Momo Baohaus — Johannesburg, South Africa

Momo Baohaus — Johannesburg, South Africa

When brothers Lawrence and Tim Lai couldn’t find the Taiwanese street food they craved in Johannesburg, their solution was to open a restaurant. The resulting debut of Momo Baohaus has fast pinned itself as one of Johannesburg’s leading Asian eateries.

Wholly designed by its owners, the naturally lit Greenside space (with a sister establishment in Illovo) was centred around a minimalist aesthetic, canvassed by a signature wall mural against the crisp white backdrop. Clean lines and a black and white palette are balanced by the exposed brick wall of the kitchen and geometric bar patterning, hand-painted by the owners and illuminated by overhung globed filament lighting. Indigenous Kiaat wood tables decorate the charcoal flooring, diffused by colour shots of custom-coated yellow chairs and bar stools.

The locally made ceramics were glazed using a traditional Chinese method, and host a menu rooted in the melting pot of Taiwanese street food. The immense food culture draws flavours and techniques from Chinese, Japanese and Korean styles. Order plates to share for the table, making sure to try the Chairman’s Bao, with braised pulled lamb shoulder, pickled shiitake, hoisin and toasted sesame, or the Szechuan-inspired Firecracker Chicken.

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