Claypot rice was on our hit list during the Hong Kong trip and a couple of places stood out that specialise in it. Four Seasons Claypot rice and Hing Kee are both in Mong Kok and both have had great exposure on blogs and across social media. Looking at the recent reviews and prices of the two places plus the chances of standing in line for a while didn’t fill us with hope. Instead we went on a hidden gem search for quality clay pot rice that wouldn’t break the bank.
Step forward Chuen Moon Kee conveniently located beside our hotel at the Cordis in Mong Kok and with a handful of reviews praising the quality of their claypot rice. We made our way out of our door and through theirs and it didn’t take them long to win us over, they gave us a booth! A whole booth and table to ourselves, such a luxury in Hong Kong.
Chuen Moon Kee kept on racking up the points. The husband and wife team who own the place both spoke decent English and were very friendly and accommodating, offering English menu’s and a free starter of a soup made from pork bones. “This will make you strong and healthy” declared the lady. It tasted decent I must say.
We ordered three dishes, sweet and sour pork (has to be done), stir fried pork ribs with garlic and chilli along with the famous clay pot rice. We decided to go traditional and have the claypot with chicken and Chinese sausage but the variety was decent if you fancy something different. Mainly based around meat and seafood.
Most of the people in the restaurant appeared to be locals which is always a promising sign and many of them had also opted for the clay pot’s. As we got stuck into the sweet and sour pork it was more of a taste of home as versions both in Hong Kong and the U.K are virtually identical. The ribs were encrusted with a mixture of garlic, chilli and spring onions with the texture of breadcrumbs. The kind of coating used on chilli crab on Hong Kong island. Fiery yet very tasty.
The star of the show arrived at our table. A clay pot full of steaming fragrant rice, chicken and sausage with a side of steamed chinese leaf greens. At this point the husband came over and opened the lid, poured a little soy sauce over the rice and divided it into two bowls. He then added “I’ll be back in 10 minutes” leaving us wondering. True to his word back he came armed with a spoon. Somehow managing to prise the entire crust off the base and sides of the pan in one fluid movement to resemble some sort of rice basket. Incredible. “That’s the best part” his wife leaned in to tell us.
The rice was delicious. Perfectly cooked and just the right amount of seasoning. The chicken had been left on the bone and added immense flavour to the dish. Chinese sausage has a certain sweet fermented flavour about it which was a worthy addition, it’s a real classic. The crust though was excellent with a toasted flavour, not charred as we had seen while walking past a few of the pot washes on Temple Street.
We were stuffed by this point and thoughts turned to just how much we had actually spent. Well the good news is that all this came to a modest $250 HKD (£25) for two which is tremendous value for what was a great meal. We thanked the husband and wife duo and had a brief chat about where we were from and where we were heading next on our tour.
Location wise Chuen Moon Kee is easy to reach by metro from Mong Kok station and is close to the Canton Road street market where more cheap eats can be found from roast meat shops and fresh food vendors. If friendly service and delicious clay pot rice is what you are after then as far as we’re concerned look no further.
Opening hours: Daily 7am-11pm
Metro: Mong Kok (Exit E – Langham Place)