Before the meteoric rise of the ever popular, chained ‘Hong Kong style food’ restaurant – ‘Congee Queen’, the pioneering “Congee Wong”, with its varied menu and reliable and consistently good food was the go-to place for most Hong Kong immigrants. Their moving into the former location of the iconic Richmond Hill Chinese fine dining establishment - Regal 16 a few years ago was a God-send to local Bayview Hill residents longing for good Hong Kong style food. For a while, the place was packed to the hilt, even on usually dormant mid-week. Unfortunately, for me, my dining experiences there had been rather negative. Twice greeted by rude service and mediocre, less than enjoyable food. With another 'Congee Queen' opening up just a block down the road on Leslie, I have not set foot in 'Congee Wong' for long time…..until today.
After hearing multiple rave reviews from one of my wife's friend, telling us they have undergone a major transformation in food quality, I decided to give 'Congee Wong' a long overdue ‘second chance’. We visited the place after a rigorous work-out at the nearby ‘relatively new and gi-normous’ LA-Fitness. Arriving to find the place packed with a full house and a short waiting line instilled a sense of confidence into our decision.
Rather than being too adventurous, we decided to play it safe by ordering some ’normally reliable’ dishes – ‘ Fried Rice with pineapple and seafood medley ‘, ‘ Fried crispy egg noodle with beef and black bean sauce ‘, ‘ Roasted pork and Duck combo ‘…etc!
The verdict?! I am pleased to report…..’ Their former self is BACK’!! Quality of food was indeed very good…if not equal or better than their nearby competitor 'Congee Queen'. Our fried rice was full of ‘Wok-Hay’ aromatic smokiness, the grains of the rice distinct, non-sticky and delicious. Noodles were perfectly crispy with finer strands than the norm. Toppings was generous. However, the stand-out was the plate of gorgeous Cantonese roasted meat combo. Well seasoned, with skins of both the pork and duck, ultra crispy and crunchy! Meat of the pork was moist and juicy, the duck intensely flavorful. One of the best rendition in the neighborhood!
I will definitely be back to try out some of their other offerings....specifically, soup noodles and rice congees.
Unfortunately, service was still pretty lousy with a few female servers totally in-attentive and possessing such rude attitude that leaving them a tip at the end of the meal was oh-so-painful!