February 26, 2013

The Mon + Häagen-Dazs (Hong Kong)

I've wanted to try the Mon in Causeway Bay ever since my trip to Asia two years ago. I ran out of time then, but fortunately I was able to fit it into my schedule this time around.
The Mon is popular izakaya style restaurant and the decor really reminded me of another izakaya that I went to in New York City (and what a great meal that was!) They're often fully booked, but curiously the day I went (on Christmas Day!) it was almost empty!
Jeremy had a lunch set ($88 HKD) which included a daily appetizer, miso soup, coffee or tea. Yes, tea is not free here, but at least they gave us two cups to share the pot of tea that came with the set meal.
His main was assorted sashimi on rice, which included prawns, scallops, and salmon roes. Jeremy was disappointed that there weren't any salmon. Although the presentation looked promising, the sashimi itself were not very fresh. The prawns, in particular, had a funky, unpleasant flavour.
I had a series of small dishes, starting with the tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette) with cheese ($50 HKD). The Mon is famous for their tamagoyaki and for a good reason! The omelette was delectable- silky, sweet and moist. The creamy cheese oozed out of the omelette as we cut it open, but I found the cheesy flavours to be a little overwhelming. I would've preferred the egg plain.
I also tried a skewer of grilled beef with rice cake ($28 HKD). The fattiness of the beef nicely complemented the chewy rice cake. I particularly enjoyed the texture of the meat, which was almost fused with the rice cake.
My favourite of the meal was their signature Toyo roll ($55 HKD), which is a crèpe-wrapped roll consisting of grilled eel, avocado, and tobiko. The combination was surprisingly tasty, and the crepe worked really well as a wrapper. On the whole, however, I thought that the experience at the Mon was rather underwhelming. Even though I enjoyed the omelette and the Toyo roll very much, the sashimi was very disappointing. I've certainly had better izakaya experience elsewhere.
We didn't have desserts at the restaurant, but later we enjoyed Häagen-Dazs ice cream at the mall. This was probably the most expensive banana split ($99 HKD) that I've ever had, and it was already one of their more affordable options on the dine-in menu. While I loved their whimsical and creative dessert selections (which included ice cream fondue!), I have to say that it was very expensive, and I probably will not be back.

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