Located on the lower level of an indistinct row of townhouses, Momo’s Cafe dishes out Taiwanese fare just minutes from the Mount Vernon Campus.
The restaurant, located at 4828 MacArthur Blvd. NW, is minimalistic with stark white walls, triangular black hanging lights and few tables and booths. As the weather continues to warm up, diners can also sit outside at a bright red table situated in front of an intricate and colorful fake flower wall.
Momo’s Cafe’s menu, like its interior, is standard with just about 15 appetizer and entree options like popcorn chicken ($7.50) and beef noodle soup ($12.95), but the restaurant’s dessert options are far from basic.
For an over-the-top dessert unlike any other, Momo’s Cafe will not disappoint. The restaurant’s oven-baked honey toast ($23.50) begins with a massive slice of milk bread – an airy and fluffy type of bread originally from Japan – which is hollowed out. The bread’s interior is chopped into bite-sized squares and brushed in butter, giving them a crunchy texture and golden exterior, and stacked back into the hollowed-out loaf. The re-assembled toast is then baked for 30 minutes – so make sure you have some time carved out before ordering this special dessert.
While the toast bits are light and crunchy, the stand-out aspect of the dish is its extensive toppings which range from two heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream to blueberries, melon chunks and orange slices. The tall slice of toast is also drizzled in chocolate syrup and dusted in matcha powder before being topped off with vanilla Pirouline sticks, star-shaped sprinkles and fruit-flavored chunks of gelatin.
When the dessert was brought to my table, I was instantly overwhelmed and even skeptical of the seemingly random hodgepodge of toppings. But once I sliced into the honey toast – which took a minute or two because of its thickness – I was pleasantly surprised. The chunks of toast had just a bit of sweetness so the overload of sweet toppings was not too much for my tastebuds.
I could have gone without some of the toppings, like the fruity chunks of gelatin or sugary Pirouline sticks, but the fresh fruit mixture and cold vanilla ice cream complemented the toast as it soaked into the bread’s crevices.
Because of its humongous size and seemingly never-ending toppings, the honey toast is definitely a dish for when you want to treat yourself. But it was fun to try a popular and tasty Taiwanese dessert that is not easily found across the District. Be sure to bring a few friends to help you conquer the massive honey toast and foot the bill for pricier-than-usual dessert.
For something less gluttonous, choose to snack on appetizers like takoyaki ($8) – battered and fried octopus balls – and fried beef dumplings ($6.75).
You can also sip on some refreshing iced teas with fruit blended in like melon green tea ($5.75) and strawberry black tea ($5.75) or go for a sea salt iced coffee ($6.25) alongside your dessert or with your entree.
Momo’s Cafe provides for a nice change from the limited food options located on the Vern. Although it does not accept GWorld, the extraordinary desserts at Momo’s Cafe will make the options worth the price tag.