Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Hongry Kong Truck: Does It Herald a Wave of Mobile Chinese Food?

Chinese food has long been my favorite cuisine.  But when it comes to mobile vendors, it's scarcely been seen served up in San Francisco in any recognizable form.  Even Off the Grid's mammoth Fort Mason Center event, with its charter mandate to serve only Asian and Latin fare (or at least food inspired by those cuisines) has been hard pressed to come up with a truck dedicated to traditional Chinese food, though it has staged trucks featuring traditional Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and even Filipino dishes. Things may be changing for the better; recently I've become aware  of not one, but two food trucks that have come on line and feature Chinese food in traditional forms. I caught up with the first of them, the Hongry Kong truck today at the SoMa Streat Food Park.

Click to enlarge.
Hongry Kong, as the name implies, serves Hong Kong style Chinese food.  This might bend the notion of "traditional" Chinese food a bit, but what's served up is bona fide cha chaan teng (teahouse) fare.  The menu is built around mix-and-match rice plates featuring pork chops or cutlets (pork, chicken, or fish) with a choice of saucing and of fried rice or spaghetti (natch).  There are also a variety of  dim sum-style side dishes including two types of egg tarts (butter crust or flaky crust), siu mai, skewers, fishballs and fried rice.  You can complement your entree with iced drinks such at HK style milk tea, lemon tea and or Ovaltine, and  a waffle with lychee or ube ice cream for dessert. The latter sounds more Filipino than Hong Kong-ese, but it's been 15 years since I was last in Hong Kong and it may be a standard by now.

I ordered a fish cutlet in a peppery oyster sauce over fried rice.  It was about a 10-minute wait at high noon, and it came out piping hot. The sliced, breaded fish filet covered the entire dish, and the pepper sauce evoked a hundred pepper beef, pork, fish or chicken cutlets I had in a past stint in Hong Kong. It was a comforting and substantial lunch for $8.00, which seems to be a benchmark price for lunch in SoMa.

I'm eager to sample the dim sum offerings of the Hongry Kong truck whenever and wherever I catch up with it again.  I'll also have my eyes peeled for the other recently launched Chinese food truck, Bao & Bowl, and will report on it when I catch up with it.  Let's hope these two trucks are the beginning of a wave of Chinese food trucks

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