One of the best ways to travel around Hong Kong is the MTR. It’s basically Hong Kong’s version of BART or the subway if you aren’t familiar with BART. There are many shops in the MTR, you can buy food, clothing, but you are not allowed to eat on the train. The MTR is primarily located underground and you can actually walk through the station and end up in different parts of the city. Today, we are taking the MTR across the water to Hong Kong island. Central is known for high end shopping and has a financial district. What is odd about Central are the walkways. There are walkways above the streets that take you from place to place. Never mind the street maps, they span blocks and have no discernible address. We walked the street so I could get my bearings and then we explored the walkways. It’s definitely one of those touristy things to do.
Today we had reservations for Mott32. Mott32 is mentioned in the Michelin Guide, but I think they deserve a Star. I had emailed them and they were happy to accommodate. They also asked if we were going to dine on their specialty, roast duck, if so please order it 24 hours in advance because they do sell out. I made a reservation for the roast duck and looked forward to it as one of the highlights of the trip. We arrived at Mott32 ahead of schedule. There is no formal lobby area for patrons to wait, instead you can stand in the bank lobby or take a seat in the bank. I’m sure the bank wasn’t pleased, but when in Hong Kong, I can always pull out the I’m an American tourist card and pretend I don’t understand. Finally when the restaurant was open, we were told to go downstairs. Again with the basement thing...the journey down the stairs to the restaurant is a visual adventure in itself. You descend down an escalator and pass a waterfall. It’s a what the? moment. Then you get to a mirrored staircase and go down another two or three flights. When you finally arrive at the restaurant it’s very visually appeasing.
We were quickly seated at a prime location close to the duck oven/refrigerator and the waitress asked us if we wanted still or sparkling water. I browsed the alcohol menu and the salted plum margarita immediately jumped out. I do make it a point to look for drinks when dining on vacation, even during breakfast. I decided to order some dim sum while waiting for our duck to be cooked. The duck takes 45 mins. First up was the soft quail egg, Iborico pork, black truffle siu mai. This order normally comes in two pieces, there were three of us dining so I was expecting to share. Our waitress immediately asked if we want three pieces. It’s this attention to detail that makes the dining experience excellent. I was expecting the egg on top of the siu mai. It wasn’t, only truffle on top. One bite in and the egg yolk oozed out. Wow, that is some incredible technique to soft boiled the egg inside of the pork and dumpling wrap surrounding. The runny egg yolk made for an excellent sauce for the remaining bites of the siu mai. If I were to judge the restaurant on the first dish alone, it would be five stars.
Second dish, soft prawn, Iborico pork, flying fish roe siu mai. Delicious. Third dish, prawn, crispy rice paper, asparagus. Devine. Fourth dish, Australian beef puff. Anytime there is opportunity to dine on wagyu beef, take it. Fifth dish, abalone, shredded Peking duck, spring roll. Delightful. There was not a bad selection in the bunch and I would have ordered more if we did not have the duck coming.
During our entire meal I was watching the ducks coming out of the roasting oven. When we finally got our duck, our first serving was crispy duck skin. If done right, crispy pork skin tastes similar to bacon, this was perfect. The second serving was the Peking duck with thin paper. This was perfect as well, nicely slice pieces, some with lots of skin, some with chunks of meat. The sauce was a mix of hoisin sauce, peanut sauce, and I think sesame oil. The server carefully made the sauce, so it was a visually appealing swirl. It’s definitely a technique I’ll be using in my cooking. I opted to add on to the duck by using the duck remanants for another order.