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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hong Kong Express

This is definitely one of our favorite places.  We found it by browsing the Internet, looking to see what Chinese restaurants we had not yet been to.  It's called Hong Kong Express.  We like the buffet... it's yummy, fast to be served and eat if you are short on time and reasonably priced.  Their ice cream is really good too.

What really got me interested in going here to begin with was that it was on one of the mains street in Spokane- Division, and we had never taken the opportunity to try it. (This just goes to show how easy it is to neglect trying something new when you find a place you like... The place you like is the place you always like to go, so you tend to skip the rest.) Anyhow, as I mulled over the options, the spirit of food adventure was calling me, especially after reading a review which remarked that the food at Hong Kong Express was really really good, the commenter added, but "the service was bizarre."


Just what "bizarre service" was... (and this coupled with such a great food recommendation,) I had to know.... Geo too. Besides, he was in the mood for Chinese food. So off we try the Hong Kong Express, located at 2435 N Division Street.

Geo couldn't imagine that there was any place in this town we had not yet been and or written about and he thought for sure we had been here at least once before, until we walked in. We had never been here before. Not only that, this place had a dinner buffet, something we have only seen done for lunches and at a place called Top O China... which we have yet to review because we have not been there in a long time. To his surprise, this place was new too us.

We opted for the buffet.

Here is a photo of our dinner. And here is a photo of a mussel and Kim Chee

The cups contains one of our favorite soups, Hot and Sour soup. One has wonton on it, one does not.

I have to say that what the reviewer said about the service being a bizarre is true. It is not bad service at all, just.. a little unusual... one might just think of it as bizarre!  It is kinda like they treat you like they know you already.... or maybe it is a bit of a language barrier going on..... not sure, but it is most likely because the place is so busy...They have a regular restaurant, a buffet table, take-out all happening fast... and at once.

We just laugh when something odd would happen...and frankly, it was just one odd thing after another. For example, the waitress asked Geo if he wanted more water and took his cup. He told her, Yes please," as she did and then she asserted to him that he "wanted it with no ice." However he did want ice, so he said, "No, actually, I do want some ice, please." She returned with water... and no ice.

We just looked at one another in amazement and thought it was remarkably "bizarre." Another oddity was bringing us a menu, but sort of insisting that we do the buffet. I think she just mean to offer it, and thought of this as a language barrier sort of thing.  (And really, the buffet has such a nice selection.. we figured, "Why not?"  Now we are hooked.  We eat here often and love it every time.  We see lots of people we know here too!

Some of the dinner items on the buffet table were: Fried Rice, Lo Mein (this had alot of tasty stir fried onions) Spicy Chicken, Japanese Teriyaki Chicken, Chicken Meatballs, Mushroom Chicken, BBQ Pork, Honey Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Shrimp and Crab in butter sauce, Orange Chicken, Broccoli Chicken, Crab Legs, , Egg Rolls, and two choices of soup... Egg Drop and Hot and Sour. In addition there was a salad bar with lettuce and assorted toppings and dressings, Mussels... (Spicy) Kim Chee, shrimp, fruits, (honeydew, kumquats, pears, peaches) Jello, Vanilla Pudding, chocolate pudding, things like that. Also they have ice cream... not soft serve either... like most places, but hard ice cream and four flavors! (Strawberry, huckleberry, vanilla and chocolate were our choices. They also have a banquet room available.

As I mentioned, there is a menu, so you do not have to eat the buffet if you dine here. Also you can take a one trip buffet "to go."

We watched a lot of people do just that in our time there. Items on the menu range between about $7.00 and $14.00 and you can even get a coupon on line to try this place. In browsing the menu we saw that they even have Ma Po Tofu. one of Geo's fav's. We may have to go back to this place to try it.

IF you find this place bizarre at all, remember, this is actually a very busy place. The food is good and people keep them busy... very busy!

On another note, When asked about the food, Geo said that he would say this place "does "spicy" unapologetically,." (This means that the dishes that are supposed to be spicy are good and spicy, not made to be something they are not.) Not everything on the menu is spicy, but what is supposed to be is neither not-spicy-enough nor is it too-spicy. It is baby bear perfect, aka, "just right."

There are other things we would like to try sometime too... they have quite a variety. They advertise Shabu Shabu, Hot Pot & Dim Sum.
There is a sign outside that says, Dim Sum and I also saw posters advertising this on the walls in the restaurant. (Dim Sum is dumplings that are small, appetizer-sized, and come either steamed or fried.) It sounds interesting. I never heard of "Shabu Shabu" before but it is fun thing to say.

I read somewhere that shabu shabu is like the "new sushi." Probably because it's a trendy thing to eat as well as because because the meat is nearly raw or raw. Thinly sliced and cooked at the table in a hot pot by the eater, they say you dip it into the boiling water for only as long as it takes to say, "shabu, shabu, shabu."

So until next time...

(She said, thinking of that old TV show, Mork and Mindy...)


Check out what others think of eating here at: Hong Kong Express on Urbanspoon

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