Thursday, 1 January 2009


With the 'toxic-debt-like' evaporation of money from your wallet from Christmas present buying, unmissable Sale bargains and New Year's Eve celebrations, you will be pleased to learn of an eaterie that serves good, tasty, very affordable food where you can go in the New Year, without having to apply for a massive handout from Bubba Bush's Banker's Benefit Fund.

Wo Hop at 17, Mott Street, near Mosco Street is the ubiquitous, old fashioned Cantonese joint, now on the decline in Chinatown, that has eschewed the temptation to reinvent itself as a trendy regional purveyor of Fijian, Szechuan or Shanghaiese cuisine or even Vietnamese, Malaysian, Thai or Korean restaurant. But at Wo Hop, established in 1938, time stands still. Opening from 10am to 7am, 7/7, with BYOB, no credit cards and no reservations it is popular with the bridge-and-tunnel crowd and glassy eyed civil servants, this tiny subterranean dinosaur serves all the classics you loved in your youth; egg drop soup, chow mein, egg foo young, subgum vegetables.

Much of the food is simply prepared and heavily battered with corn starch thickened oyster and black bean sauces ruling. But there's something comforting about it, both taste and cost wise. Maybe it's because day or night, Wo Hop is there for you with a bowl of wonton soup, brimming with wontons freshly rolled by the kitchen staff, or soy sauce soaked chunks of brown roast pork - not the lurid food-dyed red pork you'll see at other establishments. Whatever you order you will not leave hungry - portions are elephantine and the food dense - and you will not leave having been reduced in the liquidity chain to something less than Lehman Brothers or even Bear Stearns.

Oh, by the way HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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