Mongkok in Kowloon is more known for its markets and red-light district than restaurants. So earning a Michelin star was a huge achievement for the 4-year-old Ming Court in Langham Place Hotel. Sure, there was some controvery last year when the first Hong Kong Michelin guide came out, over how Michelin ignored more Chinese-oriented, low-end restaurants with fabulous food.
But really, we all know that Michelin always skewers high end, no matter which country, and has certain standards for service and cleanliness. It won't give a star to my favorite dai pai dong, which doesn't fit with the Michelin image. For great local picks I'll turn to HK guides or my family, but there's no denying a Michelin rating is great international press for a restaurant.
Ming Court's lunch and dinner menus vary from very traditional (braised sea cucumber) to nouveau Cantonese (fried lobster with cheese, plus abalone sauce and angel hair pasta). Their dim sum, however, consists of classic dim sum dishes with a twist. My favorites of the morning were pan-fried buns stuffed not with pork but minced mushrooms (first photo.) They were as fluffy as you'd expect dim sum buns to be, with a perfectly crispy, golden brown bottom studded with white sesame. I also had a nice dish of fried crullers wrapped into cheong fun (wide rice noodles), usually two separate dishes, with soy sauce and vinegar poured on top. The standard har gow, siu mai, and regular cheong fun are also available
One of the chef's specialties is fried chicken stuffed with glutinous rice. No crusty batter here. The skin is crisp, lightly salted, and not oily at all. The chicken came with a side of deep-fried lotus chips that were so deliciously oil-less I could have sworn they were baked. I love that Hong Kong chefs are able to improve on traditional dishes by finding a healthier take.
This was dessert, served in a rectangular box filled with liquid ice. Can you guess what the dessert is? Hint: The top part is made with a well-known Chinese delicacy, the bottom made with a tropical fruit. It's an unexpected and surprisingly tasty combination.
6/F, Langham Place Hotel
555 Shanghai Street
Mong Kok, Hong Kong
(853) 3552 3300
More Hong Kong restaurants to try: