Prior to this visit, I had no idea that this Mongkok outlet actually had its roots coming from the outlet located at Geylang which I had long wanted to visit but never did (I dislike travelling to Geyland somehow). In fact, we all nearly passed off this place as a normal restaurant in a shophouse that serves Chinese fare until we were looking into the windows and saw one of their staff preparing Steamed Rice Rolls that were freshly made off her hands. It was when we realised that this was going to be a no-nonsense dim sum place that we have got to try out.
We visited it the same evening as we passed by it after realising the restaurants nearby were all full (again). Mongkok was actually no exception, but there were around three more tables left that were empty. The interior decor was simple; just plastic seating, wooden tables without much clutter; just simple and functional furniture. The staff were pretty quick at getting everything for us, including clearing up their supposedly staff-only table and gave us all the utensils and everything needed, with the menu and ordering forms. A meal at Mongkok could go two ways; one could either have the meal tze-char style or with dim sum.
(Shredded Mango with Prawn)
My family had always loved dim sum, so we had Shredded Mango with Prawn. I found the amount of sesame seeds on top a bit too excessive as it got stuck into my teeth way often. The mango were also a tad sour as opposed to the sweet ones we usually have with the dish. I like the fact that there was a strand of celery included between the prawn and mango that helped mediate the sourness from the mango. The prawns were succulent and the pastry was also pretty crispy. While it had its own shortcomings, it was not really too disappointing for us anyway.
(Steamed Rice Roll with Shrimp)
The Steamed Rice Roll with Shrimp was something we looked forward to especially after having seen the behind-the-scenes of its production earlier on. It changed the game left behind by the Shredded Mango with Prawn, with the Steamed Rice Roll being slippery yet of the right thickness that it does not tear easily but not too thick that it would not absorb the soy sauce. The shrimp was pretty succulent and absorbed much of the soy sauce’s sweetness as well. The flavours also did not overwhelm each other and each ingredient could also be tasted on its own. This is definitely one of the must-orders if you visit Mongkok.
(Pan-Fried Carrot Cake)
Pan-fried Carrot Cake was decent as it was considerably softer to sink into and had a lot more fibres than the ones usually served outside. It felt pretty different from the extremely firm ones that are becoming the norm these days, and the top was just so crispy.
(House Special Prawn Dumpling)
Everyone’s favourite dimsum is not just simply named “Har Gow” here. It is in fact the house special, with it’s name unmistakably the House Special Shrimp Dumpling. The skin is crystal clear, and made to the perfect thickness that does not allow it to break easily, yet not too hard. It is also not sticky as it came off the piece of paper lying on the steamer fairly easily. The shrimp was pretty succulent and fresh, and became nearly everyone’s favourite dish at the table. A truly good dimsum that should never be missed on a visit here.
(Steamed BBQ Bun)
The name of the Char Siew Bun here seemed to be missing of something. Named as the Steamed BBQ Bun, it is fortunate that they had not forgotten the pork in it; in fact it does not even come close from being neglected. The honey-glazed pork just exudes a level of sweetness that was seductive, though we would prefer that the skin of the bun to be slightly thinner as we had to bite quite deeply to get to the BBQ Pork.
(Mongkok’s Pork Dumpling)
Another one of the specially named dim sum is the Mongkok’s Pork Dumpling. Essentially a Siew Mai, this is probably the one that gave the most chew with the right firmness. There also is no fatty meat included, so every bite just feels uninterrupted and chewy to the last.
(Stir-Fried Seafood Beehoon)
I am not fan of noodles, but I really loved the Stir-Fried Seafood Beehoon here. It was moist enough and had generous servings of ingredients especially with all the squids, charsiew and onions included. The amount of sauce added to stir-fry the noodles also seemed to be just right, which gave the beehoon a hint of sweetness and a bit of saltiness that made it pretty savoury as wel.
The Scallop Dumplings arrived pretty much later than the other dim sums. This was my first attempt on trying Scallop Dumplings and I loved how the scallops are tender without it’s signature rubbery texture. The seaweed that wraps the dumpling layer may not hit well with non-seaweed lovers but I quite liked it. The dumpling layer felt pretty much like the typical Siew Mai, and definitely was similar to the Mongkok Pork Dumpling.
While having our meal, the desserts at one of the tables caught our attention. After inquiring about it, we found out that it was Ice Jelly. Typically the Ice Jelly served in food courts or hawker centres, the syrup was sweet and adding the zest of lime gave it the extra dimension in taste. The jelly was pretty chewy though clumped together, and it felt a tad different from typical jellies that felt a wee bit artificial. Definitely a great and refreshing way to end off a meal.
After making a visit here, I finally understood why everyone seem to rave about the place be it online or word-of-mouth. The meal definitely impressed me, with the quality of food set so high despite not being a commercial restaurant situated in malls. The service staff are also pretty alert and seemed to have a sense of urgency; they often notice what happens in the restaurant and are quick to respond to them. The prices here are generally affordable as well; all the food as well as three cups of Ice Lemon Teas and a surcharge for the wet tissues only amounted to a bill of nearly $38.00, which left all three of us pretty satisfied. Now I have finally understood why people simply love Mongkok Dim Sum so much; most of it’s patrons being residents near the area and queues had already started to form halfway through our meal and I can now say that I have also been made a fan of their food. Till next time, Mongkok!
Mongkok Dim Sum (旺角點心)
197 East Coast Road