New Restaurants in Hong Kong open weekly if not daily and the overwhelming competition make it hard for even the really good ones to survive. It is even more unique however for one to open and within a year be considered classic. Mott32 has accomplished well-deserved classic status. The concept is mainly Cantonese food cooked with the best possible farm to table ingredients. Mott32 is named after the first Chinese grocery store in New York, which was located at 32 Mott Street.
Set in the basement of Standard Chartered Bank’s building, a former bank vault was retrofitted into a series of alcoves and private rooms surrounding one massive dining area and lined on one side by an open kitchen. What could have been over the top and frenetic becomes dark, beautiful and transporting. Walking through the bank down the winding staircase into this oasis makes it all the more alluring. Everywhere you look there is a well-curated detail, an abacus, a birdcage and at the center of the room a huge industrial looking chandelier. Who knew an industrial looking chandelier was possible? This is not a plastic tablecloth and tissue napkin joint; it is and elegant Chinese restaurant and Central Hong Kong is the perfect place for it.
The food and service match the setting. The Char Siu made with Iberico Pork and Yellow Mountain Honey is the perfect example of classic Cantonese recipes made with premium ingredients. The BBQ pork buns, Char Siu Bao, are sugar coated and with a thinner pastry than usual and made with Spanish Teruel Pork. I am actually not normally a fan Char Siu Bao but here it is delicious. The list goes on and on with Lobster dumplings and Garoupa with Black Truffle. Springs rolls filled with moist Black cod and not a bit greasy. Even my vegetarian friend was thrilled with the Wild Mushroom and Water Chestnut dumplings, the Crispy Noodles and Asparagus with Gingko nuts.
A nice selection of teas, mock tails, wine and full bar does not hurt the meal either. Weekends are the best time to come with kids, as it is in the center of Hong Kong’s business district. The food is not inexpensive, but cheap Chinese food is everywhere in Hong Kong, chic is more rare. Mott32 is already being recommended to Hong Kong tourists as a must do, not because it is the new hot thing, but, because it feels as though it is classic Hong Kong.
Details: Mott32, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4a Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong, 852-2885-8688, for reservations firstname.lastname@example.org. Open daily, 12-3pm, 6-11pm. Reservations Necessary.