Today the MSG150 crew headed out with a new spring in our step. We passed by the Oasis Tea Zone since it fails the test of Rule #1. They offer a couple of snack items, including Popcorn Chicken Bites and Fried Tofu, but not really enough to call it primarily a restaurant. Following our preordained path, took us back onto the south side of King and under the awning of Homestyle Hong Kong Cuisine. Although we have passed by many a time, but this was the first visit for each of us.
Luncher: AdamLunch: Beef and Chicken Congee - $4.75
FREEEEEDOMMMMMMM!! We're out of the UFC, and it feels damn good. I wanted something that was the opposite of what I could get in the UFC, so I ordered Beef and Chicken Congee.
My bowl of Congee came out BOILING hot. It definitely hadn't been sitting on a steam table or under a heat lamp. There was plenty of delicious chunks of beef and chicken that were flavorful and not from Uwajimaya. Every bite of this congee was delicious. Half-way through the bowl, I decided to throw some hot-sauce on there... and that perked it up a little bit more too.
Just before we finished eating, the table next to us leaned over and asked: "Hey... are you those MSG guys?" ZOMG!! We are famous! Random people in a restaurant know who we are!
Good Food. Good Prices. This one is a keeper.
Luncher: EmmettLunch: Pork Chop with Salted Fish Rice Stone Pot - $7.80
Though crowded, we quickly scored an occupied table that sat the six of us comfortably. (I love it when you show up to a place and the owner makes some poor couple move to make way for you.) Menu: full of chinese stuff - lots of congee, rice, etc. I'm still not won over by Congee, so I went for the rice dishes in a Stone Pot. Stone Pot! This has gots to be good. Lots of options, hmm, pork chop salt fish -- done.
It took awhile to come, but the result was good. My one complaint - it was pretty ordinary. The rice was okay, well cooked in the stone but, but not conveying any intriguing blends of flavor. The pork was good, had some decent flavor, and the salt fish was super salty, and not plentiful.
I did have a taste of the congee, it was quite good. I'll have to try it next time. Good service, nice selection. I'll come back.
Luncher: GearyLunch: Minced Pork with Chinese Sausage Rice Stone Pot - $7.20
H2KC is a tiny restaurant. It is similar to Mike's Noodle House, but is even smaller. And like Mike's, it always seems to be full. When we arrived, they were able to move a few folks around and quickly free up a six top for us. The staff was friendly and efficient, but didn't quite have the rhythm of Mike's.
H2KC has a huge menu for such a tiny place. The largest sections are the Stone Pot Congee and the Stone Pot Rice Bowls. Each has multiple pages of meat options including frog and thousand year old egg. Others were ordering congee, so I went with a Shredded Pork and Chinese Sausage Rice Stone Pot. We also ordered steamed pork dumplings to share.
The congee orders arrived first still boiling in the super heated stone bowls. Each person is given a extra, small bowl that makes it possible to ladle the molten soup into smaller portion that will eventually cool to an palatable temperature. It's also handy for sharing. Next time I come I will order family style. As it was, I was able to get some tastes of other's congee. It was delicious. The steamed dumplings were also good and worth ordering again.
My rice bowl was good, but nothing spectacular. I would not go with the rice bowl next time since the congee was so much better. Both the pork and sausage were good, but in the end it was just meat on rice. The fiery hot stone bowl is a nice touch and makes all of the rice on the bottom all brown and crunchy. Yum!
Even though my meal was on the average side, the tastes of congee I had and the delicious dumplings bring H2KC up to four chopsticks for me. Plus, it's not in a food court. Yay!
Luncher: RobLunch: House Special Cart Noodle with Vegetables and Tofu - $6.00
Vegetarian Warning! There really is nothing to eat here if you're a strict vegetarian. I still chow down on egg, dairy, and some fish, so I thought I'd be able to find something to my liking, but that turned out to be difficult because most of the seafood items included shrimp and the like, and I don't do shellfish. Sigh. Maybe I should take a chance and try those mysterious "fish balls" some time. One of the two women dining at the neighboring table who had heard of our little lunch blog (not quite MSG150 groupies, but close enough in my book) recommended the curry fish balls. Anyway, after perusing the incredibly long menu, I finally went with the Cart Noodle with vegetables and tofu. It looked good when it showed up: lots of bok choy, cubes of fried tofu, and a generous helping of skinny rice noodles. The skin of the soup, however, sported small circles of what looked like animal fat, and a quick slurp revealed a fairly strong chicken broth taste. Harumph. I ladled in some hot sauce to mask that flavor and did my best to ignore it. The soup needed the extra kick, regardless, I thought. So, aside from my moral chicken soup dilemma, I thought my lunch was all right, but until the last few remnants of my veggie principles (such as they are) become completely compromised, I won't be going back.
Luncher: JoeyLunch: Seafood Congee - $5.25
The animated gif says it all. This was probably the hottest congee I’ve ever had. In Cantonese cuisine hot = good, but it’s still gotta have good taste to go along with it, which this did. I’m pretty sure they used msg , because the flavor was too good to not have msg. :-)
Luncher: JaredLunch: Beef and Pork Congee - $4.75
Homestyle Hong Kong Cuisine PhotosHomestyle Hong Kong Cuisine
Seafood Stone Bowl Congee
Beef and Chicken Stone Bowl Congee
Beef and Pork Stone Bowl Congee
Steamed Pork Dumplings
House Special Cart Noodle with Vegetables and Tofu
Pork Chop with Salted Fish Rice Stone Pot
Minced Pork with Chinese Sausage Rice Stone Pot