As the explosion in closed door restaurants continues to engulf BA, one that had stood out from the crowd was the opening of a little Asian number that promised a dining experience featuring Japanese, Korean, Chinese and California cuisines. This was only its second week open but my appetite had been whetted by Allie at pickupthefork who posted some lovely photos and had clearly enjoyed herself.
So we dutifully turned up for the pre supper champagne reception (a little later than the stipulated 8:30 but not to worry), and I gratefully accepted the glass of champagne that was thrust into my hand. Casa Mun has been on a concentrated social media campaign to build some buzz for the opening and it was nice to put faces to the tweets that had been sent over the last couple of weeks and meet some fellow bloggers.
Once sat down Chef Mun appeared from the kitchen to introduce the first dish that was Chilean Salmon Sashimi, California and spicy tuna roll. I very much enjoyed the tuna roll, a lovely hint of spice and beautifully made, they disappeared quite quickly. The soy sauce that came with it was also particularly good; dark and rich, I was tempted to drink it. As I mentioned in the last post, fresh fish is quite hard to get hold of out here and I think this was a evident with the sashimi which I found a little bland and lacking in any flavour, not bad by any means but nothing special either.
Next up we had an assortment of 3 dumplings. When I was working in London my offices where right next to Chinatown and I would try to get a weekly fix of dim sum and it was something I had really missed here in BA. These were not quite as good as the ones I remember from Chinatown but still better than most in BA. While perfect in texture, I felt that they weren’t really packed with flavour and really needed the soy sauce to get my taste buds going.
We were mid way through the supper now and out came the first of the two mains: Shredded Pork with Chinese Celery. I enjoyed this dish, the crunchy veg worked well with the meat and there were nice mixture of flavours going on. I did however find it a little dry but overall I thought it was pretty good.
The next and final main was Slow Cooked Korean Spare Ribs with Secret Marinade and Carrots, Korean Radish, Chest Nuts and Wasabi Mashed Potato Topped with Organic Micro Greens and Pine Nuts or Kalbijim for short. As you can see from the ingredients there was a lot of things going on with this dish, a little too much if you ask me. After 3 courses and a pudding still to go I found this dish too heavy. The ribs were great but I found that there was too much mash potatoe and veg to go with it and not really necessary. I felt bad that I didn’t finish it but it was all a little too much.
I am afraid the same could be said the same for the dessert that we finished the meal with. By this point I was very full and all I really wanted was something small and sweet to finish the meal off, but we were served Torta Chocolate with Raspberries, Blueberries & Mango which was not really what you need at the end of a tasting menu. It was too big and too dry and I really couldn’t eat much of it I’m afraid.
Despite some minor gripes I did have a great time at Casa Mun. One of the most important things about closed door restaurants are the other people that are having supper with you. We met some great people and really had a fun time at our end of the table. It was really nice to make some new friends in BA. The other plus side was the generous wine allowance, I never felt like my glass was empty and a refill was never refused. Allowing for this wine allowance and the food, I think that the $180 pesos we paid was very good value indeed. The service was great and you really feel like you’re being looked after, This was slightly dampened by the fact that I then ordered a whisky without looking closely enough at the drinks menu and got a bit of surprise to find it cost another $120! It was probably my fault for not checking properly but still it burnt a hole in my pocket.
Casa Mun still stands tall among the other closed door restaurants in BA and will prove popular with the expats out here, I would definitely recommend it.