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Hong Kong budget eats

Restaurant review: Hono Tenndon in Mong Kok – tempura rice bowls in the Ladies Market

This cosy place in the middle of the Ladies Market serves up crispy tempura and rice. The prawn, squid and lotus root in batter were the highlights, but the egg yolk was overcooked

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 May, 2017, 12:30pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 May, 2017, 12:30pm

Known for its bustling Ladies Market, Tung Choi Street in Mong Kok is also lined with restaurants offering inexpensive international dishes ranging from rice noodles to Korean bibimbap to Indian curry.

Hono Tenndon – specialising in tempura rice bowl, or ten don – is a cosy place in the centre of the market, with warm lighting, wooden tables and servers in Japanese-style outfits.

We opted for the signature seafood tempura rice bowl (HK$78) and the vegetable tempura rice bowl (HK$65), both of which were served with miso soup and a small salad.

The servers were nice enough to tell us the best way to eat the Japanese dish: start with the prawn and cabbage leaf tempura, and then break the egg to mix it with rice and other tempura items.

The seafood bowl came with prawn, crab sticks, squid, cabbage, eggplant and lotus root, and the vegetableversion had pumpkin, mushroom and baby corn in addition to eggplant and lotus root.

The prawn tempura was our favourite. It had a thin, crisp batter and a pleasant sweet taste. The squid and lotus root were also enjoyable, with their texture well preserved.

The second part of the meal was not as impressive. We mixed the rice with the tempura egg, soy sauce and furikake [a seasoning mixture including dried ground fish, sesame seeds and chopped seaweed]seasoning. The egg was slightly overcooked so most of the yolk was already solid, while the sauce and furikake lacked flavour. Also, the tempura batter became soggy and tasteless once the sauce was added, so it’s best to eat the deep-fried ingredients quickly.

We also ordered Japanese fried chicken (HK$35), which came with mayonnaise for dipping. The dish was fairly well done and not too greasy.

In addition to the tempura rice bowls, the shop also offers fried chicken rice bowls and a selection of curry rice bowls. You can also order extra tempura to be served on the side.

Hono Tenndon, 23 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, tel: 2388 2887. Open: 11.30am-10.30pm

While you’re in the area:

Restaurant review: Iron Cow is a good shout for traditional Taiwanese beef noodles

Restaurant review: M&S Café in Mong Kok– cheap and tasty rest stop after a hard day’s shopping

Restaurant review: Oolong BBQ, Mong Kok – DIY indoor barbecue and claypot rice