JJ Hong Kong Cafe
I finally got to check out the unassuming little takeout spot JJ Hong Kong Cafe, which opened on 6th Ave. btw. 36+37th just a few weeks ago. There have been some decent reviews in the Forums and I’m always eager to find some cheap Cantonese-style food in this area. Turns out this restaurant is connected to another called Jin Jin Hong Kong Cafe in Bensonhurst, but sadly they only offer Hong Kong-style baked rice (the dish deanlo was hoping for in the Forums) at the Brooklyn location. Due to space restraints, this Midtown location only sautees their spaghetti and fried rice dishes. But it wasn’t a total loss…
The storefront is mainly for takeout since there are only two small tables. It’s bright and the staff is very friendly. While there are some really delicious sounding menu items in the other sections (Fried Pork Chop, Portuguese Chicken, and even Spam & Eggs), I was drawn to the Hibachi dishes- which seemed like they would be the most bang for my buck. For $9.95 (it’s considerably more expensive at dinner; score for us Lunchers), I chose the Chicken and Steak combo. It would have been a dollar less if I didn’t go with the combo, but I’m an indecisive neurotic so I always go with the combo.
The menu listed a few options for the included soup (miso, shrimp dumpling, or chicken wonton), but they didn’t ask me which I wanted so I ended up with the Wonton by default. That probably would have been my choice anyway. It was a nice starter on a cold day, but aside from a nice oniony broth, it didn’t have a whole lot going on. The two lonely wontons however were plump, soft and tender.
The plastic container was overflowing with food, which is always a good sign. I chose a bed of hibachi noodles because I was craving something greasy and salty (I could have also picked fried rice). The chicken and steak were complemented with an array of sauteed vegetables. I appreciated the variety and texture, but would have prefered a little more meat in its place. The steak was thick and peppery, but slightly tough. The fried chicken pieces were much more tender and buttery and went down all too quickly.
I didn’t have money left over for one of their signature bubble teas, but they included a fortune cookie which satisfied my sweet tooth. I am eager to return and although the hibachi is good and filling for the price, I am now slightly more excited for the sweet drinks (bubble tea, crushed ice, and motcha agar).
The cashier told me they might add the baked rice dishes here at some point, but for now the other stuff will do just fine.
JJ Hong Kong Cafe, 995A 6th Avenue (bw 36th and 37th Street), (212) 279-6666