Kuai Momos

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WANT: Asian fusion/Thai food

Occasion: Great for casual dinners with friends

Neighborhood: Gracia

Location: Carrer Martínez de la Rosa, 71, 08012 Barcelona

Website: Kuai Momos

Phone: 932 185 327

Reservations: Recommended on weekends but not necessary on weekdays, call 932 185 327 or email info@momosbcn.com

Hours: Mon – Wed: 8 pm – 11:30 pm, Thurs – Sat: 8 pm – 12 pm, Sun: closed

Prices: Reasonable (around 25€ for dinner and a drink)

Menu: Kuai Momos Menu 

Kuai Momos has the best of both worlds, or continents I should say: it serves amazing Asian food in the style of Spanish tapas. You might think it sounds unusual to have a restaurant that integrates different food cultures, but the two combine seamlessly and the outcome is spectacular. The owner and chef of the restaurant, Jordi Brau, explains on the website that Kuai Momos “highlights a very common point between East and West, good food.” Brau brings the heart of Gracia dishes from ThailandIndonesia, China, Japan, Vietnam, and Cambodia that he came to love when he lived and travelled in Asia for seven years. His menu, which he designed to be shared, not only allows people to try more of his mouth-watering dishes, but also brings people together. With a passion for food, friends, and traveling, Brau has created the perfect environment for fun dinners with old or new friends. The staff are young and sociable and the prices are budget-friendly.

Despite the welcoming atmosphere and good vibes, the interior of the restaurant is nothing special. It’s extremely casual and resembles Vietnamese restaurants with low wooden tables and chairs. The restaurant is decorated with the souvenirs Brau brought back from his travels in Asia. I also do not love the fact that it is located in a quiet alleyway because I feel unsafe walking into it alone at night. Regardless, you will immediately forget the unnerving alley once you try the food.

When you hear the word “tapas,” you may picture small portions, but, do not let the word fool you here. While some dishes, like the eggplant, are somewhat small, others, like the dumplings, are bigger than you would expect (and bigger than they look in the picture). I came here on a casual date with my boyfriend. Even though the restaurant doesn’t provide an English menu, the Spanish menu includes pictures of all the items. Our waiter was also happy to be our personal translator, but I do think they should invest in an English menu nevertheless. A great thing about Kuai Momos is that it offers so many good options that anyone – whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian – can find plenty of things they’d love on the menu. Our waiter suggested that we order four dishes to share between the two of us. Not surprisingly, we ended up ordering six. This was partially because we couldn’t decide what to choose (since everything looks so good), and partially because my 230 pound boyfriend thought he would need more food than the waiter suggested. When our tapas came out, there was more than enough food for us. I would definitely listen to my waiter’s advice in the future. It’s nice to find a restaurant where the staff don’t push their customers to spend more money, and rather genuinely want them to enjoy the perfect meal. There’s definitely a sense of passion and love in the staff at Kuai Momos, rather than greed and business-incentives. Every item on the menu was under 10€ except for the duck, which was 15€. For drinks, Kuai Momos offers both wine and beer selections also in an affordable price range – my boyfriend got a beer for 2.60€. Our entire meal was 60€ total – and keep in mind that we ordered at least one too many dishes.

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Though the prices are low, the quality of food is exactly the opposite. Time Out recommends Kuai Momos’ “tuna tartare, gyoza and nems which, for price and quality, set them apart” from that of other restaurants. Of the six things that I tried, there was only one thing that I wouldn’t order again, the Salmon Suke-Maikas. I thought it would be completely rare salmon tataki, but it was actually slightly seared. I’m used to having the uncooked variety so I thought the flavors of the cooked tataki tasted a bit off. Even so, it wasn’t a half bad dish and I’m sure I would be happy with it at any other restaurant; it just seemed a step below the other dishes at Kuai Momos. I unquestionably suggest getting the dumplings, which were one of my favorite dishes there. They are made fresh and come with four giant pieces (the picture does not do them justice), giving you plenty to share. I got the Dumpling Meimei when I went, which include pork, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots, but I’m sure all of them are delicious. In a video on Canal Cocina, you can actually watch Brau prepare these dumplings.

Another one of my favorite dishes was the Tataki de ternera – as you can see, I had trouble choosing one favorite. The dish is a succulent beef tataki with salt and a delicious sweet but light sauce on the side. Another great item on the menu is the Berenjena a la Shanghai – sweet eggplant wrapped in soft corn tortillas. The Pad Thai tailandés “Kao San,” or chicken pad thai, wasn’t the best Pad thai I’ve ever had but it was still good. I think I would try the shrimp Pad thai (Pad Thai tailandés con langoustinesnext time I go. Lastly, we got the duck (Pato como le gusta al Chef Bin), which was huge and left us too full to get dessert. It was served as a deconstructed dish – all of the ingredients were presented isolated from each other and we had to put the toppings onto the steamed pancakes ourself. The toppings included a large portion of flavorful, fatty duckhoisin sauce, scallions, and cucumber. It reminded me of Peking Duck, one of my favorite Chinese dishes. I heard from a friend that the Thai-style Tom Yum soup – made with mushrooms, shrimp, cilantro, chili, lime, and lemongrass – is incredible as well, but I didn’t get a chance to try it yet. In fact, my friend, boyfriend and I aren’t the only people who love it here – Trip Advisor comments confirm that Kuai Momos uniformly delivers great food, at great prices, with great service. I would recommend it to anyone who wants an enjoyable, easygoing, delicious Thai/Asian meal. It’s the perfect place to bring a group of friends and I’m doing just that next weekend, when my classmates from University of Miami come to visit Barcelona.

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