This is Hong Kong’s answer to London’s Wagamama. My obsession with instant noodles has finally found a home in this hipster’s hangout created by Dragon-i’s Gilbert Yeung. The decor is too cool for school, with a screaming colour palette and vintage photos of much loved bad boys (Scarface, Miles Davis, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta) donning the wall. There is even a large mural of a hot Asian dude having fun with chopsticks (a la Wagamama). But our favourite is the signage that hovers above the noodle bar, spelling out: “Don’t try too hard”.
Misocool (pronounced ‘me-so-cool’) takes everything that works at Wagamama and Hong Kong-ifies it. Case in point is their beef in special tomato soup ($40), a play on the dai pai dong favourite. This super-tomato-y broth is thick like a pasta sauce, less like a soup, and coats every strand of the long eggy ramen. The beef is reminiscent of Yoshinoya’s fatty meat. Pair that with sautéed onions, and you’ve got yourself a rather fine meal.
We loved that Kanye West’s latest tunes were pumping a decibel above conversation level on the stereo, and that the lighting resembled LPs in a yuppified bad-ass kinda way. The same description goes for their seafood sesame cold noodles ($44). The mountain of al dente noodles lightly tossed in a rich sesame dressing with julienne vegetables and shellfish was the perfect summer’s meal. The dressing was sweet with a slight bite of vinegar and the prawns cooked just right.
Now, nothing goes better with a large bowl of ramen than a family of gzoyas. ‘Grandma’s dumplings’ to be exact. However, the six pork and veggie filled gzoyas ($30) were undercooked, with their wrappers dry at the edges. They really needed another minute in the pan. A better option was their humbly named pan-fried pork dumplings ($25). What they resemble are pork-filled open tacos; fried, then topped with a dot of salmon roe.
The Kyushu pork tender ribs in miso broth ($48) were not so tender, and also slightly cold at the centre. But the perfectly pressed spinach leaves, corn, bamboo shoots and half a Japanese egg with a glowing golden yolk dressed up the ramen. The truth is it was all good, apart from the ribs. We think they might have spent too much time in the fridge. In this particular case, we want to say: “Try harder”. But the rest of our meal and it’s much welcomed DJ-inspired atmosphere will bring us back to Misocool time and time again.
Packed at lunch, packed for dinner, it's best to go at 8am when they open or 11pm right before they close. Too cool for school? You better believe it.
1/F, 11 Stanley St, Central, 2868 3738. Daily from 8am-11pm. Meal for two: around $180.
|Venue name:||Misocool (Closed)|
1/F, 11 Stanley St, Central