We scour Hong Kong’s restaurant scene to bring you the new and the noteworthy – it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! Here, Kate Woodbury checks out the Southeast Asian cuisine on the menu at Monsoon restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui.
The restaurant is the brainchild of celebrity chef Will Meyrick, with the kitchen ably managed by Will’s longtime Indonesian collaborator, Chef Gede Budiana. We visited on a Friday evening and the place was buzzing, with delicious aromas filling the air. Quickly seated with menus and a plate of crisp prawn crackers and sweet chilli sauce, I knew we were in for a treat. I love Monsoon’s tasteful décor; the restaurant is beautifully lit and the ceiling is decorated with rattan umbrellas. Forest green and floral textiles add an elegant tropical touch. It’s easy to forget you’re in Elements Mall!
What’s on the menu?
After a long week, a cocktail was in order. My husband chose One Night in Bangkok ($78), vodka-based and aromatic, with lemongrass, coriander, fresh lime and a hint of smooth coconut. My signature Monsoon ($78) featured vodka, passionfruit, fresh lemon, Thai chilli, kaffir lime and – the surprise ingredient – beer! Both drinks were superb.
The menu boasts a fine selection of SE Asian cuisine. We started with the Mixed Satay ($178) and, as our waiter approached, a waft of charcoal reminiscent of Bangkok streets filled the air. These perfectly grilled and succulent skewers came with two dipping sauces, sweet and tangy pickled cucumber, and a fragrant peanut satay sauce, together with a bundle of fresh herbs and lettuce. We were tempted to ask for another portion…
For mains, we chose Chicken Chilli Jam ($128) – stir-fried chicken with cashews, long beans and baby corn topped with crispy Thai basil – and two curries. The first, Beef Massaman ($168), featured melt-in-the-mouth sous-vide chunks of beef. While it could have been a little spicier for our palates, the Green Chicken Curry ($158) delivered plenty of heat, while remaining perfectly balanced with traditional Thai flavours. Steamed rice garnished with fried shallots was the ideal accompaniment.
In addition to the cocktails and mocktails, there’s a solid wine list; we chose an American merlot – a good match for the strong flavours of the food. Free-flow fans won’t be disappointed, as there’s a great value 90-minute package for $168.
Finally, I challenge anyone not to be tempted by the eight Asian-inspired desserts on offer. We shared the Kelapa Tart ($78) with rum-soaked raisins and coconut ice cream, and it was a lovely end to our meal.
Why we loved it!
Monsoon restaurant is a must-visit – delicious food, great value and super service. We’ll be back!
This article first appeared in the Autumn 2021 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.