Deep Fried Duck with Taro at Hong Kong Asian Diner in Tempe: Eat This Now

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

If you live anywhere near the northwest corner of Ray and Rural Roads in Tempe and haven't tried Hong Kong Asian Diner by now, you've been doing yourself a huge disservice. This family-run, strip mall spot has been in business for more than a decade and offers remarkably good Cantonese cuisine.

The restaurant is owned by husband and wife, Bai and Choi Kuang, who hail from the Guangdong Province in southeast China. And no matter when you come in, you're likely to be served by a member of their immediate family. There's not a lot of charm about the place, though the large round tables of mutli-generational Chinese families sharing a meal can be a heartwarming sight.

See also: Grand Prix Crepe at Crepe Bar in Tempe: Eat This Now

When you take your seat at Hong Kong Asian Diner, you're probably going to be given the American menu -- you know, the one with orange chicken and fried rice and no hot pots. If so, just ask for the "other menu."

That's the one with dishes like the Deep Fried Duck with Taro. The Cantonese dish features steamed boneless duck that's wrapped in a layer of mashed taro root and then deep-fried. It may not sound like the most interesting or appealing thing on the menu, but is a perfect example of a dish that's much more than the sum of its parts.

The hot, crispy shell gives way to a soft interior of duck and taro. If you've never tasted the purple tuber root before, the flavor can be difficult to describe but it falls somewhere between the starchiness of a potato and the sweetness of sweet potato -- except that it tends to take on other flavors better than a sweet potato. As a result you almost can't tell the difference between the moist duck and mashed taro except for in the textures of the two ingredients and the distinctive nuttiness lent by the taro root.

When you add a dash of the accompanying sweet and sour sauce, it take the whole dish to another level.

Don't be surprised if one of the friendly family members recommends a few other dishes to go along with your duck. We went with an order of very good pan fried noodles with seafood and vegetables, per our server's suggestions, as well as a plate of baby bok choy with garlic. We only wish we had been hungry enough to try more.

The restaurant offers a lunch buffet Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Hong Kong Asian Diner 9880 S. Rural Road Tempe, AZ 85284 480-705-7486

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.