Cheap Eats 2011: Full Key

This always-slammed hole in the wall, younger sister to the Chinatown original, has never added seats to meet demand, never broadened its menu, never created a beer-and-wine list. It’s the same place it was when it opened in 1991. And why not? When you’ve been one of the area’s preeminent destinations for Hong Kong-style cuisine for two decades, why tamper with what works?

The cooking is sure-handed and consistent, excelling in a variety of ways: soups (the Hong Kong-style noodle with soup dumplings is superb), roast fowl and game (duck and chicken boast burnished, crispy skins and tender meats), hot pots (sizzling beef with black pepper is a gutsier, more authentic pepper steak), and tightly sauced stir-fries.

Also good: Shrimp and egg on rice; chicken with soy sauce on rice; Kingdom Pork Chop (with a sweet-and-sour sauce); Crispy Pork Chop With Spicy Salt; roasted-duck noodle soup.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.