Momojein is a lovely, sleek, modern space located on the 23rd floor of QRE Plaza in Wan Chai. Think concrete floors and exposed piping, but also smooth wooden tables, textured chairs, and an assortment of green plants and dried flowers dispersed throughout the restaurant. The layout is spacious, relaxing for large groups while intimate enough for dates.
The restaurant is sometimes known as the (ok, this being Hong Kong, one of the) Korean restaurant with the celebrity chef. Lim Hee Won leads the kitchen, but in a previous life was one of eight star chefs on “The Olive Show” where they showed everyday people how to cook full dinner menus at home with easy recipes.
Wanting to keep things fresh, the team at Momojein enjoy mixing things up and change their menu seasonally. Right now, the new menu includes some new dishes focused on Korean regional ingredients.
I’m quite a snacker at heart, and prefer to eat small bites of many things for meals. Just call me Taiwanese! Perhaps no surprise then that the appetizers were my favourite part of the meal.
The beef tartare cones ($178) were inspired by Korea’s Iksan region, which is known for its beef. The tartare of course included of fresh pear and was served inside a seaweed sesame cone, with egg yolk droplets on the side. This dish was a great mix of textures and flavours – the freshness of the tartare, the richness of the egg yolk, the umami and crunch of the cones made this one a winner.
Call me basic, but there’s nothing better than fried potato and Momojein’s potato pancake ($105) is comfort food at it’s best. The inspiration here comes from the Inje region, which is known for their potato production. I wanted to hide this dish from the rest of my group and just gorge – it’s that good. I couldn’t stop commenting about how chewy it was. The secret is that a base of panfried mashed potato is topped with thinly sliced potato and then fried again, which makes it both crispy and chewy. Each pancake is made fresh to order.
The presentation of the Dokdo guacamole ($148) had me excited. A whole tower accompanied by dried shrimps and herbs, and with fried wonton sheets for dipping. It was good and chunky, not too salty with a kick of spice. Though there was a good amount of guacamole, I couldn’t help but be disappointed when I found a small pile of chopped tomatoes at the bottom of the dish because, well, I wanted more of the good stuff.
Another of my favourites was the homemade Korean cheung fun ($89). Momojein’s rice cakes are made daily to guarantee the fresh, chewy texture. This version included a peanut butter sauce and brussel sprouts. The sprouts were slightly charred and delicious when mixed in with the sauce. It gave the dish depth and prevented it from becoming overly sweet.
For the mains, I enjoyed the sea bass ($258), which was also one of the most Instagrammable dishes of the night as the scales were left on. The fish was moist and crispy, and accompanied by preserved spring onion, red algae and seaweed. After experiencing such intense flavours with the appetizers, this dish was a bit mild for my liking but definitely enhanced by the garlic paste served alongside the fish.
I’d recommend it for it’s relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere, and tasty, sharable, Instagrammable dishes. Momojein is worth the money for a good meal with a date or friends. I’m still thinking about that potato pancake.
Momojein, 23/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queens Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
+852 2789 1949
https://www.facebook.com/momojeinhk/ (no official website)