When I think about Castelo Concepts’ restaurants, the word ‘safe’ always springs to mind. Many of them have a similar concept, the same style of menu and consistently decent food, even if they wouldn’t necessarily win any awards (mind you, Wagyu’s pancakes do come close!). However, the group’s newest restaurant, Missy Ho’s, could not be more different and took me completely by surprise.
Classing its cuisine as “funky fusion flavours,” Missy Ho’s is hidden away on Kennedy Town’s Forbes Street. There is no signage from outside, so unless you know what you’re looking for, you may have trouble finding it. I love this, as you get the sense that you’re being let in on a little secret that no one else knows about… although probably not for long, knowing Hong Kong.
When I asked who Missy Ho was, I was told that she was whoever you wanted her to be; she was Miss Hong Kong. The décor reflects exactly this, with representations of old and new Hong Kong. Think birdcages, old photographs, Union Jacks, traditional Chinese pottery, as well as more weird and wonderful trinkets that even include a swing – apparently this comes down once they’ve stopped serving food, at the same time as the fancy dress collection in the corner gets raided!
The food menu is also thankfully much more concise than any of the group’s other venues’, all fitting on to one small piece of card. After ordering a round of the cocktail of the day (Caipiroskas, as it was a Monday), we entrusted chef and co-owner Persi with arranging a menu for our table of nine, starting with a few bowls of delicious edamame sprinkled in chilli powder.
A few plates of beautifully arranged snapper carpaccio appeared next. Drizzled in lime and white soy, sprinkled with sesame seeds and red chilli, these little morsels were absolutely fantastic. The fish was as fresh as could be, simply melting in the mouth and creating a party of funky flavours.
The jalapeño kingfish carpaccio that came later was equally as fresh, but the flavours weren’t nearly as exciting.
The salmon and mango ceviche salad, however, was deliciously refreshing. The tender salmon and slightly tart mango were the perfect accompaniment to the crunchy shallots and strips of chilli. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough salmon to go around.
If you like the rolls at Sushi O (another Castelo restaurant), you won’t be disappointed by the ones at Missy Ho’s. The spicy salmon rolls, sprinkled in yet more sesame and shichimi, were beautiful and light, with a satisfying kick.
It was actually the chicken and avocado rolls, however, that the whole table fell in love with. The contrast of the crunchy chicken and buttery avocado, all topped with a magical creamy sauce was so heavenly that we immediately ordered a second round of these.
Salt and pepper cuttlefish is one of my favourite things in the world. When I saw a plate of this arrive before me, I assumed that, given I am currently off wheat, I would have to sadly miss out. Fortunately, there is no flour involved, as these are apparently made with potato starch. Good job, as I would not have wanted to missed out on these crispy morsels of deliciousness!
The sesame satay beef, whilst very tender, was a little bit on the fatty side. It was tender fat that barely required any chewing, but nonetheless a little too fatty for me.
Although I’m not sure they warrant their $60 price tag per piece, the miso cod tacos were pretty special. The fish was perfectly flaky, with a delicious, sweet glaze and tasty coleslaw with a Missy Ho twist.
To finish, given there were few of us not eating wheat, Persi decided to give us each a lovely little bowl of strawberries with vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and cinnamon (a dish that is usually made with his signature tempura strawberries) – the perfect end to a surprisingly fantastic meal.
We each paid $500 for a lot of food and a couple of cocktails. Missy Ho’s is a very cool little spot that I will without a doubt be returning to. I can imagine it would be a great place to hold a private party, or even take someone on a cool date; there’s enough going on in terms of both the décor and the food that there would certainly be a lot to talk about!
Missy Ho’s, G/F, Sincere Western House, 48 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, 2817 3808, www.casteloconcepts.com. Missy Ho’s is open Monday-Saturday from 6pm.
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!