The Hong Kong has been part of the fixtures and fittings in York Place for as long as I can remember.
In fact so long, it was the first restaurant I can recall going to as a little girl.
I’d never even tried Chinese food before, so being a bit uncertain I remember ordering the chicken and chips.
A lot has changed since then – I love Chinese food and I’ve given up eating meat – but I still enjoy regular visits to this well-established restaurant.
Arriving at around 7.15pm on a Thursday evening, we hadn’t booked but there were plenty of tables available.
Decor-wise, the restaurant hasn’t changed in all the time I’ve known it, but to me this gives it charm and, for me, bucket-loads of nostalgia.
With red being the colour of good luck, it seems to have worked its magic for the Hong Kong over the years.
The lanterns, embroidered pieces of artwork and oriental ornaments may seem tired to some, but I think without it all the place just wouldn’t be the same.
The welcome we received, as always, was warm, with a waiter coming to greet us as soon as we entered.
Seated at a table for two, my mum and I looked through the starter options, which are fairly extensive.
The usual favourites are all there, mainly traditional Chinese dishes with some English options thrown in for good measure.
Soups, such as Peking Sour and Chilli or Wan Tan, are priced at £3.20, with other options including Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs (£5.50) and Crispy Duck (half) served with Ho-Sin sauce, spring onion, lettuce and steamed pancakes for £16.
We chose a platter for two (£5.50 per person) which included seaweed, prawn toast, wan tun, spring rolls, salt and pepper spare ribs, blossom prawn and ham meat rolls.
The starter arrived swiftly and was quite generous for two, with a welcome accompaniment of sweet and sour dipping sauce.
The dishes that stood out for me were the blossom prawns, fried in crispy, paper-thin pastry, and the prawn toast, which was fresh, crunchy and not too greasy.
For mains my mum chose beef in black bean sauce (£7.30) and I went for Szechuan Mixed Vegetables served on a sizzling plate (£7.50).
Rice and other side dishes need to be ordered separately, with boiled rice £1.70, egg fried rice £2.00 and chips £1.70.
Again, the food arrived quickly and the sizzling dish certainly lived up to its name!
The beef dish was packed with lean strips of meat and plenty of green pepper.
My vegetarian dish, stir fried in a hot and spicy sauce, was full of flavour and not too heavy.
The only thing that could have improved it was a better selection of vegetables, as it consisted mainly of onion, broccoli, celery and mushroom.
With just enough room left for dessert, we were both tempted by pineapple melba, an absolute bargain at just £2.80!
The dish was served sundae-style, with layers of fruit, ice cream and jelly, topped with cream.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal, which came to £40 exactly for both of us, with soft drinks. I’m sure it won’t be long before we return.
Food - 8
Menu choice - 8
Service - 9
Decor - 7
Ambience - 7
OVERALL RATING - 8