Day: March 1st, 2007

Next stop: Hong Kong Station

Thursday, March 1st, 2007 | All Things, Eats

After several Thursdays of hitting old Chinatown favorites, we decided to try out someplace new. Hong Kong Station on Hester, east of Bowery, opened in 2006, and was so popular that the owners opened a second location on Bayard.

Hong Kong Station

The space – bright and slick by Chinatown standards – is meant to evoke a space inside the Hong Kong mass transit system, and at lunchtime, there is a vibe of a transportation hub, where diners with trays move in and out, and along swift-moving lines before black polo-shirt-clad servers.

The build-your-own noodle shop offers something for everyone: a choice of nine noodles (fresh, dried, egg, rice) in rich chicken broth, and an array of toppings at a dollar apiece. At that price, experimentation is worth the gamble. Which, at times, is what it feels like; while there are signs posted around the perimeter listing the add-on offerings, there is no way to match most of the names with the ingredient compartments behind the counter, which makes for some dicey decision-making. The colorful poster on an adjacent wall provides some guidance, as will the servers, if you are genuinely lost. Best to just point at whatever catches your fancy.

Hong Kong Station

Hong Kong Station Menu

Hong Kong Station

There’s the usual and familiar (roast pork, chinese broccoli, tofu, shiitake mushrooms) and the less so (pig’s blood, fish cakes, tripe, chicken gizzards), but with such rapid turnover, it’s all guaranteed to be pretty fresh. Also the balls: beef, fish, squid, lobster… I opted for the gai lan and the curry fish balls, and after some consideration, added on what looked like pork wrapped in tofu skin. At the end of the line, the servers stirred in one of a few varieties of sauces, a dusting of chopped scallions, and I was done. Total time elapsed: 2 minutes. Total spent: $4.00.

We took our bowls, cafeteria-style, to a table beneath walls lined with framed vintage photos of Hong Kong. Perfectly firm noodles, and the curry balls and chile sauce added a nice layer of heat and spice to the steaming bowl. What a delightful discovery! With so many options, and possible combinations, I’ll happily revisit this menu several more times.

Curry Fish Ball Noodles

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