The first thing you have to know about eating at Mr Wong’s is that it’s less about the food and more about the experience. At HK$60 (£5.80) for all you can eat and drink the food is important, but I’ll get back to that in a minute.
Mr Wong is quite the character. He has a manic laugh, loves London and is sure to do something wildly inappropriate while you’re there. During my three or so visits he has force fed me broccoli from chopsticks, tried to force feed my friend sweet chili sauce from a teaspoon and offered to serve a cat’s tail for dinner – from an actual cat who was crouching nearby.
There are circulating theories that he was involved in the Triads, or was a trader before the crash and now provides ridiculously cheap food as his way of giving back to society, but I couldn’t possibly speculate.
The restaurant itself is fairly innocuous in appearance, tucked off a side street in Mong Kok (on the mainland side of Hong Kong), it looks like the hundreds of others in the area. Its modest interior is made up of a few benches, picnic tables and chairs. On the wall there is a sign which says ‘hello’ in a number of different languages – a nod to the international students who have made it their eatery of choice.
Out the back there’s a large concrete area which is quickly converted into extra space with fold out tables and chairs. If this gets too full you simply set up on the pavement, such is the laissez-faire approach of Wong’s establishment.
I’ve never looked at a menu but the all you can eat $60 selection means you don’t have to. There a variety of dishes that simply turn up and they are surprisingly delicious.
My personal favourites are the sweet and sour fish and the broccoli with chili and peanuts. The dumpling selection is great, although if you’re vegetarian you may have to get someone else to work out which ones you can eat as the lamb, pork and vegetable ones are all served together. However if you don’t eat meat the egg fried rice is good, as is the tofu – something I usually go out of my way to avoid. These dishes are then replenished at no additional cost. In the past I have also had a beef dish with onion, but that didn’t seem to be on offer when I went last.
In the outdoor area there is a cooler full of water, other soft drinks and Chinese beer, Kingway which come as part of the $60 deal. If you ask, Mr Wong will also bring you bottles of wine, although it is hit and miss whether or not you get to choose red or white.
Overall Mr Wong’s is a novel choice if you’re looking for an entertaining evening, good food and aren’t afraid of awkward conversation with a near stranger. On my last visit Mr Wong attempted to match make my friend and me with two Americans on the table next to us who seemed a little baffled by the set up. If nothing more I guarantee you’ll leave Mr Wong’s full, probably slightly drunk and with an evening’s worth of anecdotes – and all for just over a fiver. As the man himself says: “it’s so Wong it’s right,”.