Chinese BBQ Duck worshippers should unite in this tiny and little humble eatery in the heart of Chinatown. Cantonese Comfort food, congee, noodle dishes, etc.
This is the original wonton noodle hole in the wall and the food, service and decor has not changed one bit. Lots of tasty noodles and congee served up hot and cheap. Barbeque pork or soy sauce chicken to top it off with a plate of Chinese rapini on the side. It's busy but fast. You can gorge yourself for under $10. I go at least a couple times a year - just to pick up barbeque pork sometimes.
Let's call it what it is, okay? It's a diner. Sure, a Chinese diner, but still the same. It won't be mistaken for anything else.
Perfect for a first date. If there's a second after this, then it's a keeper.
Inside is reasonably clean, there's been a bit of sprucing up, but really, it's more or less the same place for, oh, must be getting on close to 30 years now. Service? Ha! Fast, efficient, yes. Friendly and chatty? No, forget it. You're not here to socialize with the waitresses. (Or rather, they don't give a damn about you).
The food? Real goodness here. We had a hankering for the typical "roast meats + rice" dishes, so we went for a simple dish of gai-lan plus the soy chicken, roast duck and roast pork with rice. So fast, maybe even faster than McD's and absolutely delicious!
Yes, it is a diner, but you know what? We've been to the finest restaurants in town, but no non-Chinese restaurant can beat the soy chicken or roast duck here. (Heck, even Sun Sui Wah was really, really bad at a couple of wedding banquets we had this year). Cheapy restaurant or not, it's got food at a quality you can't get at most fancier places, so damnit, it's worth 4-stars. I mean, I guarantee, plate the chicken or duck nicely at Cioppino's or Lumiere (we've eaten at both, BTW) or somesuch, and the main stream critics would be falling out of their chairs at the taste and texture. (Just be aware, any novice Chinese food eaters should know that it will always come with bones, so you'll have to know how to deal with it)
So cheap too. Tax and tips can still easily bring you under $10 per person. It's survived this long for a reason. Decent, clean food (all the cooks were eating their own food right there and we felt absolutely fine afterwards, no MSG thirst or bloatiness). Would be back if I ever had a craving for this type of stuff. Not sure if this is better than HK BBQ Master, would have to do a back-to-back.... but you can't really go wrong here.
This place has been a favorite of mine for many years. As the number of traditional wonton and barbecue restaurants in Chinatown has shrunk almost completely away, Kam Gok Yuen is a survivor.
The food is generally all pretty decent, and some things on the menu are really outstanding for the value. They employee good cooks and are consistent with the standard of the dishes.
My favorite reason to come here is for the roast pork which I think is better than any other I have had the opportunity to try. A dish of roast pork on steamed rice served here is a fatty, crunchy, flavorful treat no matter how often I order it. The servings are generous, the meat is flavorful and creamy, and, like all their barbecued meats, great value. The duck and barbecue pork are also excellent.
The wonton soup is much better then most places. And another favorite is the beef and greens chow mein.
But come here and try the roast pork on rice.
They close at about 7:45 each evening and are usually sold out of the pork by 7.
I like this restaurant but let me start by saying that the service is a little grouchy.
The food is excellent. It's mainly simple fare, bbq meats are excellent. Anything from the kitchen is very good including bitter melon and beef on rice.
The best thing in the restaurant is the "house soup". Anyone of Chinese heritage will understand what I'm saying here, about the soup.
In my opinion all these other expensive "shiee-shee" restaurants are all show and no go. I always feel like I got f&cked when I go to expensive restaurants where the bill is $200 for two people. The food is usually mediocre at best and the service poor.
However, I could eat at the Kam Gok Yuen everyday and be very happy. Dollar for dollar it's the best value in town. Two people can be very happily full for $25 including tip.
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