Monday, March 3, 2014

ABC HK Cafe 愛彼茜餐室




After finishing some appointments in Richmond, BF and I were stumped on what to have for lunch. Dim sum at Sun Sui Wah was an option but considering that it was around 2:45pm and the restaurant would be closing soon, we passed. A pet peeve of mine is when the staff starts to vacuum while I am still eating and even worse, hitting the table with the vacuum! Plus, I was in the mood for a less than $40.00 lunch rather than the $70.00-$80.00 range that it would have been for dim sum, considering the amount that we always order! So, after circling around Richmond, we both agreed that the food court at Aberdeen Centre was the best choice. However, before heading to the food court, I noticed ABC HK Cafe! The alluring menu posted outside as well as the lobster dishes drew us in.


The restaurant's interior is pretty clean, spacious and has a high ceiling as well as window wrapped walls. This is the nicest Hong Kong style cafe restaurant that I have ever been to! And not going to lie, I was pretty excited and could not wait to eat. Plus, I was starving (we actually had reservations for tea but cancelled because we needed real food).

ABC HK Cafe offers plenty of choices such as a create your own noodles resembling Deer Garden's, hot plates, sandwiches, Korean stone bowls, hot pot, a la carte and of course, lobster. It took us quite a while just to figure out what we wanted because the menu was sort of all over the place, despite the colourful and easy to read font.


COCA COLA ($1.00) AND MILK TEA ($1.00).
Like most HK style cafe restaurants, drinks are included with the purchase of an entree and cold drinks are an additional $1.00. The milk tea tastes average and neither too sweet nor watered down.

CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP .

Soup as well as a Chinese bun along with butter, are included with the purchase of an entree. The soup has a faint watery mushroom flavour and tastes watered down. However, it is a typical HK style cafe cream of mushroom soup. Meaning, the soup has a light chicken broth as well as a mushroom flavour, along with a few slices of mushroom. 

Either way, this is the worst soup that I ever had at any HK style cafe. As for the Chinese bun, it tastes pretty good. Generic, simple, slightly sweet and pillowy soft. In addition, the bun is heated and served warm, not bad eh? Irrelevant comment but, I never like having butter with Chinese bread! No idea why, I have always prefer them as is.

PUFF PASTRY SOUP, RUSSIAN BORSCHT.

BFs entree is a bit fancier and he gets four options of soup as well as a puff pastry! Lucky for me, he is not a fan of puff pastries and it was all mine. As for the taste, the pastry is generic with plenty of layers. However, it could have been baked longer because there is not even the slightest crisp, which to me… is very important in a puff pastry.

As for the russian borscht, the soup tastes too simple and has a lack of ingredients considering there were only a few tiny shreds of celery, cabbage and tomato skin. Despite the simple soup, the broth does taste more rich compared to other HK style cafes, and has a rich tomato broth.

SPICY SZECHUAN SPICY CHICKEN ($5.95). 
The mouth watering chicken is one of my favourite dishes and I always mention that Yu Xiang Yuan makes the best! Until, and if I find a better one. The cut of the chicken is the rib, which does not have much meat minus more, since it is a free range! The meat skin tastes extremely sweet and has a strong black vinegar flavour. After waiting roughly twenty minutes to get the waitress's attention… umm because the restaurant is clearly busy; she mentions the chicken is served as "medium spicy" because not everyone can handle spicy and brought over a small amount of chilli oil. Yeah… the chilli oil did nothing. The chicken was sweeter than ice cream! Anyway, for double the price, I recommend ordering half a chicken for more meat… but not with this sauce.

LOBSTER ON STICKY RICE ($22.80). 

Where to begin… the rice tastes extremely mushy, soggy, gooey as well as overcooked and not edible. Is this possible? For lobster and rice to not taste good?! Yeah, I thought the same. The lobster should have been steamed with the rice then topped with sauce, rather than steaming the lobster as well as the sauce along with the rice. Furthermore, the sauce tastes literally bland and tasteless.

Impossible? I kid you not but hey, at least the sauce did not taste salty or cornstrach-ey. Other than the rice issue, the chick lobster is around 1lb and tastes overcooked, dry as well as rubbery. It is such a shame for the kitchen to know exactly what they are serving because if the cooks went to a restaurant and ordered something similar if not the same as this, they would not be too happy.

