Dumpling chef jumps at Old East London site

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A strange bit of karma brought Yam Gurung from his native Nepal to Old East London.

Gurung has opened his new location for Momos at the Market at the London Food Incubator on Dundas Street.

Gurung, 41, has been a fixture at Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market for eight years, serving up traditional Nepalese dishes including momos — dumplings filled with meat or vegetables — and his own version of Himalayan granola.

But he jumped at the chance to set up a new location at the London Food Incubator opened by his friend, Dave Cook, last year.

It has taken Gurung months to renovate the last available space in the building at 630 Dundas St.

But he fits right in with the Old East Grocer, Fire Roasted Coffee and half a dozen other small food businesses in the historic building.

“This building is so beautiful and I wanted to be part of it. I loved Old East Village and I wanted to stay around here,” he said.

Gurung started his cooking career in his native land. The path to London began when he met Samantha Schuster, a Londoner who was hiking and white water rafting in the mountainous country that includes base camps for Mount Everest climbers.

Gurung and Schuster married and moved to Canada in 2001.

They did a 14-month stint in Rankin Inlet on the shores of Hudson Bay in Nunavut, where Schuster worked as a midwife while Gurung was home with their two children.

The family landed back in London, where they would be close to Schuster’s family.

Gurung said following his heart has brought him halfway around the world.

“Growing up in Nepal, I never thought I end up here in Canada,” he laughed,

Gurung said Nepalese cooking borrows on the traditions of its two big neighbours, India and China.

The new shop in the London Food Incubator offers a variety of curries served on noodles as well as momos, and the menu will be expanding soon.

Momos also serves cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and does catering.

Gurung plans to hold a grand opening for the new Momos location in October. He will continue to operate his Western Fair Market location on Saturdays.



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