Mrs. Pound: Secret Entrances and Razor clam heaven
6 Pound Lane, Hong Kong
Mrs. Pound’s doesn’t look like a restaurant at all. In fact, if I hadn’t read about it in Time Out Hong Kong, I’m pretty sure I would have walked right by the little stamp shop without thinking twice. That’s what the place looks like, an unassuming, dusty old Chinese stamp shop hidden away on the end of a back alley street. My favourite part about the restaurant is the secret entrance. In order to enter the restaurant, you press on one of the stamps and one of the walls on the store front slides open to reveal a door. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to figure out which stamp to push, but when I walked up to the storefront, it was pretty obvious. All the stamps are locked behind glass but for the door opener stamp, the glass in front of that stamp was unlocked and slid open, revealing a little square pink stamp.
I also love the story behind Mrs. Pound. They definitely did a great job on marketing. Printed on the menus is a mysterious but intriguing history about Mrs. Pound along with old black and white photos of Mrs. Pound with her face obscured because her identity is a secret. In fact, the back story explains that the reason why Mrs. Pound’s restaurant is disguised as a stamp shop is to keep her identity a secret, thus the secret entrance. Mrs. Pound was a burlesque dancer with many admirers, she is described as being well-traveled and worldly but one day, she mysteriously vanished and some guessed that she may have run away with her true love, Mr. Ming, the former owner of the stamp shop.
Whether fact or fiction, the food at Mrs. Pound is amazing. This is the first time I’ve ever tried razor clams and they were as delicious as I’ve always imagined. Meaty and succulent, I love how razor clams have so much more flesh than regular dinky clams. The mirepoix dressing the clams was delicious as well, buttery and tasty; I love the chopped up Chinese mushrooms mixed in with the clam meat. I was still hungrily scooping up the mirepoix even after all the clam meat was gone.
We also ordered the pork belly skewers which were juicy and delicious. The meat had a wonderful smokiness and was lightly dressed with a sticky and sweet sauce.
The Rendang poutine was served in a little metal tin but as we dug deeper into the tin, we discovered that the little container could hold a lot more fries, cheese and gravy than we had anticipated. The poutine was a great twist on a Canadian classic and almost made me homesick.
The deep fried mantou bun was a bit of a rip-off as it was just a little tiny bun served in a gimmicky mini bamboo steamer. The bun was tasty but I would hardly call it a side dish. I did see on Instagram that Mrs. Pound is now giving away buns for free at lunch which sounds much better than selling them as side dishes.
Even the washroom doors seemed like secret passages, each washroom is found behind a door without a doorknob so the door just looks like a regular wall. There isn’t a sink and faucet inside the washroom rather there’s a communal sink and faucet between the two doors.
As we were leaving the restaurant, there was a group of people just as curious as us about the secret door and they waited until they thought we were out of earshot before they took turns pressing the stamp button to open the sliding door. My favourite part about Mrs. Pound was that when we were inside, I totally forgot that we were in Hong Kong. The decor and ambiance was that hypnotizing.