Friday, May 21, 2010

Homestyle Hong Kong Cafe

My dining companion and I were recently in the International District looking for something interesting for dinner. We walked past many noodles shops without good vegetarian options (one unfortunate aspect of having a vegetarian in the midst... the casual restaurant search can go on for longer than feels fun. Thank you to everybody who has ever undergone this process with me!), and stopped in front of the Homestyle Hong Kong Cafe to read the menu. Turned out Rice Stone Pots are the specialty at HCKC. I had read about this unusual dish and was intrigued. It felt like amazing luck that amid the list of over 50 meat options (minced pork, salted fish, sausage, squid, frog, chicken, scallop, duck, etc) there was #121: Vegetarian Rice Stone Pot. YES!!!

Building excitement with the condiment tray: chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar.

A stone rice pot goes like this: Inside a very hot foil covered stone bowl nestles another very hot stone bowl. Inside this inner bowl is a layer of rice covered in whatever topping you choose. The idea is that the hot bowls cook the outer rice into a delicious, toasty, browned crust that you get to slowly scoop out and eat with the toppings.

A little bowl of sauce comes with the meal, and it is best to wait a few minutes before dumping it over the top in order to really let the rice brown. Those with patience are well rewarded in the world of stone pot rice!

A prize bite: look at that delicious brown rice crust.

The vegetarian bowl came with tofu, peas, carrots, spring onions and sliced asparagus.

In addition to the stone pot rice bowls, there were a few other vegetarian options including a vegetarian stone pot congee, and the most intriguing: House Special Noodle A La Carte. The Noodles A La Carte involve choosing a noodle type (egg noodles, rice noodles, chow fun or rice vermicelli), and then adding on toppings, $1.50 each, to your taste. The vegetarian/vegan topping options are: radish, tofu, vegetables, mushrooms. I'd love to try this some day.

The prices are reasonable. The vegetarian stone pot was $6.80, and my dining companion's minced pork with pickled cabbage stone pot was $7.20.

The restaurant is small but clean and friendly. Nice find!

Homestyle Hong Kong Cafe on Urbanspoon


T. said...

This sounds like a great find! Definitely going to try it. Thanks!

Tofu Hunter said...

Awesome, I'd love to know what you think, especially since you are an adventurous meat eater!