin and ginger rub.
Soko aside we also recommend trying the Korean-style fried chicken wings or the firecracker chicken (heed the warnings on the menu, both dishes are packing some serious heat), the famous chairman bao (stuffed with pulled lamb, hoisin, crushed peanuts, spring onion and coriander) and the outstanding beef and pickled shitake gyoza pot stickers.
Dessert is an after thought at the Momo restaurants. There's just the one item on the menu, although after filling up on kebabs, kimchi and steamed buns you probably won't be thinking about it anyway. There's no liquor licence so bring your own booze (there's also no corkage fee) or choose one of the excellent teas - the fragrant jasmine tea is wonderful or try the intriguing 'popcorn tea', a traditional Japanese genmaicha blend made with toasted rice.
The atmosphere is fast-casual with just over a dozen tables and minimalist decor. Evenings are always busy so on any given night of the week we recommend booking a table in advance.