Sometimes the best dinner plans are the ones unplanned. There’s something about doing meals impromptu with friends on loose ends, and that’s how I spent one of my Friday nights. I remembered seeing one of these roadside place packed with people at dinner time right behind Times Square, and I was eager to return to experience everything, exhaust fume and all.
Wong Kee Restaurant (also confusingly named Fai Kee Restaurant) is one of those hole in the wall Chinese place with spilled tables all over the roadside. Tang Lung Street seemed very boisterous with families eating out with children and boisterous men enjoying beer pints after work. It’s quite an atmosphere to soak in, especially considering that you are right smack in the middle of Causeway Bay.
There was English menu available (though I suspect the options are somewhat lesser than those listed in the Chinese ones) and so we ordered some of the more adventurous looking ones (thanks Marc!) to satisfy this foodie in me.
Deep Fried Squid With Salt Egg (HK$75)
I am a sucker for all things squid, and this one scratched that itch quite nicely, especially when devoured with some beer. The batter was light and dense with salty egg taste, giving it a somewhat grainy texture (yes, I know it’s all in the mind) but was as crispy as I would loved it to be. Probably a good thing too; if it’s crispy it’s bound to be piping hot and my throat wouldn’t be able to take it after my hectic Taipei trip.
Baby Oyster Omelette (HK$68)
More batter than egg or oyster, this was one crispy piece of glorified flour and very little else. I admit that I was rather disappointed as it looked quite promising when served to the table. Well, never judge a (baby oyster) omelette by its look.
Fried Sword Beans With Minced Pork (HK$60)
I reckon this is a signature dish as quite a number of tables ordered the same thing. The beans were overcooked so was a little soggy. I think had it been more crunchy it would contrast nicely with the nicely done fermented pork. There was a touch of basil in it, but that could be a whiff of my imagination (from the Thai restaurant next to Wong Kee, probably).
But what the hell. People flock to Wong Kee probably not because of its food. The location is superb, perfect for a cheap dinner right after shopping around Times Square, and the atmosphere is quite something. Where else can you dine in a relatively clean environment, with mini buses passing by every other minutes while passerby are more than happy to stare at your food, and you?
Verdict? If you fancy eating out with hordes of locals over some rather decent Chinese and pints of beer right in the middle of Causeway Bay, Wong Kee is your guy. You should probably try out some of the chiu chow dishes too.
Wong Kee Restaurant
48 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay