Many moons ago we were looking for a BYOB Chinese restaurant to tuck into before a show at the Troc, and landed in Lee How Fook on 11th St. in Chinatown.
Small, but not cramped inside, the dining room was less than half full on a weekend evening. The staff sat at one of the dining tables chatting, looking bored and twirling a bottle opener while not actively working.
Pan seared vegetable dumplings were so tough and chewy, I actually inquired about how they were cooked, thinking they were deep fried for too long and possibly reheated. Nope, just pan seared to within an inch of their lives.
From the vegetable section of the menu, I ordered the sauteed string beans, a dish I often get at Chinese restaurants. But here the crisp green beans were in a cloyingly sweet sauce instead of the usual garlicky bean sauce. Thankfully, I like cloyingly sweet sauces at Chinese restaurants, but the switch-up of sauces surprised me a bit.
Mapo Tofu was a large dish of soft tofu squares and diced peppers in an uninspiring and bland sauce, which is why I usually don't order Mapo Tofu, but this was not my dish.
With so many Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, not to mention other parts of the city, next time we crave Chinese we'll skip Lee How Fook, as we did not find one thing to love with our admittedly small sampling of the menu. We did love Lee How Fook's BYOB status, though, and sometimes that counts for a lot.
Lee How Fook
219 N. 11th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107