Hong Kong BBQ Restaurant, 118 Hopkins St Footscray. Phone: 9687 8488
We’ve had some indifferent experiences at this Footscray institution.
Not so much with the food, which we’ve mostly found good and even – sometimes – excellent.
It’s had more to do with the service.
Service so brutally indifferent it has seen us depart without even ordering on a couple of occasions in the past couple of years.
Service that has felt like a slap in the face.
But Footscray is not richly endowed when it comes to Chinese roast meats, and sometimes nothing else will do.
So I’m happy to give this HK joint another go.
Maybe it’s all in the timing.
For today the place is pretty much deserted – just one other booth occupied, but with a bunch of folks coming, going and in takeaway mode.
I am served with the usual brusqueness, but by someone who injects a little humour and warmth into my experience when the pen she is using fails.
She later slaps down the top of my tea thermos with the admonishment: “Keep closed, tea stay hot!”
My two-meat combo of soya chicken and roast pork with soup/noodles ($10) is good, but I’ve had much better here and elsewhere.
The chicken is terrific, tender and flavoursome, with the meat not dauntingly attached to the bones.
The pork is on the fatty side. It always is, but this is more so than usual.
The noodles tend to stick together in a bothersome ball.
The broth is sadly short of hot. It’s salty, too, but I like that.
It’s probably also larded with MSG, but I don’t mind that. I’m not one of those people who can automatically tell one way or the other.
One large bulb of bok choy provides greenery and the feel-good factor. I could do without it.