Friday, July 11, 2014

Mott 32: Blending Lofty New York Industrial Style and Chinese Imperial Elements

I kid you not, this was the title of the calendar invite that popped up in my outlook the other day.  Needless to say the secretary that made the booking for us takes her restaurants and tag lines very seriously.
It is summer associate season here which is why we are getting a steady stream of invitations to fancy lunches. We went to Mott 32 in the deep underbelly of the Standard Chartered Building in Central.

First you have to check in in the lobby with your food concierge, very much like a hotel.
Once your concierge checks you in, you head down a steep escalator next to a huge and completely useless cascading waterfall (though I was informed this was installed by the building and is very good feng shui).  
As if that is not enough intrigue, we then had to walk down these many sets of stairs:
How deep were we going??  Pretty intense and certainly a curiosity-invoking entrance.

We were a party of eight and they gave us our own private room, designed from the outside to look like a vault.  This wall art stared at me during the entire lunch.
The food was really delicious and I enjoyed myself more than I expected.  I actually think the food at Mott 32 was slightly tastier than the food at Island Tang.  The portions in my pictures are rather large, but that's because we had eight people at lunch and we requested that they price and portion everything for eight.  I think the typical portion size for their quoted prices (similar to China Tang's) are for three to four pieces.
 These are the fusion char siu bao (barbecued pork buns) that are so popular in Hong Kong.  They have the savory sweet barbecue filling inside, and then they are baked in a pineapple like crusty crispy bun.  These are pretty amazing and hard to turn down.  I thought their bun was almost perfect - just could have used a little more toasting on the top.  I would have preferred them to be a little less sweet, but that's not really the restaurant's fault; that's my general complaint about barbecued pork buns.  I hate the fructose corn syrup that they use in the filling.
 The salt squid - tasty but not particularly unique, though the squid were generously sliced and very tender.
 My vegetable dumpling - I show you a cross section because I was very impressed by how much of the tender baby pea shoots (pricey stuff) they stuffed in here.  That is a high quality vegetable dumpling.
This was one of two char siu (barbecued pork) dishes that we got.  It was very interesting because the two dishes looked exactly the same but had been smoked, marinated and prepared differently.  I vastly preferred the second style, which had more of a flowery, anise taste.
Shrimp rice rolls, a dim sum staple.
Crispy duck, similar to China Tang's presentation.
Stir fried green beans, delicious.
Beef rice rolls, another dim sum staple.
I requested this - I love wok fried kale with shrimp paste/salted fish/pork bits.  I know, I know, but I promise it's more delicious than it sounds.
This dish came to me after everyone had already scooped up most of it, but this was a very tasty cubed beef, taro, potato, asparagus stir fry topped with crispy shallot rings.
The siu mai was pretty good, but I am not really a siu mai fan.  It seemed pretty standard to me.
The Shanghai dumplings were very tasty and I loved the presentation with the little caviar topping.  Unlike the lobster har gow at China Tang, these dumplings were really cute but also tasty!  Winning marks in both presentation and flavor.

Mott 32 @ Basement
Standard Chartered Bldg,
4-4a Des Voeux Rd Central
Tel:  2885 8688

1 comment:

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