Lobby Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong
Vietnamese cuisine is best known for its bright, vibrant and slightly funky flavours, and the combination of sweet, salty, spicy and sour, all punctuated by fresh herbs and homemade condiments. This brilliant balance of aromatics versus heat, freshness versus fermented flavours, can be found in spades at Moi Moi – the fun-loving Vietnamese eatery that’s captivated Hong Kong foodies since opening in early 2017.
Meaning ‘welcome’ or ‘come in’ in Vietnamese, Moi Moi is the fourth concept from ZS Hospitality, a local F&B group that also operates Mexican-American joint MEXUS, Cantonese eatery LEE Lo Mei and the fine dining-style Ying Jee Club. With Moi Moi, the group has strutted confidently into Vietnamese cuisine, debuting a large, open venue on the ground floor of Nexxus Building, with bold and eye-catching decor to draw in passers-by.
Inspired by the colourful street food of Vietnam, Moi Moi feels like a lazy float trip down the Mekong River, stopping to sample the local street food and fresh produce along the way. For lunch, you’ll spot familiar items: soft rice paper rolls plumped up with tiger prawns, stringy vermicelli noodles with a thick-cut pork chop and the signature beef pho, slow-simmered for hours until it’s loaded with flavour and fragrance. Round out the meal with an iced longan tea and the garlic and butter chicken wings in a sticky-sweet glaze.
At dinner, the menu is a fancier affair: diners can savour spring rolls and pho as well as large sharing-style dishes ranging from roasted chicken with black pepper and rosemary to jumbo crab in a melange of shiitake mushrooms, carrots, wood ear mushrooms and slippery glass noodles. For something lighter, opt for the whole grilled fish – the tender meat flaking under a fragrant topping of ginger and scallions.
For a heavier dish, ladle up the stewed beef brisket curry, fortified by fluffy potatoes in a creamy coconut milk-infused broth.
Finally, don’t miss the signature rice cakes – a perennial favourite consisting of pan-fried rice cakes buried under meaty tiger prawns, tender caramelised pork neck and tufts of pork floss. From the wok-tossed Chinese kale to the roasted chicken, sourcing organic and sustainable ingredients is a key mission of the kitchen, and as such the restaurant works closely with local farmers and sources much of its produce from local wet markets.
Service is lively and the restaurant buzzes with energy at any time of day. Meanwhile, the chic decor allows the restaurant to seamlessly transition from a casual lunch spot to a trendy date night dinner destination with its wooden geometric crossbeams to the touches of electric teal, bright red partitions and Vietnamese-style lanterns that infuse the room with a cheery glow.
While Hong Kong may be dotted with pho shops and small Vietnamese eateries, Moi Moi leads the pack when it comes to a versatile option that runs the gamut from affordable power lunches to luscious dinners, with a menu that sings with fresh herbs and produce at every turn in the true spirit of Vietnamese cuisine.