I love to visit Philly for the museums that embodies the history and culture of the City of Brotherly Love. But I don’t go just for the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall — I go for the food, the traditional Chinese and Cantonese cuisine served in eateries from 8th and Race to 12th and Vine
Lau Kee used to be busy with Chinese visitors, tourists and locals enjoying ginger steamed chicken and won ton mein. I know I was there in early January. Now the entire Chinatown is turned into a ghost town as people are staying away in droves.
Now that China has banned organized tours and airlines have suspended flights from China, Chinatown is hit with less tourists dollars. But it’s not only tourists from China. Many Americans have avoided visiting Chinatown due to unfounded Coronavirus fears.
I visited Lau Kee, right after the New Years. They opened early with the obligatory congee or other Americanized Chinese breakfast dishes. The streets were packed and there were many tourists and families enjoying large meals. The restaurant was abuzz with tourists and families enjoying multi-course meals, sharing plates gleaming with smiles. Now, it’s just me and my semi-introverted self as I enjoy my well-prepared meal in utter silence.
I was happy to find a good parking spot a few blocks away. Philly has lots of free parking near Chinatown (unlike DC).
I heard so much about the roasted peking duck here, and hanging by the front window, they looked crispy and succulent. But I chose my usual – the steamed chicken was tender and juicy, as usual, albeit a little salty. The roasted pork was sweet and crispy and I recommend ordering at least 1/2 pound. Dip it in hoisin sauce and you’ll be beyond delighted. So what will happen next time I return? Will patrons come back or will I not be allowed to enter at all?