My husband and I were visiting York, England recently with my mother. Her favourite kind of food is Chinese. So when we met my cousin and his wife for a meal on the Saturday evening we booked a table at the Hong Kong Chop House. It is in the centre of York, situated in the Swinegate and is on the ground floor so access is easy for those disabled people who may have mobility problems. We were originally shown to a table with benches on either side, but there is no way my mother would have been comfortable there so we chose a table in the window with chairs, instead. The restaurant is warm, but not particularly spacious and when I ordered a gin and tonic and was offered a gin and soda water in the absence of tonic, I suppose I should have been warned.
There were five of us at the table and the waiter decided the best time to take our order was when one of us was in the restroom! We ordered a variety of starters from vegetarian spring rolls to spare ribs, but they arrived very slowly and at varied intervals. However, the dishes were tasty when they arrived. There seemed to be too few staff and those that were there seemed more interested in the “take away” side of the business than caring for the patrons in the restaurant. We sat with the empty plates from our starters for a long time before they were taken away and it was even longer before our main courses came out from the kitchen, one at a time. Indeed, my cousin was presented with half of his meal and was nearly finished that before the rest of it arrived! My husband’s meal was a small portion and only luke warm at best. The serving staff were sullen, slow and humourless. The service was truly atrocious.
When someone finally came to take away our plates from our main course, after my cousin had asked them to do so, we decided not to have a dessert, we asked for teas and coffees. Even that was a challenge! The restaurant was out of coffee. Not out of a particular blend – they had coffee on the menu but no coffee on the premises. They also had no Indian tea. The offer was Chinese tea or Jasmine tea. Now I know this is a Chinese restaurant, but they are catering for a British clientele and not everybody enjoys Chinese tea.
However, having been to China several times, I am quite partial to it, so my cousin, his wife and I all had some Chinese tea. The teapot was quite pretty, however the tea tasted of virtually nothing, possibly dust, but nothing delicious. Either the tea was very old and dry or there was little tea in the pot.
So, could I recommend this restaurant? Not favourably. Would I go there again? Not by choice. Did I leave a tip? Yes, stock your restaurant properly and serve the food warm, timeously and with a good grace.
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