Momos, curry, and soup from Moh Moh Licious in Shepherd Park
Momos, curry, and thupka from Moh Moh Licious Credit: Crystal Fernanders

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Moh Moh Licious, a small restaurant in Shepherd Park, serves Nepalese cuisine with an  Indo-Chinese twist. Restaurant partners Sujil Dangol and Farooq Munir joined forces in 2015 while running separate businesses (the former Himalayan Heritage in Bethesda for Dangol, Jolt ’N Bolt Coffee in Adams Morgan for Munir). It started as a food truck before their storefront was built a year later. The trucks would serve food downtown during lunch hours, and the store would open for dinner in the evening. 

A momo is a Nepali dumpling—the h was added to make the pronunciation easier. “Licious” in the restaurant’s name has a double meaning. “In my country, ‘licious’ is gifting something to someone out of respect,” says Dangol, a Nepal native. It’s also short for the English word “delicious.”

Moh Moh Licious’ counter Credit: Crystal Fernanders

A bright orange sign shows the name of the restaurant outside the rowhouse eatery on Georgia Avenue NW. Walk up the staircase and enter through the door on the left, which shows a large picture of their menu items. Nepal’s national flag hangs on the left side of the restaurant next to the hot drink menu. To the right is the ordering window and the menu board that displays their cold drinks. Look up for the food menu, with pictures of most of their dishes. There are a couple metal tables for dining located throughout the room. 

Moh Moh Licious serves a broad menu of appetizers, curries, biryanis, tandoor, naan, and desserts. Daily specials change twice a week. Whether you’re a meat eater, vegan, or anything in between, there’s something to fill you up. If you can’t find exactly what you want, just ask! 

“We want to serve what you have a taste for. If you want to mix two of our dishes together, we will! If we have it, we will make it. It’s about pleasing the customer,” Munir says.

The steamed dumplings are the most popular menu item, available in a six or 10-piece serving. They sell up to a thousand momos a day! The wrappers for the dumplings are made in-house with just water and flour. Choose between chicken, pork, beef, or veggie fillings, folded into cute little bundles, then steamed for about 10 minutes to cook through. Pair the dumplings with one of four dipping sauces—sesame tomato, red spicy, tamarind, and soya ginger. I tried each steamed dumpling with each sauce. The beef momo with the tamarind sauce was my favorite pairing. The beef dumpling had the right amount of spices, and I could honestly drink the tamarind sauce. 

Momos Credit: Crystal Fernanders

Moh Moh Licious also offers kothey, a pan fried dumpling, and deep fried dumplings. The jhol momo is a steamed dumpling that sits in a masala broth. C momo is a hot and spicy dumpling simmered in a dried chili and garlic paste. You can choose your filling for either of these dumpling options, which are served in orders of 10. 

With the weather breaking, it’s the perfect reason to try one of their soups. The thukpa (pronounced “toop-ka”) is a hearty Himalayan noodle soup, ordered frequently. Pick either their chicken or vegetarian versions, each made with handmade egg noodles, peas, carrots, cabbage, and beans, and garnished with sliced scallions. The broth in this soup was so fragrant, tasting just as good as it smells with a bit of spice. It’s a great way to stay warm for the next few months. 

There are a couple dozen curries to choose from, served with a side of basmati rice. Their popular veggie curry options are okra, chickpeas, and paneer—a fresh cheese with a creamy flavor similar to ricotta. The non-veggie curries are chicken, lamb, goat, shrimp, or salmon. They’re all slowly cooked in different curry bases, like masala, vindaloo, saag, and korma. 

The lamb and goat masala are their top selling curries. It gets seasoned, seared, and braised in a spiced tomato-based sauce for three hours. Personal disclaimer: goat and lamb are the last thing I’d order while dining out. But I of course had to see what theirs was about. Their goat and lamb are now the exception. So tender, didn’t taste gamey, right amount of spices, and savory sauce—it’s a winner!

Moh Moh Licious’ mango smoothie Credit: Crystal Fernanders

Moh Moh Licious offers hot and cold beverages to pair with meals. Refreshing fruit smoothies include strawberry banana, piña colada, and a mango lassi, made of mangoes blended with sweet yogurt. Their frozen drinks are made with tea or coffee, and blended with ice. Espresso drinks, like cappuccino, mocha, and Americano, are available hot or over ice. Other warm drinks are a spicy chai, hot chocolate, and a spiced apple cider that’s sold seasonally. 

The restaurant regularly sells a handful of desserts, with an occasional dessert special. I gave the rice pudding a try. Basmati rice is cooked low and slow with milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until thickened and creamy. It was not overly sweetened, resulting in me eating the entire 8-ounce serving in one sitting. There was a hint of saffron that added a teeny-tiny bit of a floral flavor.

Moh Moh Licious initially relied on their food truck for sales, which took a hit at the start of the pandemic. “I’ve been very lucky to be here standing during COVID,” says Dangol. “I’m very happy with where I am, with so many people talking about my food.”

Moh Moh Licious is located at 7414 Georgia Ave. NW. They are open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pickup orders can be placed in person or over the phone. Third party delivery is available through UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub. Prices range from $2 to $19.