Moon Lok: expanding West Kowloon dining scene
28 Mar 2019
Address Unit No 2-4 1/F Xiqu Centre
Over the years I have found that some reviews almost write themselves, words gushing onto the page, thoughts coming so fast it is hard to keep up on the keyboard. Either because the food was terrible or the complete opposite, it was amazing; there is just so much to say in both cases. Then there are restaurants in the grey area. These prove a challenge, every sentence a laboured effort.
There is nothing really wrong with these restaurants, but in a competitive dining scene such as Hong Kong, they simply don’t fall into the benchmark destination dining category.
Moon Lok Chinese Restaurant, a recent opening in the Xiqu Centre in West Kowloon has an extensive menu of signature dishes showcasing the various regional cuisines of China, from Peking duck to Chiu Chow noodles. While personally, based on my recent experience, I would put the restaurant into the latter category, if I was in the area I would eat there again, I am curious to try the dim sum and roast meats. I am sure the restaurant is proving popular at lunch time and has certainly expanded the options in the area for well executed Chinese cuisine.
Of the eight dishes we tried, I will stick to the favourites. This includes the Deep-fried bean curd roll stuffed with radish. I have not had radish cake with this preparation, and it was delicious in a hash brown kind of way - crunchy exterior and a soft, moist interior. The large Deep fried prawn wrapped with crispy noodle was perfectly executed.
The Braised mixed mushrooms with fungus was creative with three mushrooms and six variety of fungus mushrooms, it was fun to eat with the variety of textures and tastes.
Highs and lows
I love double boiled soup, there is something magical about a good one, you can feel its healing, health giving qualities with every sip. The signature here is Pig’s lung with almond, but we opted for the Seasonal soup with cordycep ‘flowers’. A fragrant and complex broth based around chicken and pork it was one of the highlights of the meal.
The signature Steamed whole crab with pork patty looked fantastic. The pork patty moist with the cooking juices and sauce, with a flavour of both pork and crab, delicious. The crab was sweet and nicely cooked. It is a difficult dish to eat though with the crab chopped into small pieces there is a lot of chopstick effort required for small amounts of flesh.
The restaurant is a new brand under Buick Management, which operates the well-known Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant Group. Other signatures from award-winning executive chef, Hui Mei Tak, who has over 30 years of experience include: Cantonese baked crab stuffed in crab shell, Sweet and sour pork, Baked prawn with green peppercorn, Deep fried Bombay duck with spiced salt, and Crispy diced bean curd with fresh crab. Signature dim sum includes Whole abalone siu mai, Har gow, Pan-fried shredded radish cake with Sakura shrimp, Pan-fried pork bun with black garlic, and the fusion Mozzarella and creamy egg custard bun. BBQ meats are another feature, with the head of roast, chef Chen Wing Hon, an author and expert on Chinese meat roasting.