Located on the third floor of Orion Mall, Mr Hong combines the ambience of a Thai tea room, with contemporary yet classic elements of light and airy space, away from the noise and hustle of the over-crowded food court and cinema. The quaint table lamps, the panoramic windows and sunlit roof, transport you to the vibrant energy of Bangkok and the upmarket streets of Hong Kong. Their menu is limited but quite delicious, as we discovered. They serve wine, beer and beverages but opt for traditional iced teas in flavours like green tea, hibiscus, dragon well, jasmine and ginger mint that are refreshing or signature coolers to suit your every mood — orange, chilli, kaffir lime, elder flower and pineapple cardamon, among others.
The menu thankfully lives up to the decor, dropping the usual Indo-Chinese staples like gobi Manchurian and chicken lollipops in favour of creative appetisers like Crispy Lotus in Sriracha sauce (fried lotus stems tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce), wok-fried soya string beans – a simple soy mince with fresh beans which also has a chicken mince option, and light, fluffy steamed dimsums served straight out of bamboo baskets. The soups, tom yum chicken and hot and sour vegetarian, carry the real flavours of coconut milk, tangy lemon grass and piquant soya sauce that we would expect from a chef who really knows his stuff.
For mains, we Adelved into stir-fried vegetables in chilli and garlic, Penang curry chicken (cubed chicken with dried chili peppers, galangal and lemon grass) and a simple seasoned kalian (a Cantonese leafy vegetable) with sliced lamb. We loved that the mains come with fragrant steamed Jasmine rice to make for a complete meal.
Do try the hot silken bean curd, a pan-fried delicacy that makes for a great change from the predictable for vegetarians. While cauliflower and carrots feature in the background, the emphasis is pleasantly on broccoli, kailan, string beans, eggplant, pumelo and green mango, for a change. Equally, non-vegetarians too have the options of fish, lamb and pork instead of the usual chicken overload.
Spare some time
We highly recommend you make it a leisurely affair at Mr Hong and weave their steamed buns, sesame cakes and classic salads (pumelo and shrimp we hear is top-notch) into your culinary plan, as well.
Dessert though tasty can be given a miss. There is nothing that original about brownies and cheesecake in an Oriental menu, so you might want to save those calories for more of their fine traditional offerings. Rs. 1,500 for two. At Orion Mall, Malleshwaram. Details: 22682240