Tuesday, June 1, 2010

WMPD: Café de Hong Kong, Chinatown

It's been a while since I had the motivation to blog. Since I left my job in the beginning of March, I have led a charmed life. After a trip to the other side of the world and an extended rest, it's time to get back to the grindstone and find a job. It's been a while since I was in this position and I really wasn't prepared for how intensive and how much hard work job seeking was. Essentially, looking for a job is a full time job. Thankfully, I hope I'm nearing some sort of resolution so my mini hiatus is ending. Expect more blog posts soon.

In the meantime, I thought I might as well add another contender to my eternal search for that great roast duck and crispy pork. This time, Cafe de Hong Kong, an interesting little restaurant on the edge of Chinatown. Having arranged to meet Charmaine before one of my aforementioned interviews, we arrived at our destination just before 12 to find it devoid of people and looking rather closed. Disappointed, we headed next door to Cafe de Hong Kong and took our seats in a rather crowded dining room.

Cafe de Hong Kong, Chinatown

Already brimming full of Asian students, Cafe de Hong Kong serves simple noodle and rice based dishes, with a few other interesting bits and pieces including items in "spaghetti sauce" and French fries. Of course, for me there was only one choice, roast duck and crispy pork and rice.

The first thing I went for was a bite of the duck. With slightly crisp skin and a thick layer of juicy fat, my mouth burst with the unmistakeable flavour of the delicious fowl. First bite good, second one, not so much. The flavour of the roast duck was seriously good but bite after bite, the greasy fat began to get quite claggy and my mouth started to feel like an oil slick. The crispy pork had none of the prescribed crisp and came in tiny thin slivers with little to no flavour. The final constituent part, the rice, was soaked through with sweet gravy, whilst being reasonable, acted like a glue to the rice and ensured that large sticky lumps were formed.

The food had been pretty disappointing. Even if the duck had really great flavour, it was very greasy and the "crispy" pork was anything but. Even though the place was rammed full of young Chinese, at £6 a plate there are cheaper and better places across Chinatown. The quest goes on...

Cafe de Hong Kong - 47 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0AN

Café de Hong Kong on Urbanspoon


Mr Noodles said...

Never really rated this place - the noodles are distinctly average too.

Hollow Legs said...

I'm confused - you were going to go to Cafe de Hong Kong, but it looked closed so you went to... Cafe de Hong Kong?

Despite it not being very good, you've got me seriously craving duck now.

tehbus said...

@Mr Noodles - I'm pretty sure I won't bother returning. All in the name of research

@Lizzie - No dude, we were meant to be trying out Corean Chilli next door.

BribedwithFood said...

All I have to say is "Ew"

Anonymous said...

This restaurant seems to be characterised by deceitful labelling practices. I ate their earlier tonight thinking that the service charge was entirely optional, as all of the menus said "Recommended Gratuity 10%".

However, when it was time to pay the bill, the waitress refused to accept the basic point of the English language that the word "recommended" does not mean "mandatory". The supervisor was summoned and the supervisor threatened that if I did not pay the service charge as well, the establishment would refuse to serve me in future.

I paid the service charge, as I don't feel it is appropriate for me as a Christian to be creating a scene over only £1, but I would seriously advise anyone reading this review against visiting this restaurant: - the deceitful labelling practices when it comes to the service charge make me inclined to wonder if there are other areas in which they try to unscrupulously extract money from customers.

To my mind, the word "recommended" in this context means "recommended ONLY", i.e. optional. If the service charge is only "recommended", it should be entirely possible to simply not pay it without any loss of face.

Don't touch this restaurant with a barge pole.