Hong Kong budget eats

New restaurants in Hong Kong: explore Burmese cuisine at Mohinga in Ho Man Tin  

Hong Kong is home to many Southeast Asian restaurants, but rarely will you find one specialising in Burmese food. Explore unique flavours of Myanmar at this Ho Man Tin venue that’s named after a popular noodle soup

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 12:45pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 12:45pm

Say mingalaba (hello in Burmese) to Mohinga, a new restaurant tucked away in Ho Man Tin, in Kowloon, which is offering a taste of Myanmar at a reasonable price.

The cuisine from Myanmar, a country best known for its pagodas and rural charms, isn’t well represented in Hong Kong, where Southeast Asian restaurants are pretty much limited to Thai and Vietnamese, with a smattering of Malaysian and Singaporean. Perhaps diners are intimidated by the thought of fermented fish paste – although belacan (typically used in Burmese cooking) and fish sauce are similar.

The restaurant, on Victory Avenue, is named after the country’s national dish, mohinga – a pungent fish and noodle soup that is usually eaten for breakfast. Naturally, Mohinga (the restaurant) offers a version of mohinga (the soup), although it’s toned down to make it palatable to a wider audience.

The recipe seems to be working: the day we visited, customers kept arriving at the shop, some of them armed with kitchen pots to take their meals back home.

There’s room inside for about 10 people, but a sign hanging next to the door explains that the owners have opened a new, more spacious venue  nearby at 72 Waterloo Road.

There are no English menus available, but the interior walls are covered with photos of the dishes, which means you can point to what you want.

We first tried the tea leaves salad (HK$48), a staple of Shan State, in northeast Myanmar, which combines tomato, lettuce, nuts and fermented tea leaves. The combination of salty, crunchy nuts with the sour tomato and the tea leaves was unique and refreshing.

Fried shrimp cakes (HK$48), a generous plate of 10 deep-fried pieces, were well done, but tasted similar to versions offered in other Southeast Asian restaurants.

The mohinga soup with rice noodles (HK$48) was delicious. It featured a fragrant broth, thick noodles, and tofu. It’s easy to see why the restaurant is named after the dish.

Our favourite dish, however, was the sautéed beef with rice (HK$52). The tender meat slices come with a thick, aromatic sauce that left us craving for more.

Mohinga is a good, inexpensive place to explore a relatively little known cuisine in Hong Kong.

Mohinga, 12 Victory Avenue, Ho Man Tin, tel: 9717 4328. Open: 11am-10pm.

Other newly opened restaurants that won’t break the bank:

Local Ginger Veggie Bistro – indie vibes but bland flavours

Twelve Flavors brings affordable Sichuan hotpot to Kennedy Town

New in Wan Chai, Chiu Cuisine serves affordable Chiu Chow fare