Chinese Lunch With Fruit and Tea for $3.50!
There are literally hundreds of restaurants in the City Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, vegetarian that serve lunches, usually with soup and an entree over rice, for under $5. Chinese restaurants include tea and, often, fruit.
My favorite block in Chinatown is Jackson Street, between Grant and Kearny, where there are a number of restaurants with such lunches.
My favorite among them is Chung King, which has been there for over 12 years, and which specializes in seafood. The quality of the food is high, and has been consistently so over many years of existence.
606 Jackson St, 986-3899
11:30am-9:30pm, 7 days, lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm.
The restaurant is medium-sized, seats about 60, attractive, not elegant. Lunch is $3.50 & $4 cup of hot & sour soup (specialty), choice of over 20 entrees including prawns and vegetarian tea, fruit, and a cookie. Sweet & sour pork or chicken $3.50, prawns dishes or fish $4, roast duck $4.
The rice and entree are served separately, a nice touch, since most serve the entree over rice.
Dinners are worth considering, too. A Chef Dinner for 2 at Chung King is $8.95 per person, and consists of egg roll, won ton soup, sweet & sour pork, beef with snow peas, BBQ pork-fried rice, tea, & cookie. For 3 persons, add roast duck, for 4, add prawns with lobster sauce. In other words, for $8.95 each, 4 persons can enjoy a 7-course feast!
The De Luxe Dinner is $10.95 per person and features seafood (prawns & scallops) and hot and sour soup, with the same number of courses as the Chef Dinnerfor 24 persons.
The large a la carte menu runs the gamut of Chinese cuisine 13 appetizers, e.g., spring rolls $2.75; 11 soups, e.g., hot & sour $4.50; 12 beef, e.g., with green pepper $5.95; 8 pork, e.g., mu shu with 4 pancakes $5.95; 8 poultry, e.g., sweet & sour chicken $5.95, 30+ seafood, e.g., prawns with cashews $6.95, or rock cod with crab meat $5.95, 13 vegetarian, e.g., mixed vegetables $4.50.
Also, 5 sizzling platters and 11 clay pots, $6-$8. If one shares a $4.95 appetizer, or a $4.95 soup (hot & sour is recommended), each dish could provide a generous meal, for well under $10 per person.
Wine is $1.50 glass, Chinese beer, e.g., Tsing Tao, $2.50. Tea is free with the meal.
You can try other restaurants on the block. Look them over, check their menus, and choose one that you like. Some appear more attractive than others. Most are good, and have been there for years.
Chung King reviewed 10/15/01 by Louis Madison