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After 75 Years, Hong Kong Restaurant Remains a Favorite Chinese Food Destination

By Pamela Sosnowski

West Warwick's residents love their Chinese food. The proof is in the fact that no less than five restaurants dedicated to Chinese cuisine are situated within a one-mile radius in the Arctic Village neighborhood. The oldest of these, Hong Kong Restaurant, has been a fixture in town since the 1940s and still has customers returning not just for the nostalgic value but for the affordable and tasty food.

"Not many restaurants in the state can say they've been around for over 75 years," said manager Brian Sit, who is the oldest of the third generation of the third family running the establishment. "We've been part of the neighborhood for generations feeding great grandparents and grandchildren alike, providing a place you can go every day without breaking the bank. We make our sauces in house; use premium all-white chicken meat in our dishes unlike our competitors, and do it all at an affordable price in a casual atmosphere."

The menu offers the usual Cantonese-style fare for both in-house dining and take-out: crab rangoon, egg rolls, lo mein, egg foo young, specials such as the bird's nest (crispy noodles topped with sautéed meat and vegetables), and more. Hong Kong Restaurant also serves favorite traditional cocktails such as scorpion bowls, mai tais, and other favorite mixed drinks. Combination plates start at just under $6. But the restaurant is unique in that those customers not enamored with Asian offerings can enjoy some favorite American dishes not typically seen on a Chinese restaurant's menu. Breaded chicken cutlets, burgers, and even Delmonico steak is prepared by the kitchen on a regular basis.

"Our menu is quite eclectic," affirmed Sit. "We truly are a Chinese and American restaurant. Not many menus will feature authentic Shanghai style spring rolls or Fall River style chow mein next to American dishes like chicken croquettes, liver and onions, and veal cutlets."

Although the restaurant has gone through some cosmetic changes and updating in its nearly 80 years of operation, it has also preserved some of its original interior design.

"Each time we change, we still try to retain some of the nostalgic charm in our original dining room with historic architectural details and hand painted wood panel," Sit said. "Even if you just come by for takeout for your first time back after a decade away, we encourage you to take a look at our dining room and it will take you back to your childhood."

Sit says that his father can often be seen working in the kitchen or at the bar seven days a week. The Sit family work hard at keeping the operation running smoothly and it shows in online reviews, where customers often note the restaurant's spotlessness in addition to the quality food at wallet-friendly prices. With that kind of work ethnic and service, Hong Kong Restaurant is sure to be looking forward to at least another 75 successful years of operation.

"We're the oldest (and best in our common objective opinion) Chinese restaurant around," Sit said. "Every week, we have people who've been out of state for years make a trip to visit us and tell us their parents brought them here when they were kids and that our food is the best and as great as they've always remembered."

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