Looking for a quick hit at a greasy spoon tonight, we tried Hong Kong Bistro on Castro in Mountain View. With three flatscreens showing Hong Kong television in a very casual atmosphere, the Bistro presented an ideal dining environment for our rowdy twins. The Beef Fun was run-of-the-mill and the Shrimp Fried Rice was notable for an ample supply of medium sized shrimp--I counted more than a dozen. The conspicuous dish of the night, though, was most certainly the Hainan Chicken ("Hainanese Chicken" on the menu).
There were at least three things wrong with this plate, each of them fatal. First, there was no broth, which is a must for Hainan Chicken. Second, the rice was not white, but of a darker shade of curry. Although well buttered, the rice was hard. Third, and by far the most heinous, the chicken was tougher than leather had a tenacious grip on the bone. It was as if the chicken were prepared a few days ago, chilled in the refrigerator, then microwaved to over-doneness. My wife's simple explanation was the chicken was old. Either way, it was the worst chicken in memory for either of us.
As bad as the chicken was, however, we left with forgiveness in our hearts. Our dinner was delivered quickly--in about five minutes. Moreover, the larger of our twins absolutely loved the funny-colored rice that came with that hideous chicken. It was probably the butter. After showing us it can do the simple things right, I can see ourselves returning when we're in a pinch (e.g. when we have an empty fridge and very little time to spare).
Hong Kong Bistro
174 Castro St.
Mountain View, CA 94041