Calgary Momo House: A Taste of Nepal, A Hug from Home

With boundless passion, love, and a dedication to preserving their cultural heritage, Pooja Ale Magar and Prakash Magar have brought the authentic flavors of Momo to Calgary’s doorstep. Today Calgary Momo House stands as a testament to the power of culinary dreams and the joy of sharing a delicious taste of Nepal with the world. 

Excerpts from the interview

How have things changed since you first started your business at home? Tell us about the journey so far.
We initially started Calgary Momo House from the comfort of our home during the challenging days of the pandemic. Life has undergone a significant transformation since then, as I find myself pouring countless hours into the restaurant. I love being in the restaurant and witnessing the joy on our guests’ faces. Engaging in personalized conversations and serving up authentic momos has become the heart and soul of my everyday life.

What challenges did you overcome while introducing lesser-known momo cuisine to a new audience?
Introducing a lesser-known cuisine to a new audience is never an easy feat, but we believed in the power of quality and consistency. We emphasized customer service, striving to create an experience that would leave a lasting impression. When our guests walk through our doors, we want them to feel genuinely welcome. By treating them with care and respect while serving up delectable authentic dishes, we won their hearts, and they kept coming back for more.

How has Calgary responded to the unique flavors of momos?
The response has been absolutely heartwarming! We are immensely proud to witness our guests falling in love with momos. Their unwavering support has been overwhelming, with many coming back and even bringing their family and friends to share in this delightful culinary journey. The love and appreciation we’ve received have been further recognized when we were honored by Avenues Magazine as the “Best of the Burbs NE” in both 2022 and 2023.

What sets your Calgary Momo House apart from others?
Our dedication to authenticity is what sets us apart. At Calgary Momo House, we make everything from scratch, leaving no room for compromise when it comes to quality. From crafting our momo wrappers to preparing our flavorful sauces in-house, we take great pride in offering an unadulterated taste of Nepal. We hope our customers can sense the passion and hard work that our team puts in day in and day out, creating an unforgettable experience right here in the heart of Calgary.

Can you share some stories or feedback from customers?
Our customers have been our greatest cheerleaders! Many who have visited Nepal and tasted authentic momos there have expressed their delight in finding the closest experience to that outside of Nepal right here at Calgary Momo House. Their heartwarming feedback has motivated us to continue our journey of spreading the love for Nepalese cuisine within the local community.

In what ways have you incorporated local ingredients?
While preserving the authentic flavors of Nepal is paramount to us, butwe have also embraced the local community by sourcing produce and protein from nearby suppliers. This not only supports the local economy but also allows us to create a unique fusion of flavors that resonate with our diverse clientele.

How important is it for you to preserve the cultural heritage and traditions while operating in a different country?
Preserving our cultural heritage and traditions is at the core of what we do. Through our restaurant, we see an opportunity to showcase the beauty of Nepalese culture, fostering a sense of pride and appreciation for our roots within our multicultural city. It’s a responsibility we take to heart and one we cherish.

Have you noticed any misconceptions or misunderstandings about Momos?
Not misconceptions but definitely misunderstandings, as many people believe that it is just a regular dumpling. We address these misunderstandings by educating our service staff about the cultural significance of momos and how they differ from other types of Asian-style dumplings. This way, our staff can convey accurate information to customers and enhance their dining experience with us.

Your message to customers who may not be familiar with Momo: or Nepalese cuisine?
We want our customers to embrace the warmth of Nepalese hospitality as we take them on a culinary journey to the heart of Nepal. Immersing in our cultural experience will leave them with a smile and a desire to return to our restaurant.

Anjali Shetty
Written by

Anjali Shetty

A seasoned journalist with 14 years of experience in the field, I have a diverse portfolio of work, covering a wide range of topics from news and entertainment to food and lifestyle. Navigating the world of parenting now, I am inspired to share my insights and experiences on this beautiful and challenging adventure. Writing about Marathi cinema is a passion of mine, as I find immense joy in unraveling the cultural that this industry offers.