Newly opened Momojein, Wan Chai, puts twist on traditional Korean cuisine

The kalbi hotteok – a flattened pan-fried bun filled with minced beef - is delicious, but some dishes we tried need work at this new, casual restaurant in QRE Plaza

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 August, 2015, 6:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 September, 2015, 1:27pm

The craze for Korean food continues to keep Hong Kong fans sated and Momojein (tel: 2789 1949) is the latest addition in QRE Plaza in Wan Chai. It is a casual space with a contemporary wood interior. The long table at the back has uncomfortable-looking stools; the booths are nice, but some tables are too small to fit all the dishes, even for two people.

The menu describes the food as reinterpreted traditional Korean cuisine, so don’t expect the usual presentations. Watermelon and beef salad (HK$132) features thin slices of beef shank with greens and cubes of the refreshing fruit that look pretty on the plate garnished with soy paste and wholegrain mustard. Unfortunately the flavours didn’t gel.  

 We loved the kalbi hotteok   (HK$82) – a flattened pan-fried bun filled with minced beef that was delicious even without the ranch sauce. We also tried the whole kalbi (HK$340): prime rib with slices of beef that were grilled in a very sweet marinade which could be tempered with the accompanying sauce. We would have preferred a more conventional salad to go with the dish instead of the bunch of coriander leaves and pickled carrot slices.

 Another dish that needs some tweaking is the sea urchin bibimbap (HK$160). The generous portion – good for at least two diners – arrived on a large plate with lots of stringy dried Korean vegetables that could have been chopped for easier serving and eating. There was only a small bit of uni on the plate, but it was fresh and creamy.

 For dessert, the hotteok and ice cream (HK$85) features the pan-fried pancake filled with mixed seeds and garnished with vanilla ice cream, along with delicious banana slices topped with cinnamon. The bits of rice cake don’t add much flavour to the dish, but it’s a pretty presentation with fresh berries and star fruit.