Cheap Eats 2008: Full Key

Why go: Family-style portions of authentic Hong Kong–style cooking, from soups, hot pots, and rice dishes to a trio of succulent roast meats—pork, duck, chicken. So skilled is the veteran kitchen that dishes that might elsewhere put off a Westerner—say, a plate of pig intestine with sour cabbage and green onion—are made enticing.

What to get: Shrimp dumplings so light that they bob like buoys in their broth; shrimp and rice in a creamy egg-and-scallion sauce; Peking-style shrimp with broccoli; black-pepper beef hot pot; pepper-salted pork chops, the pounded, fried meat as tender as McNuggets; sweet baby clams with black-bean sauce; sautéed snow-pea leaves; eggplant in hot garlic sauce.

Best for: Families and groups; budget dates; anyone who wants to be reminded of the power of good Chinese cooking to satisfy.

Insider tip: There’s no alcohol license, so no beer or wine. Spend some of the money you save on an extra dish, and turn the abundant leftovers into lunch the next day.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants  

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.