I recently met a friend for dinner in Chinatown. We had two drinks, two entrees, and appetizer, all for $24 including tax and tip. Talk about cheap!
I was told that this was like Hong Kong diner food, and that it was meant to be cheap, fast, and easy to make. We started with fried fish balls, which were fine. Nothing extraordinary, but reminded me of good ol’ home cooking. We continued with “Red sausage” and runny eggs, which again, could have been made at home, but was fine. We ended with baked spaghetti with tomato meat sauce, which neither of us had tried before. The meat crust on top with a slight… Chinese? hint in the sauce definitely distinguished itself from Italian spaghetti. My friend thought his half coffee, half tea drink was too heavy on the coffee, but I immensely enjoyed my taro milk tea that was just the right kind of sweet, albeit a bit heavy on the ice.
I would recommend this place if you want a cheap, fast, decent, and hearty meal. Definitely worth returning to if only for the fun Hong Kong diner atmosphere as well.
Cha Chan Tang
45 Mott Street (between Pell Street and Bayard Street)
New York, NY 10013