When it comes to food, I usually gravitate towards the hole-in-the-walls and places people’s grandparents and great grandparents might have enjoyed. That’s how influential Anthony Bourdain is in my life!
But the fashion-loving girl in me also craves the fancy-shmancy, posh, and even pretentious places that’s sometimes all about the ambiance than the food. What can I say? I am shallow in many ways.
So you can imagine how it’s extremely satisfying for me to find a place that combines these 2 elements in one restaurant. I found it in Hong Kong’s Mott32.
I must admit, I first learned about this restaurant through a fashion editor who I admire greatly and who just happens to love food. She also has a knack of finding restaurants that are very “editorial”, which I see all the time on her Instagram posts. I was hooked on Mott32 the moment I saw her photo of the oriental/vintage/industrial décor. It was so me!!!
The décor, up close and personal, was more beautiful than the photos. I fell in love with the silk embroidered walls which were reminiscent of old Chinese brocade.
There was also a section of the restaurant whose walls were lined with old calligraphy brushes. The effect was amazing!
There was so much to take in! Even the staircase leading down to the restaurant entrance was gorgeous. There was that feeling of 1930’s Shanghai or Great Gatsby created by the lights, chains, and mirrored panels. I was happy with the visual overload.
Now on to the food…
I can say with confidence that the food in Mott32 is an equal match to its visual extravaganza. The flavors and textures of the deceivingly simple dishes were truly notches higher than the usual Chinese fare. Below were my favorites:
Signature Crispy Sugar Coated BBQ Iberico Pork Bun. The bun is very similar in texture as that of the famous Tim Ho Wan but it was the filling that got me. Although I appreciated Tim Ho Wan’s buns, their meat filling was too sweet for my taste. This, however, was on the salty side which I highly prefer.
Crab & Caviar, Iberico Pork Shanghainese Soup Dumplings. This takes Xiaolongbao to a whole new level with the very tender and flavorful pork and soup and the decadence of the caviar
BBQ Prime Iberico. Sweet, tender, and oh so decadent. It was actually difficult to finish even though we did not order a lot.
Pan Fried Turnip Cake, Dried Scallops and Shrimp, Dong Guan Sausage. Glad we ordered this because the bite in these cakes helped to balance the richness of our other orders.
I loved this place so much that the only downside was the cost. The food here, even the dimsum, was notably more expensive. I would imagine that some people would not feel that this is worth the splurge. But overall, I was satisfied with the experience.
Mott32 is located at the basement of the historical Standard Chartered Bank Building, Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong.