The menu has a stereotypical one from Column A and one from Column B approach to lunch specials. For $7 or $8 depending on the protein, you get three courses. I opted for an additional appy – the Peking Duck Roll (as a bellwether.)
I got there 11:45, and as the sole guest at that time, was given my choice of seat. I took the window, hoping my moderately attractive presence would draw more customers. It did not. There was a lot of takeout activity though.
Along with my menu, I was given water, tea and a crisp, cold ginger-dressed salad as soon as my butt hit the seat. As I had perused the menu online prior to entering, I had pretty much decided in advance, so gave my order immediately.
The Peking duck roll came out in minutes, and was a sterling example with juicy tender meat, and flecks of crisp skin in a fresh pancake. The salty hoisin completed the experience. Maybe it was a shade less stuffed than Sang Kee, but they got extra points for skin.
The Hong Kong wonton soup was among the more boring choices from the “B” column, but I remembered it fondly, and the tender, pork-stuffed wontons are the best you’ll find in any nearby soup.
Finally, the Chinese Spare Ribs with plain Lo Mein completed the meal. Lo mein without a bunch of stuff in it is a good indicator of the quality of noodles and simple prep (sesame oil, seasonings, etc.) These were very satisfying.
I had not ordered spare ribs as an entree in a Chinese restaurant since I was about 7 year old and wouldn’t touch any of that other yucky stuff. I felt compelled to break that spell, and was quite pleased. There is a camp that believes ribs should “fall off the bone.” I go to a different camp. I like the pork to struggle a bit… to fight back… Perhaps it is my latent violent nature that was pointed out on this group, but I don’t WANT my ribs to lay back and enjoy it.
These were not parboiled, and probably not even baked. They were marinated and grilled. The caramelized sauce was evident, and the bits of charred sugar contrasted nicely with the richness of the slightly fatty pork. Most pleasing was that the Oriental BBQ sauce did not have the overbearing Anise flavor that five-spice can often contain. I don’t WANT everything to taste like I have a couple of Good and Plenties in my mouth when I’m chewing pork ribs. Four were just enough for lunch, and the exercise coaxing the meat from the bones helps to net the meal at only slightly more calories consumed than expended.
I’m surprised this isn’t busier, but perhaps I was just very early. There is TONS of seating, and the service could not have been better. The waitstaff showed a genuine interest that I was enjoying my meal, and I was asked SEVERAL times (appropriately) if there was anything I needed/desired.
For authentic Cantonese / Hong Kong style Chinese, I don’t think I’ve had better outside San Francisco, where this is the prevalent style.
Funny, sometimes when you have a dish, you just can’t wait to have it again. Such was
the case with the Dim Sum sampler here. The juice buns and shrimp dumplings in particular are just stellar examples of what a simple dumpling can be. This time, though, instead of a lunch special, I went for a $9.95 “small plate” of roast pork and roast duck. My waiter tossed in a complimentary bowl of white rice.
This duck was extraordinary. I’ve read Yelp reviewers complain that it was fatty. HELLO ???? It’s DUCK !!!! Uber-crispy skin and a sampling of succulent leg and breast made my day. I was also given a wet-nap, as these people KNOW bone-in duck is eventually finger food. Every bit as good was the roast pork. You can see the signature color that appears nowhere else in nature. I KNOW (like Tandoori chicken) that it’s artificial coloring, but it just HAS to be that way. Unlike the little flecks one encounters in “house special” fried rice, these were plump and juicy slices with a crisp exterior. Similar to boneless ribs, but with a very different texture. These were not tender, but neither were they tough. I’m not even sure what cut of pork they use. It was fattier than loin, but more like loin than shoulder.
In any event, for < $20, it was a very satisfying lunch.