Sherman's Food Adventures: Mott 32

Mott 32

Okay, before you bring out the pitchforks, this is a blog post about food and not about politics.  If you want to talk about Trump and the sort, go look elsewhere.  To be blunt, I've avoided dining at Mott 32 for this very reason.  After awhile, it just didn't make any sense to do so.  I actually missed dining at Mott 32 in Hong Kong because I knew there was a location right here at home.  So I finally made it out to Mott 32 for Dim Sum with my parents and you know what?  I'm going to talk about the food for the next few passages.  End of story.

So we all know that Mott 32 has high end pricing due to the food quality, service and decor.  I'm not opposed to spending money for unique experiences, but be aware, Mott 32 is indeed expensive.  To illustrate this, the Siu Mai consisting of soft quail egg, prawn, Iberico pork and black truffle costs $21.00 for 3 dumplings.  Yes, $7.00 per dumpling.  Let that sink in for a bit.  On that note, these were fantastic with buttery soft pork that had a beautiful rebound.  The runny quail egg in the middle was a nice little treat.  Combined with the dollop of black truffle on top, there was plenty of umaminess.  At $12.00, the Ha Gau with prawn and pea shoots could've been considered a steal relatively speaking.  I thought the dumpling skin was prefect with a certain translucency that was chewy while delicate at the same time.  Inside, the prawn was top quality being sweet with a buttery snap.  I personally would've done without the pea shoots because it made the filling too loose.

One signature item at Mott 32 is the Hot and Sour Iberico Pork Shanghainese Soup Dumplings.  These are always ever-present on IG with their own individual little baskets, but for our serving, they were plated typically on parchment.  I would have to confirm the hype on these as the considerable amount of soup inside was a flavour bomb.  Measured spiciness combined with an appetizing tang, the soup was encased within a thin chewy wrapper.  As for the meat, it was tender with a bit of rebound.  Somewhat similar to the ones found at Tim Ho Wan, the Signature Crispy Sugar Coated BBQ Iberico Pork Buns were delicate with a crispy and sweet topping.  The bun itself was soft and warm being fluffy with a touch of elasticity.  Sweet and aromatic, the BBQ pork filling was fairly lean. 

With their Steamed Rice Noodle Roll, it was a bit different as it sported crispy rice paper directly underneath the noodle itself.  Hence, there was a nice contrast between the thin and soft noodle (with an appealing chewiness) as well as the snap-textured prawn.  As for the prawn, there was plenty of it where the filling was akin to an overstuffed spring roll.  Normally, most rice noodle rolls feature 3 large shrimp per piece.  One item that I wasn't that keen with was the Poached Pork Dumplings.  Beyond the overly soft wonton-like wrapper, the pork inside was too soft and mushy for my liking.  This was further exacerbated by the inclusion of cabbage which made things even more soggy.  The one saving grace was the aged vinegar and spicy sauce that featured plenty of chilis.  Hence, there was a "spicy wonton" thing going on with the flavour profiles.

Two of the more standard-looking and typical-tasting dishes were fried.  The Garlic Prawn Spring Roll didn't stray from the ordinary, yet at the same time, was better than most other versions.  This started with the high-quality prawn filling where large chunks were present exhibiting the desired buttery snap texture.  Lots of natural garlic flavour complimenting the right amount of seasoning.  Golden brown, the exterior was crunchy and not greasy at all.  Although smaller than usual, the Taro Croquette stuffed with chicken and prawn was on point.  Lightly crispy and not overly oily, the croquettes sported a semi-thin layer of mashed taro.  It was flavourful from an adequate amount of salt.  Inside, the chicken was tender while the prawn was consistent with the other dishes.  The use of chicken helped make this less fatty.

Moving back to pork, we had the Pork Spareribs with pumpkin and spicy black bean sauce.  Normally, this would feature little chunks of pork rib and cartilage, but for this version, it was mostly large pieces of meat.  Therefore, the price tag of $12.00 (which is easily double of any other dim sum spot) didn't seem all that outrageous especially with all things considered.  Beyond being well-seasoned (albeit not really that spicy), the pork was perfectly bouncy and tender.   Okay, for $28.00, the Sweet & Sour Pork at first glance appeared to be overly small in portion size.  However, the quality of the pork could not be questioned.  With a bit of fat, the pork was tender and bouncy with a thin crispy exterior (even with the sauce).  Blessed with aged black vinegar, the barely clinging sauce was sweet and tangy with a high level of depth.

For our noodle dish, we tried the Wok Fried Flat Rice Noodles with AAA Canadian beef and bean sprouts.  This was all about execution as the noodles were chewy, fully separated and not grease-soaked.  There was plenty of caramelization and smokiness from the proper wok heat (wok hei).  Beyond the attractive colour from the dark soy as well as the wok fry, there was enough seasoning for impact without being salty.  The AAA beef held up its side of the bargain being tender and buttery.  For dessert, we shared the Crispy Egg Flour Pastry drizzled with honey, citron and sesame.  These were light and airy featuring a soft crispiness.  Although sweet, it wasn't overwhelmingly so.  The addition of the orange rind created a marmalade-type effect where it was bitter, tangy and bright.  Overall, we enjoyed the Dim Sum at Mott 32 and for some dishes, we can see understand the pricing given the level of service, quality of ingredients and level of execution.  However, this is literally not everyone's cup of tea, so it really depends on your budget.

The Good:
- Quality of the food is apparent
- Service is top notch
- Lovely dining room

The Bad:
- Of course, it is expensive
- Modest portions


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