Mrs Pound | Hidden secret in Sheung Wan with flare

 

We tried Mrs Pound last week and were pleasantly surprised with not just the menu itself, but also the venue’s vibe.  The exterior doesn’t give anything away, not even a the name of the restaurant, but stepping through the sliding doors you are are hit with a hip, warm and inviting space. The foundation of this Asian street eats style menu is uniquely reflected across the interior decor, illustrating the character behind the cute novelty story. There are burlesque scents of a women’s attitude, oozing out of every corner, wall and ceiling of the room. I’m talking feather boas, classic vanity mirrors with exposed light bulbs, ballet shoes and trinkets. The music kept the atmosphere lively without over powering the conversation, whilst the waiting team were perfectly attentive and super friendly. I do prefer the tables up at the back, as they are a little less squished, but then I know that’s more to do with me being a little precious about my personal space.

The cocktail menu has a good selection of drinks with ingredients that sing to my soul, like the Salty Calamansi Lemonade with gin, calamansi, honey and lemonade. Or Tom Yum Cooler with gin, kaffir lime leaf, chili, lime and coconut water [both HK$95]. If you are in to your craft beers and ales, there is also an interesting selection, though not much offered for the larger lover. Definitely a fun bar stop, the only one of its style in the immediate surrounding area.  

The food menu is creative and successfully satisfies those who like flavours with a punch.  Their soft launch menu isn’t overly extensive. It’s simple and to the point; offering skewers, small plates, bigger plates, bar bites, salads and sides. There is a diverse range of choices to satisfy all from the meaty, to more healthier salads with an Asian twist. Clearly the chef takes pride in choosing quality ingredients and executes with a modern innovative flare. As usual I wanted to try everything, but still haven’t found that magic genie to grant me my bottomless stomach wish. 

We tried the Bulgogi Pork Belly from the ‘SKEWERS’ section [HK$38 each, min order x2], Sriracha Street Corn [HK$58 for two pieces], Double-fried ‘Ma La’ Wings [HK$75 for 4 pieces in the dish] and the Tuna Larb [HK$188] from the ‘SMALLER’, enjoyed with both ‘BAR BITES’ including the Harissa Edemame and Lotus Root Chips [both HK$35].

As it is only around the corner, we will for sure return to try the Chicken Meatballs [HK$45 each, min order x2], Xinjiang Spiced Lamp [HK$40 each, min order x2], Rendang Bao [HK$45 for 1 piece], Laksa Bibimbap {HK$168] and Pomelo Seafood Salad [HK$110], which didn’t make the cut on the first visit, only because we rolled out on to the street like a pair of stuffed Baos…

Eateries in this part of Sheung Wan tend to struggle in the face of local authority resistance with obtaining opening hours beyond 18:00, and the crucially important liqueur licenses. This sleepy area doesn’t need to be ruined by another Soho-esque F&B zone, but there is a grey area solution in-between this all or nothing approach that is currently dominating the neighbourhood. Mrs Pound is a good addition to the case against the local authority’s conservative restrictions, making it work, without fanning any flames to their perception that a place with good booze, must therefore result in loud and leery neighbourhood disruptions. Mrs Pound hidden behind the facade of a ‘Mr. Ming’s Stamp Shop’, is a most welcomed restaurant and bar to this largely residential corner of Hong Kong.

Bulgogi Pork Belly Skewer, tender and melted in the mouth. The sweet Bulgogi Korean sauce was a perfect balance, topped with shiso leaf to elevate the freshness.

Sriracha Street Corn, perfectly coated with melted pecorino and under tones of sriracha kewpie-mayo, and a subtle kick from the lime zest, ginger and garlic. 

Double-fried 'Ma La' Wings

Perfectly crispy double-fried ‘Ma La’ Wings, with Sichuan spices, fried garlic, chilies and a pleasant surprise of light sugar sprinkles.

Tuna Larb

Packing quite a punch, this Thai Larb is a little more unique made from chopped tuna steak with thai basil, chili, string beans and fish sauce. Spicy goodness, that leaves you wanting to go back for more of a kick. 

Harissa Edemame

Harissa Edemame, a sweeter take on serving soy beans.

Lotus Root Chips

Lightly battered Lotus Root Chips. Whilst a little thicker than expected, they actually worked well with well balanced seasoning. 

Mr Ming's Stamp Shop

Mr Ming’s Stamp Shop, look out for the hidden sliding door button…

The story | Where is Mrs Pound?  

Mrs Pound had a lustrous career as a burlesque dancer, with a charismatic charm and exotic features that brought fame and admiration from anyone who saw her. She travelled the world on the arm of different suitors and experiences flavours from across the globe, but at the height of her popularity she mysteriously disappeared from the public eye. Rumor has it she had run away with her true lover – Mr. Ming was a conservative, reserved, and wealthy gentleman from Hong Kong. His kindness won the heart of Mrs. Pound, and he gave her his favourite stamp shop to turn into her personal domain. To this day he keeps the shopfront to hide Mrs. Pound and to keep her location a secret. 

[Quoted from Mrs. Pound’s place mat]

Mrs Pound 
a. 6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan [look for ‘Mr Ming’s Stamp Shop’]
t. +852 3426 3949
www.mrspound.com