One of the most interesting things about Hong Kong is the seemingly endless number of hidden restaurants in random buildings. I often wonder how people ever find out about half of these places as it certainly wouldn’t occur to me to walk into a strange building and check out a new eatery without someone recommending it to me first. But maybe I should turn over a new leaf and start exploring as my friend G did. It was on a quest to find a Japanese Izakaya to replace the one he used to frequent in New York, that led him to The Mon.
The Mon is tucked away on the 4th floor of the Goldmark Building opposite Sogo so it was easy to find. As you enter, the first thing that strikes you is the fairly traditional Japanese decor and how dark it is inside. It does well to create an intimate and rather moody atmosphere and it felt like I was somewhere in Japan which was good.
As I was the earliest to arrive, I perused the menu (they have separate Chinese and English) and was pleasantly surprised by the cute design and photos of the dishes (useful!). The waitress gave me a buzzer to use to “summon them” for orders, but I don’t think we used it properly, unless picking it up to investigate a strange noise and putting it down again counts! The waitresses kept materialising regardless and I wasn’t sure if it was necessary for them to have buzzers as the restaurant isn’t that big. I noticed that at the back of the restaurant there was an outside dining area with several tables which looked quite charming so I think I’ll sit out there next time.
G told us that The Mon was better at its grilled dishes so we ordered deep fried shrimp tofu, grilled salmon, scallops and sweet potato and deep fried pork chop to try. The sweet potato was lovely and buttery and the scallops fresh and not overcooked. The pork chop came with tonkatsu sauce and mayo which was quite addictive and was tender. It would’ve been better if it was a little more fatty but that said, it was good dish all round.
One of their signature dishes is the Edo style omelette which they brand with their name ” 一門 “. I didn’t want to destroy their artwork on the egg but I couldn’t resist the amazing smell wafting from the egg. It didn’t disappoint. The egg was fragrant and delicious and just melted in my mouth. I was put out that I was too full to order another as we were also chomping through the Mon salad and avocado and crabmeat sushi roll.
We then finished up with dessert, ordering a sweet potato in mochi combo and a 3 desserts in 1 platter (strawberry and mango egg custard and a green tea icecream). The sweet potato mochi was a bit strange and bland. The 3 of us couldn’t work out if the taste was pleasant or not so we moved onto the 3 dessert platter which fared better. I dropped half the mango egg custard on the table, whoops, but what I did manage to taste was quite yummy and sweet.
I thought The Mon was a good hideaway for a quiet lunch or dinner with some great dishes and a friendly service. I would stick with their egg and grilled dishes rather than go for their sushi and ramen which they aren’t known for. The sushi although fresh and pretty decent, isn’t the best you can get but I am definitely going back for their omelette and grape calpis soda which was scrumptious.
Chopstick rating: 3.5/5
The Mon: Japanese Dining Stage, 4/F the Goldmark, 502 Hennnessy Road, Causeway Bay. Tel 2504 3313. Nearest MTR Causeway Bay Exit F.