Our first impression of Myung Ga was: great views, modern design, and overly safe menu. Perhaps we shouldn’t have expected much more, as almost all the restaurants inside Causeway Bay’s World Trade Centre are standard mall suspects; there’s a Shanghainese spot, two sushi joints, an Italian eatery of some sort, Starbucks, Honeymoon Dessert and the omnipresent Crystal Jade Xiao Long Bao La Mein. Among this run-of-the-mill line-up, Myung Ga is the token Korean outlet, albeit one in a prime location with views over Victoria Harbour. They make good use of the vista by elevating the floors so even people sat towards the back of the room can watch the sunset. We waited for a booth right by the windows, so we could see the boats return to the Royal Yacht Club after a day out at sea.
Settling into our seats, we noticed a lot of Korean being spoken at surrounding tables – an encouraging sign. However a first taste of the kimchi pancake with pork ($100), made us question our initial excitement. Limp and crustless, we were literally pulling it apart looking for the meat. The only saving grace for the dish was the spicy-salty dipping sauce.
Next, a plate of kalbi with bone (marinated short ribs; $150) was thrown on to the hot grill at the table. The meat was pleasantly marinated, albeit thinly cut, retaining a nice bounce at first bite. It came with a crisp lettuce wrap, and a sweet vinegar dipping sauce.
The nakji bokum (spicy octopus with vegetables, $230), was loaded with more buckwheat noodles than other ingredients – great if you are craving carbs (not so good if, like us, you’re not). The accompanying fiery red sauce looked more daunting than it was, sweet with a non-offensive spicy aftertaste. It had definitely been toned down for the Hong Kong market. Lastly, the dolsot bibimbap ($110). To look at, it had all the great characteristics of this traditional dish, but the disappointing taste and lack of burnt rice on the bottom of the pot meant it failed to deliver.
In sum, the majority of the menu at Myung Ga plays it safe, and you’re paying for the mesmerising view, not the great food. It seems like first impressions are always right. Alan Wong
13/F, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay, 2882 5056. Meal for two: around $1,000.
|Venue name:||Myung Ga|
13/F, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay