Smack bang in the middle of Chinatown, HK Diner is a cheap and (un)cheerful Chinese canteen. With a huge menu to choose from as well as bubbleteas, it was perfect for a quick meal before we hot-footed it off the theatre.
We had one starter, two mains and two sides. With a couple of bottles of beer and service the bill came to £46.
On the way to show in Leicester Square, Veg and I were looking for place that could serve a quick bite at a reasonable price. Upon walking in we were greeted by our host and shown to our table and were presented with a large menu with lots of tasty sounding options. I decided to go for the classic chicken and sweetcorn soup followed by braised duck with a side of boiled rice.
The soup was very nice, well seasoned and the chicken succulent. For the main course I really didn’t know what to expect as there was very little in the way of a description on the menu. On an oval plate there were chunks of fatty duck accompanied with vegetables and a thick sauce over the top – visually this wasn’t a great looking dish but the flavours were again very good.
Overall the food was good but no different from my local Chinese takeaways, the service was, how would you say..unusual? Put it this way, I felt like I was in a school lunch hall and being circled by the mean headmaster.
So this review is exactly what you would expect from one of the ever hospitable Chinatown canteen restaurants. We got there and before we could even look at the menu they wanted to know what we wanted to order. Meat went to order with the solemn waiter and they didn’t have that dish, everything we ordered was met with confusion and disapproval. You have to laugh…
I stuck with my two Chinese favourites, salt and pepper tofu and stir fried mixed vegetables. Instead I got a plate of pak choi in garlic, which when I questioned it turned out to be seasonal vegetables. There was no offer to change to what I had actually ordered.
The salt and pepper tofu however, was awesome. It’s always hit and miss with what you will be served up when it comes to this dish. Sometimes you end up with what resembles overcooked squares of sponge, other times it’s so loaded with batter you may as well have sipped on a bottle of oil. This tofu was lightly battered, cooked to perfection and seasoned with the perfect amount of fried garlic, chilli, salt and pepper.
Not an establishment you go to make friends, but definitely worth checking out if you are a salt and pepper tofu fan!