The HK Cafe is located in the heart of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood on the corner of 9th Avenue and 39th Street. The long, narrow layout has modern decor with large windows that look out on to the street. I sat at the 12-seat bar to the side of the main dining room floor. The menu is reasonably priced with soups and salads ($8-$12); appetizers ($10-$16); sandwiches ($11-$14); and entrees ($16-$24).
Unfortunately, HK Cafe’s first impressions was as good as it got. After I placed my order a rowdy party of about eight in the dining room started screaming at the top of their lungs; acting as if some pop star had just walked in from the street. This continued intermittently through the entire evening – some people seated in the dining room left because they were so disruptive so I assume this is what one should expect since the staff did nothing to settle the raucous table.
The experience didn’t get much better after my competent and handsome bartender brought over my fig salad. Some of the figs were a bit too dry / hard and the cheese promised in the description seemed more of an after thought since it was barely there.
For dinner I ordered the HK Burger and Fries. While the portion was large this too was fairly bland. If I wasn’t developing a nervous twitch from all the shouting in the dining room or if the salad had been better I might not have felt the burger was quite so bad, but by the time it arrived all I wanted to do was leave so my impressions of the flavorless burger may be a bit harsh, but I won’t be going back to give it another try.
HK Cafe at 523 9th Avenue / (212) 947-4208