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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bite-Size Review: Main Street Deli at The Langham, Hong Kong

One of my favourite memories as a teenager growing up in Toronto was when my dad took me to this Greek diner for breakfast on Yonge Street one cold wintry morning.  The place was shabby and dilapidated - and that's a kind description - with a pleasant yet overly made up (especially for seven in the a.m.) waitress pouring coffee ("you hafta tell me if you want decaf, honey. I can't read minds, you know") for the handful of customers at the counter, and a large, silent, stubble-faced short order cook perspiring in a grease-stained apron over a white T-shirt with long sleeves bunched up at his elbows.  I can't quite remember what my dad had, but I decided to get into the moment and, quite daringly, I thought at the time, ordered a plate of steak and eggs.  

Up to that point in my relatively short life, I've never really had that much protein for breakfast, let alone a whole steak, and a fried one at that.  Along with the two over easy eggs and a huge serving of home fries and onions (another first,) that was easily the oiliest, most fattening, cholesterol-hardening meal I'd ever had before noon.

It was awesome.

I've never quite replicated that experience, but diners have always held a special place in my heart since that morning.  Along with noodle shops, they are pretty much the Kryptonite in my restaurant index, so I've gone to as many as my doctor will allow in the past couple of decades or so.  There weren't that many in the Middle East (please, spare me those faux Johnny Rockets joints) and in Hong Kong, the numbers aren't that much higher.  However, I did find a decent one pretty much in my own backyard here in Tsimshatsui, tucked away in a side street within a luxe hotel (full disclosure: I work for the parent company but totally paid my own way for my meals.)  

It's called Main Street Deli and they serve a mean burger with a side of fries and onion rings, and a good thick frothy milkshake.  Yeah, it's a bit on the pricey side (their burgers start at US$19 not including the service charge) and the salads could be presented in more ergonomically-friendly bowls, but the quality is good, the servings are generous (wait till you see the size of their cheesecake slice) and the staff young and cheery.  Been back twice, and since I've yet to sample their corned beef hash, buttermilk pancakes and the Reuben, a return trip is in the works.  

And yes, they do serve steak and eggs.
The 8-oz Monster Burger
The 8-oz Monster Burger, deconstructed, and with fries
An enormous slice of the New York cheesecake
The chocolate milkshake

Main Street Deli at The Langham, Hong Kong
8 Peking Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Telephone +852 2375 1133

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