 AMERICAN STYLE MIXED GRILL ($18.95). 

The sausage has a slightly salty generic flavour and is sliced before grilling, which provides more texture and makes it easier to eat. Next, the lamp chop actually tastes pretty good. The meat is fully cooked, tastes tender as well as moist, and has a pleasant gamey flavour.

 Continuing along, the sunny side up egg tastes generic and there no complaints. Lastly, the beef, pork and chicken was left behind. I assume the meats would taste average though despite a lack of an even caramelization.

FILET MIGNON COMBO, 5oz AAA GRADE ($20.95).
The steak is cooked to a medium rare as requested but, has an unpleasant salty weird marinade taste. Furthermore, the steak is very watery, does not taste tender and resembles a previously frozen steak. Although there is nothing wrong with a restaurant serving previously frozen steaks, the marinade just tastes… pretty crappy and ruins the steak. Moving to the baked potato topped with sour cream and bacon bits, it tastes cold. The potato seems to be pre-baked, wrapped and tossed in a warmer which is perfectly fine… but at least serve it luke warm right? Next are the vegetables which are actually served luke warm, unlike the potato.

What can go wrong with generic vegetables? Consisting of thinly sliced zucchini, baby carrot and a couple small pieces of bite sized broccoli, the vegetables taste extremely wet and flavourless. Furthermore, the vegetables are lacking that nice fresh poached or steamed taste. The vegetables seem to be 30% cooked, kept in cold water to retain color, and boiled for a second when a customer orders. Hence the soggy, watery, bland and mushy vegetables. And last, assuming to save the best for last is the pork cutlet. The pork has a somewhat caramelized golden color with unfortunately no nice crust, and the exterior is oddly slimy (not greasy). The meat tastes tender, neither chewy nor dry, and has a heavy pepper seasoning which is fine. If anything, the restaurant could use bone in pork chops which costs them roughly the same, for a tastier cut of meat.

JAPANESE CHEESECAKE AND CREME CARAMEL ($1.00).
After waiting twenty five minutes trying to get the waitress's attention, we asked for the bill and she asked if we wanted our dessert. At this point we were ready to leave everything behind, but who passes on dessert? Especially when a cheap Asian pays an extra $1.00 for creme caramel! The cheesecake tastes like a generic Japanese spongecake and surprisingly has a hint of cream cheese. As for the creme caramel, although smooth and slightly sweet, it also tastes bland.

Yeah, we did not really expect much after the Szechuan chicken, but we never expected anything to get worse. We actually thought nothing can be worse than the lobster! Until we had the filet mignon.

TOTAL: $75.25 + TIP $5.00 = $80.25.

Overall, we only tipped $5.00 because there was no service despite the empty restaurant and also since the food was unappetizing. Actually… in reality when we left only a $5.00 tip, I felt like a shoplifter and thought the manager or waitress would chase after us for a 10% tip LOL, since I have read a few experiences like that. But nope, we did not get chased! By the way, we checked the ratings after and yenno what, Urbanspoon does not lie (wish I could say the same for a few 80-90% high rated restaurants)! Asides from some personal business reasons, there is no other reason as to why ABC HK Cafe survives.

POSITIVES
- Pretty nice layout and interior
- Staff is not rude
- Did not get chased for tipping less than 10%

NEGATIVES
- Low end quality with high prices
- We could have had a really good freaking meal elsewhere for $80.00, and to think I did not want dim sum because I wanted a cheaper meal SMH
- No service as expected for a HK style cafe

LITTLE THINGS
- Prices at first seem reasonable, but not for the quality or service
- When a customer is willing to challenge the cook, it must mean the food is pretty crappy
- Hot plates seem like a safe order… but, why not head to the food court?

Food: 1.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

ABC HK Cafe 愛彼茜餐室 on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

  1. i went with some friends and we had to pay a 12% "service" charge! in janurary this year so mayb they changed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no… I alway year stories like that or people getting chased out, but never experienced it!

      Delete
    2. They don't force people to pay any surcharge at a certain percentage. This is just a lie.

      Delete
  2. I think you meant to say "Crème Caramel" as opposed to Crème Brûlée ?

    ReplyDelete

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