The Monogamous Chinese

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 March, 2012, 12:00am


The Monogamous Chinese
59 Caine Road (the entrance is in an alley under the big escalator)
Hong Kong
Tel: 2523 2872

Grub: Chinese (Sichuan and Beijing styles)

Vibe: It's a curious name, which the waitress said reflects the loyalty and dedication the chef and staff bring to their culinary craft.

The decor is wonderful. The walls - a dusty turquoise trimmed with dark wood wainscoting - host a gallery of modern Chinese art that is smiled upon by a large portrait of Mao Zedong. A wrought-iron chandelier and light fittings provide illumination, while bright-red Chinese lanterns are hung from the ceiling. Seats are upholstered in leather. One could sit there for hours enjoying the surroundings.

Who to take: For lunch, go with a group of friends, but in the evening, splash out and take with someone special.

What's hot: As you might expect for a Soho location, the a la carte menu is quite pricey. The daily set lunch, on the other hand, is an absolute bargain.

There are three courses, with four choices for each, plus free-flowing jasmine tea. For starters, choose from shredded steamed chicken, fish, pea shoots in tofu sheet rolls, and marinated abalone mushrooms. The mushrooms were delicious, thickly sliced and served with cucumber and home-made sauce.

Next up are home-made noodles, served in a tasty broth along with a choice of stir-fried crispy pork spare ribs or seafood - the ribs are meaty and tender. If you prefer a little spice, go for Sichuan-style noodles in peanut soup or Beijing noodles with pork.

The final course is dumplings. There are two per serving: pan-fried dumplings with pork, spicy pork and cabbage, vegetable, or shrimp with dou miao.

What's not: The background music was vaguely jazzy, vaguely poppy and mostly irritating.

Cost: The three-course set lunch is HK$88 plus 10 per cent service charge. Most dishes from the a la carte menu start at about HK$78. Dinner for two will probably cost HK$400 or more.