Monday, May 16, 2011

Hong Kong Fishball House's Fishballs on a Stick - Rowland Heights

We don't nearly have enough foods on sticks in American cuisine. The corn dog, sure. Ice cream bars, yes. But apart from carnivals and county fairs, there isn't much of an impetus to impale or thread things onto wooden dowels or bamboo skewers for easy consumption.

There are even fewer foods with the word "ball" in it. Yes, there is the "meatball" you're apt to find tangled up on a plate of spaghetti or served with lingonberry jam at your local Swedish furniture retailer, but put the word "fish" or "squid" in front of the word and you get snickers as if you uttered an obscenity.

To find the two food styles together, you have to go ethnic, to Asian joints like this, Hong Kong Fish Ball House, a walk-up counter which specializes in fish balls with noodles in soup, or straight up, skewered and coated in flavorful goo (sate, spicy or sweet-n-sour).

Opt for the sticks and you get a snack, the kind common to night markets in Asia and street vendors in Manila. Two skewers come to an order, with a string of ping-pong sized spheres. A mess of pickled cabbage rests beneath, the crunchy accompaniment to the fish ball's squishy, springy, squeaky, soft orb of vague fishiness.

The toll you fork over is $2.50, measly compared to the real price you pay: to order it, you have to stand in an alleyway that reeks of stinky tofu, a sour stench emanating from the kitchen belonging to the next restaurant over. The smell is an assault on your olfactory senses as if you're repeatedly being slapped in the face with dirty gym socks after they've festered in an open sewer.

Now "stinky" and "tofu", two more words you rarely find in American cuisine; but that's another post.

Hong Kong Fishball House
18414 Colima Rd #Q
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

G Burger - La Habra


At 10:46 AM, Anonymous JB said...

Wonder if that stench might be a byproduct of whatever resulted in the "B" grade that's clearly visible in the second photo. But hey, let's face it, "B" is like an "A" for a Chinese establishment.

Still, sounds like a great deal, $2.50 for 5 pairs of balls.
What coating do you recommend?
(Sate? Spicy? Sweet-n-sour?)

At 11:01 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Actually, the stench is a "natural" by-product of the restaurant next door, which serves chòu dòufu (stinky tofu). I added that to my post just now.

I've always taken the sweet-n-sour, since the spicy one is kinda like Sriracha which I figure would overpower the really mild flavor of the fish balls. The sate, I might try next.

I only wish the place was closer to OC...minus their stinky tofu neighbor...God, I can still smell it!

At 2:08 PM, Blogger KirkK said...

What, still no deep fried pork rectum??? ;o)

At 2:09 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


I don't have the balls!

At 1:29 AM, Blogger Marianne said...

I absolutely love Hong Kong food, and will definitely try this out one weekend!

During my stay in the OC I have not been able to locate any Hong Kong cafes or restaurants. Do you perhaps know of any?

Great blog btw!

At 8:20 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Thanks for the comment! Yes, definitely check this out if you're in the area. Also try their fried calamari. It is excellent.

As far as HK Cafe's go, OC's pretty lacking. In fact, the last HK Cafe, called O'Shine in Irvine folded more than five years ago and since then there hasn't been another.

SGV still has a few though. I'll do more checking in OC and see if I can actually find one!


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