Turns out there are many Sang Kee congee places. Not sure if it’s mini franchise or a bunch if copycats. In any case, my grandparents took me to the original first which is apparently just literally around the corner. Good thing I didn’t wait in line for that bigger place the day before.
This Sang Kee is indisputably a hole in the wall. I didn’t want to oggle at its state for fear of embarrassing my grandparents so I didn’t take any photos except of the food, which was extremely tasty. Picture a cramped small street which exists seemingly only to connect two other cramped but larger, busier streets. On one side of this street sits a building, blank, off-white, non-descript except for the doorway cut into its middle. Peek inside the doorway and you will find what amounts to a glorified closet. A diagonal wall cuts a “dining room” out of the side of the building. Three tables are tucked inside this triangular sliver. To accommodate the maximum number of table-sharing strangers possible, the server/hostess does not come round to your table which is only inches away from her post anyway. Instead she shouts at you to holler back with what you want. So my grandma transforms herself into a chanting street woman. It’s rough, she has a few false starts before she finds the right combination of rhythm and singsong ingredients to ask the tavern owners for 3 bowls of congee. I can’t explain it if you don’t understand Cantonese – the dialect is very literary and poetic, full of puns and catchy, lyrical phrases.
All’s to say, it was an excellent experience. The congee was delicious. Do try the one with everything in it. I don’t know if i’ve ever had pork balls before, let alone that tasty. (Meat balls, not testicles.) The fried dough fritters were nothing to write home about, but I would definitely go back.