Hong Kong West
1807 Fort St.
I went to Hong Kong West almost four years ago, but there are new owners now. They should change the name, I feel it is a bit misleading. GS told me this place specialized in Sichuan-style food, so I was very excited to try it.
The interior is beyond no-frills. It was almost completely full when we walked in and only one lady, the owner, working. If I was basing this experience on service I would probably have walked out, but we waited patiently because we knew the food would be worth it. The lady was obviously overwhelmed with how people came in at the same time, and take-out orders building up. But she didn’t communicate with us or give us menus for well over 10 minutes. Everyone just waited in silence for her to come back out, it was kind of surreal.
We went with our Chinese friend from Beijing, so she spoke Mandarin to the owner. She was a bit bossy and basically told us what to eat. But I like that, I like eating what she thinks is good.
The food came relatively quickly. We had eggplant, rice, tofu, and green beans. This food is unlike any other Chinese food I’ve had before, and that’s a good thing. The flavours took me for a ride.
The eggplant was the Japanese style eggplant, the skinny ones with lighter purple skin. It was tossed in a sauce that had a bit of spice, sour, and sweet. It was so rich and fresh. The green beans blew me away too. The lady described these little dark things all over the beans as chinese pickle. They were a bit tangy and salty, and coupled with dried chili’s and szechuan peppercorns, this dish was quite the experience. I got a piece of peppercorn and the sensation was shocking. It numbed my tongue and made everything extremely sour for a minute or so. I can’t even describe how it felt, I was literally in shock. The tofu was soft, but I found it to be more one dimensional compared to the eggplant and bean dishes.
The service and decor are not the reason to come to HKW, it’s the food. I can honestly say it was one of the most memorable meals I had all year.