Homer's Travels: Food: King Fong's Cafe ... For Lunch

Monday, April 14, 2008

Food: King Fong's Cafe ... For Lunch

King Fong's Cafe
315 1/2 S 16th St, Omaha, Nebraska

I'd been told about King Fong's by the Wife. The Wife had eaten dinner there before and she thought it was a really cool place. She described it as a Viet Nam during the French Imperial period. She used adjectives like cool, strange, 'really neat'. We talked with Mom, E, and E's Sons and they used adjectives like dark, spooky, scary, and weird. Armed with all these adjectives, on a cold, windy, rainy day, we went down to King Fong's for lunch.

From the outside, King Fong's Cafe is a tall neon sign over a door that leads to a dark and somewhat narrow stairway up to the second story restaurant. Look out for the first step - I almost kissed the steps when I tripped on the first step. Looking at the door alone, you would not know that there was a restaurant there at all. The Wife had only eaten there in the evening and apparently the place is quite different. During the evening the waiters, all Asian, are dressed in white and are more formal. During lunch, service is less formal. We couldn't quite pin down our server's nationality. Possible Chinese. Possibly Indonesian.

The restaurant has been in the same place since it opened in 1921. The restaurant is located in what once was Omaha's Chinatown district. The restaurant is located in a room that mixes Art Deco and Chinese decor. Art Deco lighting and stained glass windows. Many of the original furnishings were imported from Hong Kong. The Wife has fallen in love with the marble tables and has asked for one for Christmas. We'll see.

Not being the adventurous eater, I started with a rather safe order of Chicken Fried Rice. I don't recall what the Wife had. The servings were large. I only managed to eat about half of the plate but it was pretty good. I felt like I needed a roll or something but that's just me - bread-aholic - bread is not an Asian thing. I liked it. The flavors were good and went together well. There were a few other diners despite the ugly wet day outside. That says something. I can see myself eating here again sometime. Next time it will be for dinner.

While I think many of the adjectives used to describe this place to me do not apply, at least during the lunch service, the place does have an interesting ambiance. If you like Chinese cuisine in an interesting setting then King Fong's Cafe is worth a try.

Personal aside: As I've said, I'm not an adventuresome eater. King Fong's was the third Chinese restaurant I've ever eaten in (the other two were cheesy chain buffets). I'm a little surprised that I even entertained eating lunch there. I've told myself that Omaha would be a fresh start for me. A chance to throw off the old and to experiment with the new. I guess this was the beginning of the experimentation. I was surprised at myself in a positive way. In the past I would have picked at my food, pushing aside things that I was unfamiliar with. This time I just plowed ahead and ate everything on my plate. I discovered many, oh so many, years too late that I shouldn't be so finicky. I'm sure my picky ways won't completely change but eating at King Fong's Cafe was a good first start.


  1. Heh. Never too late to start experimental eating. Try anything once; at least if you don't like it, you can say you tried it.

    Then get a turkey sandwich. :)

  2. GH: You know, I think I would starve if i couldn't have a turkey sandwich. I think I may be overly dependent on them.

  3. Mmm. Almond chicken, ginger chicken, chow mein, beef and broccoli (I only eat the broccoli), veggies and fortune cookies!

    I can be a bit picky with food but I do find I am willing to try more things as I get older too.

  4. JaG: It does seem like I'm becoming more adventuresome as I get older.