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Moi Moi shares the ground floor space with Home, the vegetarian restaurant of ZS Hospitality Group. The entrance is embellished with intricate patterns formed from red tiles, inviting guests into the elongated dining room, complete with wooden shelves filled with large spice jars, mimicking the traditional Asian pantry.
Booth seating is comfortable, with a mirror installation to increase the feeling of depth within the space. Tables are snuggly spaced along the room, while the plush furniture and soft, warm lighting add an overall homely feel to the décor.
In a recent interview with Luke Nguyen, chef-owner of Moi Moi, we found that he takes great pride in his homemade sauces, which are served alongside dishes from appetisers to mains..
We began with rice paper rolls, where translucent rice paper are tightly wrapped around charred prawns with herbs and vermicelli and halved into fat finger-shaped rolls. The dipping sauce is rich and creamy, and offers depth to the otherwise light rolls. Aunty 5’s rice cakes is a signature dish. Chef Nguyen pan-fried both sides of the gelatinous rice cakes and topped them with pork floss, spring onions, chillies and the whole dish is dressed with a sweet fish sauce. The rice cakes, though crispy, were bland within.
The salt and pepper tofu is considered the bestseller at Moi Moi; golden and crisp with a crunchy rice crust, the innovative coating was also its weakness, as the rice granules clumped and turned into teeth-crunching brittle, which even in contrast with the silky tofu within, was too hard of a crust. You will also need the sweet dipping sauce as the tofu was too mild in flavour.
Lemongrass wagyu beef, in comparison, is a wonderful course. The betel-leaf wrapped wagyu beef strips are tender and juicy, and best wrapped with crisp lettuce, shiso, basil, and Vietnamese mint leaves.
Twice cooked free-range chicken is a brave attempt for Moi Moi, served without its signature homemade sauces. The bird is sous-vide for 90 minutes before grilling, yielding tender, juicy meat through the half-chicken serving, It makes a light main course compared to other heavier, meatier options. The dessert selection is scarce at Moi Moi.
The signature avocado tart may be an acquired taste to some. Guests need not expect a sweet guacamole-type filling, but more of a sweet avocado cream not unlike cheesecake for texture. The crust was a let-down however with a tough texture, but the honeycomb served with the dessert was spot on.
Staying true to a casual Vietnamese eatery, the modest beverage selection ensures easy decisions for guests. Most cocktails are fruity with Asian elements incorporated into each variety. The Xich Lo Smash fuses Chalong Bay sugarcane rum, muddled with ginger, lime wedges and green grapes to create a zingy and sweet beverage that works well with appetisers such as deep-fried tofu and rice rolls. Den Martini is much sweeter, made with coffee liquor and Vietnamese drip coffee, creating a much stronger, boozy iced coffee laced with vanilla liqueur. The cocktail is a coffee lover’s dream but somehow a poor pairing with Moi Moi’s signature plates.
Moi Moi is welcoming with the spirit of hospitality, and the team demonstrates this philosophy with smiles and attentiveness throughout service. The servers are quick and knowledgeable on menu offerings, although rather weak with portion control or beverage pairings. Guests can expect extended waiting times for main courses, and the restaurant can be slightly short-staffed late in the evening.
Dinner for two including one cocktail each sums up to slightly over HK$1,100. Moi Moi’s fresh approach to revamping Vietnamese dishes are exemplified with its rich variety of homemade sauces, paired with Westernised execution that match with the concept itself.