Close to heaven for me is a Chinatown-quality restaurant at a location with free and ample parking, so husband and I tried the recently opened Quincy Center outpost of Chinatown's Hong Kong Eatery.
We arrived around 9:30 to find a packed dining room with many people waiting to be seated. We got a number, and were told that it would be about 20 minutes but were gratefully seated in 10. The space is nicely clean and modern with attractive tableware. A seafood tank held some of the most preternaturally large crustaceans I've ever seen. A tropical fish tank and some modern prints filled out the decor.
The menu is extensive and filled primarily with Hong Kong and Cantonese favorites, some cater-to-the Americans dishes, and a couple of other regional dishes.
Our order was taken right away. We ordered an appetizer portion of shrimp with spicy salt, sliced pork with watercress soup (we wanted the pork with mustard greens but they were out of mustard greens), stirfried u-koy with garlic, and panfried noodles topped with pork chops.
The food took an extremely long time to arrive so it was a good thing that their tea is excellent. The soup got to us first. A lovely clear, gingery broth, tender slices of pork, and ample crisp-tender watercress. The u-koy came next and was as good as any I've had of this standard dish. Then came the shrimp and the noodles. The shrimp were jumbo and expertly cooked, the batter light and crisp but there was not enough of the jalapeno/scallion/salt mixture to flavor them. Also, we were assuming that the shrimp would be in the shell but it was not. Perhaps they have to be ordered that way?
The absolute star of the meal was the pan fried noodles with salted porkchops. The pork was coated with a spice mixture that included pepper, nutmeg, and something else that I couldn't identify. It was served with onions and peppers and an indescribably good sauce atop a bed of fried egg noodles. The flavors and textures were absolutely perfect.
At the end of the meal, the waitress brought the check but my husband wanted something sweet so he ordered a drink of lotus seed in syrup with ice cream to go, from a list of drinks/smoothies. It is a personal pet peeve when waitstaff don't ask if you want anything else before bringing the bill. She adjusted the bill and we got up to wait by the bar for his drink to be ready. After several minutes, he was presented with the drink but it didn't have ice cream. We told the folks at the front that we'd ordered it with ice cream and they sad, "This doesn't come with ice cream." We pointed out the menu to them where it clearly says that it can be. They responded by grudgingly hauling out a tub of ice cream and putting some on top of the drink. Not the way to treat a customer.
Overall the food was terrific and we will certainly be back again very soon. I just hope that they clean up their act around the service.
By the way they only take cash.
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