• Jenni Lien

Mrs. Pound | Bold decor and flavours at this 'hidden' gem in Sheung Wan

On a tiny side street just up the hill from the Sheung Wan Market is one of the cutest, sweetest restaurants in town. I’ve been to Mrs. Pound at least five times (for girls nights, my boss’s birthday, for an art week brunch) but somehow I’ve never written about it. Even though there’s so much to love.



It’s the ideal spot for a girls night, or perhaps a date night, because the decor is just so OTT in a whimsical way. There have been a few restaurants that have tried the “base the restaurant around an imaginary persona” thing, but no one has done it as well as Mrs. Pound. For one, they actually give guests a story of who Mrs. Pound is and how she came to own a restaurant that looks like a stamp shop, and the rest of the decor like lipstick-written messages on mirrors, compacts and butterflies on the walls, just add to the vibe. Also, the seating is comfortable as well as beautiful and colourful (bright pink on the first floor and jade green on the upper level).


After all these visits, my only complaint about Mrs. Pound has been the portion sizes. Most of the dishes are on the small size so the end bill can be quite heavy if you want to leave full. That said, the food is quite unique and tasty so I’ve generally found the bill to be acceptable if you’re willing to pay a premium for the experience and atmosphere.


But back to brunch. The purpose of our visit was to try a few new brunch and lunch dishes. From the brunch menu, we tried the Scottish Smoked Quail Egg ($78), the Avocado Smash ($128), the Japanese Okonomiyaki Skewers ($78), and the Ricotta Pancake Stacks ($95).



The Quail Egg was a big hit with an interesting Asian spice mix in the pork. It was flavourful and not too greasy.



Is any brunch menu complete without an avocado toast? But most don’t usually come with fried basil leaves and Thai salad! Surprisingly, this tasted light and fresh with the Asian inspired elements adding just a touch of spice still letting the avocado shine. (A half portion is shown in the photo.)



My companion didn’t love the Okonomiyaki skewers for the same reason that I loved them: the texture. It was slightly crispy on the outside but mostly paste-y and sticky. Kind of like a taro carrot cake on a stick.



These pancakes had ricotta two ways: in the batter and in the butter! Both were lovely. Note that the texture is denser, more Thai-style than the fluffy American style.


From the lunch menu, we tried the Nyonya Tiger Prawn Laksa ($85) and the Yakitori & Rice Platter ($80).



Man, do I ever miss living in Singapore and eating laksa whenever I wanted. The version at Mrs. Pound was creamy and flavourful, and absolutely excellent with the whole serving of spicy sambal. It had all the essential elements: fish balls, sliced fish cake, fried tofu, laksa leaves, and had the added touch of a soft boiled Japanese egg. My only complaint is that the thin egg noodles were overcooked for my liking as I like more of a chewy texture.



The Yakitori platter came with four skewers (breast, thigh, kidney, and skin). While the thigh skewer was quite tasty, the rest were rather underwhelming and were lightly seasoned so I enjoyed eating them with lots of the burnt-soy sauce.


When it comes to alcohol, I’m learning to appreciate whiskey (thank you boyfriend) but still lean towards the lighter side when it comes to cocktails. That said, I found the In the Mood ($120), with English Breakfast Tea-infused gin with notes of pandan, lime, and elderflower, to be deliciously drinkable and perfect for brunch. The Delicate Dance of Geisha ($120) had a much stronger floral taste with Sakura Tea infused sake but also went down easily.


Verdict

I’ll definitely keep Mrs. Pound in mind for a future girls brunch or maybe bring my sister here when she visits from Canada next month. The vibe and the cocktails are sure to impress out of towners. I’d like to have the Quail Eggs, Okonomiyaki Skewers, and Laksa again, and definitely a few orders of their famous avocado fries. Sad to have missed them this time!


6 Pound Ln, Sheung Wan, 3426 3949


*By invitation


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