Kwang Tung, on the corner of San Pablo and MacDonald, seems to be to Chinese food as Britt-Marie is to European food. That is, large portions, decent quality and good value.
It always has business with a mix of Asians and not Asians. They seem to handle both groups well, each according to their needs. There are the $4 lunch plates that include soup, BBQ pork fried rice, tea, fortune cookie and a choice of sweet & sour pork, tomato beef, chicken in garlic sauce, etc.
The Deluxe Lunches ($4.95 - $5.45) offers all of the above with a larger selection of dishes (sesame chicken, beef with broccoli, squid with Chinese greens, Chili pepper beef with black bean sauce about 17 other choices) PLUS a choice of one of the following:
3 fried won ton, 2 fried prawns, 1 egg roll or 2 chicken wings.
There are dinner special set menus and for $7.95 per person, large dishes full of all of the following items are served: soup of the day, fried prawns, fried won tons, beef with broccoli, chicken chow mien, sweet and sour pork, BBQ pork fried rice, tea & fortune cookie. Of course there are more expensive and less expensive menus. The above was for two people and dishes get added with more people in the party.
Dishes average from $4.75 - $8. The big ticket items are Cantonese fried chicken (whole $16 / half $8), steamed chicken with scallion and ginger (whole $13 / half $7), Peking duck (Whole $20 / Half $10), roast duck (whole $16 / half $8) and sweet rice stuffed chickens ($28). The most expensive dish on the special board today was the steamed catfish at $11.
Soup seems to be the popular item for both Asians and those who arent. The huge bowls are five bucks and under. Dr. Biggles mentioned the chicken soup with green pickle thingies was good, but I couldnt figure out which one that was corn & chicken soup, scallop & chicken soup or diced winter melon with chicken. Im guessing the latter, but I await word from the good doctor.
All in all, including the wonton or noodle soups (Hung Tao Yee Won Ton, shredded roasted duck & preserved vegetable mai fun, etc), there are about 20 soups.
The regular house specials include:
- steamed stuffed tofu with special sauce
- House special fried tofu
- Prawns and scallops with gai lan
- Ox tail with vegetables in clay pot
- Salted fish with chicken and tofu in clay pot
So they have a lot of variety to appeal to diverse tastes. The bang for the buck is excellent.
On Dr. Biggles suggestion the pot stickers were ordered. He wrote the pot stickers are still rolled by gramma! They were nicely browned with a generous filling. A little doughy, but in a good way. At $4.25 for six plump pot stickers we were happy.
Surveying the specials menu, item #5 was only written in Chinese. I asked what it was.
Chicken with barley wheat. Some people dont like it
Yes. Tastes different. Not everyone likes
Well, after a few rounds of them trying to discourage me, me trying to find out what the heck this was besides chicken and promising, I liked real Chinese food and not to complain or send it back, my order was taken. I gotta remember that Chow passport.
Barley wheat wasnt as exciting as promised. At first it looked like chicken with celery and my mind assumed they dumbed it down for me. Turned out barley wheat was a bad pronunciation of bitter melon. So anti-climatic. It was good with some small black beans and chopped garlic. Lots of MSG though.
Meat or pork patties, on another local menu, had me intrigued, so steamed pork patties with salted fish was ordered. Truth in advertising. A large cutlet-sized patty of coarsely ground pork topped with shredded fresh ginger, scallion and two small steaks of salted fish that had the taste of anchovies. This was ok. My first pork patty so nothing to compare it to. Id try it again somewhere for comparison sake.
Gai lan with oysters sauce was ordered because there were lots of dishes with gai lan. It turned out too be Chinese broccoli. Nice greens, the oyster sauce was inedible because it was so salty, but the dish didnt need it.
While Im guessing the name of the restaurant is for the Chinese province of Kwang Tung, given all the dishes with gai lan, Im wondering if it is named after a Thai Chinese mustard similar to gai lan. Probably not. The menu says the food is Cantonese and Mandarin.
Ill probably go back to taste test the soups and a few other dishes Im curious about like the fook-chow style scallop and prawn fried rice, pepper salt deep fried spareribs (lots of sparerib options), satay beef steak kau or the Singapore style chow mai fun. Seems to be a little Malaysian there. Its near my home; its inexpensive and while not amazing or trip-worthy seems to have some interesting items competently cooked.
12056 San Pablo Avenue
Wednesday Monday: 11:30 am 9 pm