Roach in rice reveals restaurant’s repulsive side

photo by Deja Evans from Sunday shows shrimp fried rice with extra crunchy.

“Hong Kong” near the movie theater serves up crawling ingredients, bad attitudes, say diners

JONESBORO, Ark. – On Sunday, Deja Evans of Jonesboro decided she would venture out of the boundaries of American cuisine for something just a bit different: Chinese food. She almost ended up eating a dead cockroach.

And despite this stomach churning experience, the situation became even more negative when she took her food back in.

Not very appetizing. The diner was met with an even more stomach turning response from the store’s manager.

While Hong Kong is a territory in Asia, in Jonesboro, 3228 C South Caraway Road has been claimed by the military might of General Tso. Located near the movie theater and next to Palm Beach Tan, the restaurant is listed on the Arkansas Department of Health’s website as “Hong Kong West” at 3228 C South Caraway Road in Jonesboro. Confusingly, another “Hong Kong” Chinese restaurant is also on Caraway in Jonesboro but that one is not the subject of this story.

On Sunday, Sept. 28, Evans decided to order some food from the restaurant. Among the order was shrimp fried rice with onion. After she poured some of the food out, she found an extra ingredient: a dead, grease-soaked cockroach.

“I was in shock because it’s things you hear of but never really think it’ll happen to you,” Evans said.

She had eaten there before but never experienced anything like this. With no attitude in her posture or voice, she said she went to speak with the lady at the front.

“I told her that I was bringing it back because it had a bug in it,” Evans said. “I said it softly because there were other customers in. She said ‘What?’ I repeated myself. She said ‘What?’ louder and I said it louder.”

Things didn’t go well from there, Evans recalls.

“She then snatched my bag, looked at it, and opened the drawer and threw my money back into my hands,” Evans said.

Evans said the lady got loud with her. She said no apology was offered – just the refund. So, Evans decided to share her negative experience on Facebook. Almost 800 shared it in just 17 hours, reaching tens of thousands and revealing new details about the location.

“I haven’t heard of anything like this about this particular restaurant until posting and seeing people have had similar experiences,” Evans said. “I will NOT eat there again.”

Hundreds replied in disgust to the photos. Many also shared their bad experiences eating there. Andrew Daley was one of the hundreds who replied to her viral video with a disgusting experience of his own.

The video shows a roach on top of what appears to be an order of General Tso’s chicken with fried rice. Posted in the comments by Andrew Daley, the footage was taken “months ago” at the same location. Daley and several friends posted that they haven’t eaten there since.

Many also remarked about how “rude” the “woman” at the front register was. Some of the reviews also brought up the lacking customer service. NEA Report reached out to Hong Kong (restaurant) for a comment. A woman answered the phone and said no manager was available. We asked her about the complaint and she hung up on us.

There does not appear to have been a health inspection at the location since May 15 this year. The only notable observation then was that one of the workers was wearing blue disposable gloves and washed his hands without removing the gloves.

The experience is a stomach turning one for those who don’t dine on bugs. Even with everything that happened, Evans said she still thinks she will eventually order Chinese again – just from a new location.

“As far as Chinese food in general, I think I will, but it will not be anytime soon,” Evans said.

Clarification: An earlier version of this mentioned Hong Kong is not technically a Chinese city. Hong Kong has an independent government except for foreign policy and defense. Hong Kong is part of international trade organizations independent from China but is still considered a region (not city) of China. Because our simplification of the complex government system did not add to the story, we removed it. 

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