- Neighborhood: Chinatown
- 138 North 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA
- Phone: 215-928-1883
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Alcohol: BYOB
- Meals Served: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
- Price: $
- Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
I go to Ting Wong for lunch—hiding out at a sticky table along the wall, hot tea and perfect shrimp congee in front of me. I’ve got a book (something with spaceships and ray guns) in one hand, spoon in the other, and I’m smiling because I’m supposed to be eating at some hotel restaurant a few blocks away, but I got there and hated it (hated the vibe and the look of it and the feel it gave me walking through the door), so I about-faced and retreated here, which, yes, was probably the wrong thing to do (considering my job), but it feels good, like skipping school, so I’m happy.
I go to Ting Wong for an early dinner and everything on the block smells like hot, wet garbage, but my dinner is excellent. On another day, I drop by for a quick plate of roast pork over white rice—the meat pink, honey-sweet but also complex with ginger and garlic and five-spice—just because I’m cutting through Chinatown on my way to somewhere else. The pork needs nothing. It is delicious as it is, fanned over rice, shiny under the harsh lights that seem designed to allow no shadows. But if you’re smart, you’ll ask for a little bowl of chopped ginger and scallion—bright green like pickle relish but so much better.
First, it was Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House, which did some of the best noodles in town, in addition to some of the best little snacks (like fried dumplings and cold pig’s ear), in it’s original Race Street location. It moved and, for some reason, I just don’t like it as much now. No real reason other than a vague kind of longing for the original and for the meals I had there before the entire place packed it in and moved down the block.
Now the Insider has gotten word that Ting Wong (which may be my most favorite restaurant in Chinatown) is planning on going dark as well–just un-hitching the ducks from the window, turning out the lights and walking away.
Craig LaBan finds great value and great tastes at Ting Wong in Chinatown.
In true Hong Kong duck house fashion, the hanging roasted meats are a forte. Ting Wong’s “roast pork” is irresistible, the tender meat shined with a honeyed pink, at once sweet but complex with garlic, ginger, and five-spice punch. The similarly seasoned spare ribs are just as good if you prefer gnawing bones. But it’s the crispy “roast pig” that is a complete addiction, a roasted suckling pig whose spice-rubbed skin crackles with clove, garlic, and sesame over the thin layer of creamy fat that separates each piece from the tender flesh.
Two Bells – Very Good