2 January 2019

From Monkey King to Zombie: Chinese-Inspired Cocktails at Momoda

| Branka Prodanovic
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Introducing Chinese-inspired cocktails at Momoda. Photos: @zees.grams

From the team that brought you Wild Duck, comes Momoda, one of Canberra’s most innovative Chinese fusion eateries and bars.

Located on Northbourne Avenue, Momoda’s unique offering of Chinese-themed cocktails and drinks will leave you inspired and wanting more. If you haven’t taken the team down for after-work drinks, now is the time to do so.

Having opened back in August, Momoda wanted to stand out from the crowd and offer Canberrans something familiar but with a twist.

Front of House manager, Irean and staff always look for ways to experiment with Chinese ingredients.

Front-of-House manager, Irean, says the team from Wild Duck wanted to open a space that was quirky and would grab the attention of a younger audience. Hence, Momoda – which loosely translates to ‘kiss kiss’ in Chinese, a term of endearment used similarly to an ‘xx’ that follows the end of a text message.

“We wanted to do something different to Wild Duck and make it more accessible. We had a few names at the beginning but at the end Momoda was the name we chose. The team proposed this and we thought it was kind of fun and easy and attractive to young people.”

The point was to establish an ‘unconventional Chinese eating house plus bar’ in order to stay ahead of their competitors, given that Chinese-fusion has grown rapidly in Canberra over the last few years.

Momoda uses Chinese spirits as the base of most drinks but also sells local Canberran beer!

While the food itself is something to experience by those who love innovative menus, Momoda really pushes the creative boundaries with their selection of drinks.

Using traditional Asian ingredients such as lychee, lemongrass, even peppercorn, and incorporating these with standard French ingredients, means that every cocktail on Momoda’s menu tells a delicious story.

“We just want to make things a bit different from the rest. We like to make things interesting as well. Like the [Dirty Zombie] drink. In Chinese culture, the zombie always has this yellow paper and you put it onto your forehead which is supposed to stop the zombies. So that’s why we made the drink and it actually has the meaning of that. It’s made with Chinese spirits and it’s really strong. It’s different from the rest.”

The Dirty Zombie celebrates this Halloween-esque part of Chinese culture, much like another drink on the funky menu- the Monkey King.

The Monkey King is a famous figure dating back centuries and features in many Chinese legends. He is also famously depicted in Asian animation.

Momoda’s famous Zombie and Pink Lady drinks.

Chinese spirit is also used as the base of this knockout drink as well as Osmanthus, a traditional Chinese tea. The Monkey King is further infused with familiar flavours such as mandarin and goji berries.

If that doesn’t grab your attention, then why not try the Penang Curry cocktail? That’s right, an alcoholic beverage that celebrates our favourite thickened, spiced sauce with vodka, Malibu, fresh curry leaves and tamarind.

“We try to [always] use fresh ingredients and make the things that people like best. [In the] curry cocktail we use fresh curry leaves and people find it quite thick like curry, but people like that curry taste.

It’s a trial and error. We also use Malibu rum which infuses that coconut flavour and then garnish it with chilli. It’s unusual and beautiful. So, you have sour, spicy, and coconut sweet [which has now] become our signature drink.”

Momoda will transport you to modern China!

Momoda has also created something special for Canberra women, but the gentlemen will enjoy it as well.

“Ladies love to have the Pink Lady. It is sweet and you can really taste the pink lady apple.”

For those craving simplicities, Momoda also has a stellar selection of local beers including Crankshaft, Capital Brewing, Mt Tennet, and Zierholz.

Momoda is open Monday through to Wednesday for lunch from 12 pm-2:30 pm and for dinner from 5 pm-10 pm, Thursday and Friday from 12 pm-late, and Saturdays 12 pm-3 pm for lunch and 5 pm-12 am for dinner.

Find out more by visiting the website, or follow Momoda on Facebook and Instagram.

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