The favorable posts about Mon Kiang's post 3pm "discount" reminded me to keep it in mind for my office's holiday party. Their location on Broadway was appealing because it's much easier to illegally park a car and load it with food on Broadway than on Stockton.
I stopped by last night to place an order. The owner, Mr. Chen, was very helpful. I told him we were going to feed about 35 people, had other foods (desserts and a mediterranean platter), and were hoping to get three or four different dim sum items and some chow mein.
He did some calculating and said it would be $64 for an assortment of dim sum. That seemed incredibly low to me, since I had been given a $200 budget to work with. I doubled what Mr. Chen suggested and ended up with $150 in: a half tray of bbq pork (cha siu) chow mein, a half tray of yang chow fried rice, 72 har gow, 72 siu mai, 72 postickers, 50 shen jian bao, and 60 deep fried spring rolls.
Boy was that stupid of me. We had WAY too much food, even when more people showed up than expected. Mr. Chen's estimates of how much people could eat were spot on, and I really regretted not listening to him. Mon Kiang's portions are huge even by Chinese takeout standards. The trays filled two six foot long tables, with no space between the trays.
Luckily, the food went over incredibly well. Mr. Chen kept the food piping hot and covered with aluminum foil until we picked it up. He and his staff brought all the food out to the car and swatted me away when I tried to help. Everything was hot, flavorful, and twice the size I expected.
A lot of our guests asked where we got our food, and all were shocked at how much food we got for $150. We could have easily fed 60 hungry people, and people took enough food home to eat for days. We even completley filled an empty DVD box and had someone take the food to a shelter.
A telling sign: we usually get platters from La Mediteranee, and they disappear fast because they're delicious. This year, we supplemented one Mediterranean tray with Chinese in order to save money, and half the tray of Mediterranean food was left over. That's never happened before.
If anyone's looking for a place to cater an office party, keep Mon Kiang in mind. It's not fancy food, and I wouldn't necessarily go there to cater a fancier family affair, but it's great crowd pleaser food and a fraction of the price of most office party fare. And the owner at Mon Kiang really could not have been nicer about the whole thing. So many Chinese restaurant owners are brusque and all business, or act like they're too busy to spend too much time with you (which I totally understand). Mr. Chen was helpful, knew better than I did how much food I should get, and accomodated my rather last minute order with a smile on his face. That, and he kept plying me with free snacks. That man knows how to do business.