I went to Cafe Hong Kong with very high expectations, since Lau has declared it to be the "best in Chinatown". I went with only a group of 4 (BTW, there is really only one table suitable for groups of 6+), and not very adventurous at that. We had:
garlic chicken ---excellent, but the garlic had a strong raw taste--strange in light of what is to come. I actually prefer it at Congee Village
West lake soup--excellent
Salt and pepper squid, shrimp and scallops--excellent seafood, but the batter fell off the pieces of squid and there was practically no lajiao, so it was very bland. I have to say this was a major disappointment.
Snowpea leaves--impeccably fresh, but completely unseasoned.
Chicken, eggplant, and saltfish caserole --lovely aroma, excellent ingredients, but very bland.
Curry Hofun--good but very bland.
Maybe they "adjusted" the seasoning because we were all "round-eyes"--although I ordered in atrocious Cantonese. The service was very kind and good. But even with the sadly fallen state of Chinatown in Manhattan, this was by far NOT my choice of the best. The Hong Kong specials--peanut butter and jam, mac and cheese, etc--may be great. The ingredients were great. Maybe the chef was off (it was Sunday, usually a good day in Ctown). But it was not great Cantonese food.