Momojein: Modern Korean dishes by Chef Lim Hee Won

Since I haven’t tried too many Korean dishes (I usually stick to gimbap or bibimbap), I figured I would finally try Momojein. Helmed by Korean Chef Lim Hee Won (who is incredibly sweet and down to earth, and is well known in Korea for being on a reality TV cooking show), Momojein offers diners a modern take on a range of traditional Korean dishes. Chef Lim Hee Won has recently introduced a handful of new dishes to Momojein’s menu that I had the chance to try.

Vibe at Momojein

I went to Momojein during lunch and loved how bright the restaurant was; there’s plenty of natural light and the decor was modern/minimal. The rectangular dining area offers plenty of seating throughout and is great if you’re in a larger group or if you’re dining solo (there are individual seats along the windows). Staff are welcoming and service was fairly prompt given the lunch rush.

Starters

Gujeolpan (HK$138)
Spicy Bell Pepper Tuna (HK$162)
Yukhoe (HK$178)

We began with the beautifully presented Gujeolpan (HK$138), which dates back to the Kingdom of Joseon of the late 1300s. Nowadays, this dish is mainly served during festivities. The gujeolpan at Momojein consists of nine ingredients (beef, egg white, egg yolk, cucumber, carrot, two types of mushroom, zucchini, and onion) with fresh flavored pancakes in the middle. Put whichever ingredients you fancy onto the spinach, beetroot, and white lotus flower pancakes, fold it up, and dip it into Momojein’s homemade pine nut mustard sauce. My favorite starter was the Spicy Bell Pepper Tuna (HK$162). These mini bell peppers were stuffed with tuna marinated in Gochujang (Korean hot paste) and were deliciously spicy. The presentation was inspired by a tinned tuna product from Korea, adding a touch of “awe, so cute” to the dish. If you’re a fan of tartare, you’ll enjoy the Yukhoe (HK$178). This raw beef dish is made with a number of interesting ingredients, such as pear, and is served with their housemade seaweed chips.

Mains

KFD (HK$128)
Smoked Pork Belly (HK$350)
Soondoobu Stew (HK$208)

Since Korean fried chicken is still incredibly popular, we opted for the KFD (HK$128), where Momojein’s version only includes drumsticks, hence the “D”. The batter is light and crispy, but I did wish there was a bit more meat on each drumstick. I really loved the Smoked Pork Belly (HK$350) and everyone at our table seemed to agree as it was gobbled up in a matter of seconds. The technique used to create this dish is time consuming: Korean bean paste and Jung Jong (Korean wine) are rubbed onto the Iberico pork, which is then slow-cooked for 12 hours. The pork is then roasted before being put into a clay pot with wood shavings that are lit at the table to give it that intense smokey flavor. I was surprised at how much I actually liked the Soondoobu Stew (HK$208). This stew is made with a variety of Korean seasonings, along with pork, seafood, vegetables, tofu, and egg, and has quite the spicy kick to it.

Dessert

Baesuk Sherbet (HK$88)

After a hearty meal, I was thankful that dessert was rather light. The Baesuk Sherbet (HK$88) is  the perfect summer treat for both your stomach and your eyes. This dessert is made by first boiling the Korean pear in a sweet soup made of cinnamon, honey, ginger, and sugar. Part of the soup is then used to make a sherbet while the other part is mixed with soda water. This dessert was incredibly refreshing and I really liked how strong the cinnamon flavor was.

Verdict

You can really tell that Chef Lim Hee Won puts plenty of passion into his cooking – even the charcoal used for grilling is imported from Korea! Each dish uses high quality ingredients and is plated with care. If you haven’t had the chance to try the food at Momojein, I would highly recommend it.

MOMOJEIN
23/F, QRE Plaza
202 Queen’s Road East
Wan Chai 

Tel: 2789 1949

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