Momoji at Kazhakkoottam in Thiruvananthapuram serves pocket-friendly momos

Momoji, a kiosk run by two friends near Technopark, serves a range of momos at affordable rates along with innovative sauces from mango chilli to satay

Updated - July 13, 2024 10:24 am IST

Published - July 10, 2024 06:50 pm IST

Crowd at Momoji kiosk near Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram

Crowd at Momoji kiosk near Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A drizzle set the perfect ambience to enjoy a hot snack that evening — fresh-off-the-stove paneer momos with a spicy chutney and two dips. Momoji, a kiosk on the service road near the main entrance of Technopark at Kazhakkoottam in Thiruvananthapuram, is the place to tuck into momos while on the go.

Momoji is a brand of Viplavam Food Labs (VFL) founded by Jose Mathews and Abey Antony M, friends from their school days at Loyola School. Jose is a sommelier, and Abey is a civil engineer, and both were busy with their respective professions until the pandemic in 2020. “Jose always wanted to do a food-related business and was doing well in the beverage industry, working in cities across India. I was busy with my construction business in Thiruvananthapuram. During the lockdown, Jose was back home, and that’s when we talked about his dream. That led to the launch of VFL in 2021,” says Abey.

Jose Mathews (left) and Abey Antony M  who run Momoji at their kiosk at Kazhakkoottam in Thiruvananthapuram

Jose Mathews (left) and Abey Antony M  who run Momoji at their kiosk at Kazhakkoottam in Thiruvananthapuram | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Jose adds, “We believe that good food is not a luxury but a necessity. It eventually became our way of thinking.”

Referring to the word viplavam (revolution) in the company name, the 28-year-olds say they aim at bringing in innovation in food while exploring global cuisine.

Chicken momos from Momoji

Chicken momos from Momoji | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Momoji was launched when momos were becoming popular in the capital city. Although they trained a person to make the momos, eventually they began doing it themselves. Soon they opened a production unit at Edappazhanji and sold ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook momos.

“We experimented with the mix, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, that goes into the momos. It was complex but our friends loved the taste,” Abey adds.

When it came to marketing, they opted for B2B (business-to-business), and gradually the segment opened up for them. Now they supply momos to five-star hotels, fine-dining restaurants, and several cafes in and around the city, all manufactured at their new production unit at Vayalikkada.

Beef momos from Momoji

Beef momos from Momoji | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

“It was a dream to start a retail store, and that materialised through the kiosk we opened two months ago,” says Jose. Abey adds, “Even though we have a good B2B client base, our momos are just one item on their menu. We associate a certain value with our products and want to showcase them. That has become possible through the kiosk. Kazhakkoottam was chosen because it has a cosmopolitan crowd.”

Steamed and fried paneer, chicken, and beef momos are sold at the kiosk. The USP is the price — a plate of five steamed momos costs ₹59, while five fried momos are priced ₹69. Fifteen pieces cost ₹149 and ₹159 respectively.

Steamed momos from Momoji

Steamed momos from Momoji | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

In addition to the dip, six mayonnaise-based sauces, each priced at ₹10, are also available. “We have tweaked eggless mayonnaise to arrive at these tastes. While buffalo mayo is tangy and mildly garlicky, the schezwan one is fiery. The peppery taste comes from miso sauce, and the mango chilli sauce has a fruity flavour. Chimichurri sauce has a herbal flavour; satay sauce has peanut, spice, and cream,” Jose explains, adding, “Basically we try to understand what people want and then use our skill set to innovate. That has been our approach.”

“The concept has clicked and we hope to start more kiosks. Plans are on to include other products of VFL,” they say.

Momoji has six types of sauces to go with the momos

Momoji has six types of sauces to go with the momos | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

They also sell ready-to-cook frozen momos in packets of 40. The varieties are chicken (two types), beef, mutton, vegetarian mix, and paneer. Priced between ₹350 and ₹480, they are sold at the kiosk, with some varieties available only at VFL’s production unit. Samosas (Punjabi aloo and chicken) and bao buns are also sold. Delivery is available within a 10-kilometre radius.

Momoji is open from 4pm to 2am on all days. Contact: 8891605411

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