Mono Combines French Fine Dining With Latin American Fare
JIA Group, known for its successful fine dining establishments such as Michelin-starred Louise and Duddell's, continues to impress food enthusiasts with its contemporary cuisine. One of its latest ventures, Mono, led by world-renowned Chef Ricardo Chaneton, offers delectable French dishes with international influences in an intimate 30-seat venue. We had the pleasure of experiencing the chef's tasting menu at this stylish eatery, which showcased the best seasonal flavors using premium ingredients.
All food images courtesy of CSP Times.
Image courtesy of Mono/Jia Group
Located on Central's Lan Street, Mono provides a peaceful escape from the bustling side of Central, while remaining conveniently close to its partner restaurants.
Chef Ricardo Chaneton | image courtesy of Mono/JIA Group
Chef Ricardo Chaneton brings extensive culinary expertise from his previous work at Michelin-starred European restaurants, including the prestigious Mirazur, which was voted No.1 for the World's 50 Best Restaurant in 2019. Now collaborating with the acclaimed JIA Group, Chef Chaneton combines his background in French fine dining with his knowledge of South American recipes, resulting in Mono's successful fusion of flavors. The restaurant's contemporary French concept revolves around a single ingredient-driven seasonal tasting menu, hence the name "Mono," offering gourmands an essentialist approach to celebrate the beauty of seasonal ingredients in a modern setting.
Image courtesy of Mono/Jia Group
Mono's design deviates from the typical interiors found in European fine dining establishments. The welcoming chef's counter and cozy dining room feature an inviting deep blue color palette, while the mix of patterns reflects Latin American influences, representing Chef Chaneton's Venezuelan upbringing. Designed by Alan Lo, the space is adorned with handmade marble, terrazzo floors, and recycled wool claddings. Guests can also dine in one of the two dining rooms, which can be combined into one, featuring decorative lights by Michael Anastassides, dining chairs by Jason Miller, and a customized carpet by Omar Khan. Artwork, including pieces by Japanese sculptor Kishio Suga, a key figure in the MONO-HA art movement, adorns the walls, adding to the restaurant's unique ambiance.
Image courtesy of MONO/Jia Group
Mono's tasting menu embraces sustainability and responsible sourcing, with a 3% carbon tax added to all bills as part of its collaboration with ZeroFoodprint, an international non-profit organization combating climate change. The menu showcases Chef Ricardo's expertise in combining unusual textures and flavors, blending traditional and contemporary dishes with international cooking methods.
The Mono Tasting Menu
During our visit, we enjoyed the weekday seven-course lunch tasting menu (HK$1,080), but Mono also offers an 8-10 course dinner tasting menu priced at HK$1,280. Starting with a refreshing glass of Brazilian sparkling wine, we were treated to an Amuse-bouche, a cold-served Blood Pudding presented in a traditional handmade pottery bowl. The menu featured flavors from the sea, including fresh Hokkaido Scallops wrapped in paper-thin Provence asparagus and Nova Scotia Lobster served with Fava Beans and Lobster Head Broth. The Quinoa Sourdough Bread, a signature favorite, made from a two-month mother dough and three types of quinoa, was accompanied by premium extra-virgin olive oil sourced from artisan Eva Aguiler in Catalunya. The menu also showcased the Corvina fish with crispy pan-fried skin, paired with eggplant and Madras curry, and a delightful French Quail stuffed with olives, served with yuca and Mojo marinade.
To conclude the meal, we savored the Gariguette Strawberry, a light sweet treat, accompanied by a cup of traditional tea to aid digestion.
Overall, Mono pays tribute to fine craftsmanship and Chef Chaneton's nostalgic roots, presenting a refreshing take on French fine dining. Inspired by Latin American fare and utilizing classic French cooking techniques, the dishes cater to the appetites of modern gourmands. With a seasonal tasting menu that offers a new experience with each visit, Mono prioritizes consistency and quality in every dish. The live cooking display at the chef's counter adds an extra element of excitement, making Mono a destination worth revisiting for city dwellers seeking innovative culinary creations.
Mono, 5/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2506 8676, mono.hk