Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hong Kong Restaurant

(Hong Kong is now a very authentic Sichuan restaurant, and the review below no longer applies. Check out the new review called "Heavenly Sichuan Food."

Hong Kong
is a restaurant hidden down on South Homer, south of Frandor, just north of Kalamazoo. It's been around a long time and has has many owners. It was once a tiny Dog n Suds, and the first Chinese owners operated the first buffet in town there -- with four tables and a small heated buffet stand in the corner. Subsequent owners have expanded the place, and changed the menu around.

The current owners are Korean Chinese, and have had the place for a while. Their standards are slipping a bit, but it's still my favorite place for a Chinese buffet lunch. (They only have buffet at lunch.) They have some good Hunan flavors, and just about the best lo mein in town. They used to have the best General Tso's Chicken -- a dish I normally avoid, but here it isn't just spicey ketchup on fried chicken. They have an excellent, well balanced sauce. Sometimes they drench it in too much sauce these days, but it's still good. Their fried four-season beans (i.e. stir fried green beans) were the first and best in town, and I've always been partial to their Hunan Pork.

The greatest thing about Hong Kong, though, is the fried stuff -- particulary their fried won tons. They season the meat just right, and it actually goes well with the red gunk sweet and sour sauce. (Don't expect a lot of meat in a fried won ton -- they have to be fried quickly, and the meat doesn't cook through if there's too much.) The other really great thing is Curry Beef Kok (or "curry triangles" if you find it embarrassing to say that aloud). This is not on the menu, but you can ask for it, and it's always on the buffet along with the won tons. Curry Kok is a Chinese version of a samosa -- ground beef fried up with onions and Chinese curry, and wrapped in a triangle of won ton wrapper, then deep fried. This recipe was handed down from a previous owner, and I'm really glad they still make them.

(One dish that was NOT handed down was a really great red-cooked chicken wings. They were delectable -- wings stewed in soy sauce, honey and chili. Oh, man. I make them myself sometimes, but it sure would be nice if I could still get them here.)

Hong Kong Restaurant, 315 S Homer St, Lansing. 517-332-5333.

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