96 Walker Street on Centre
about $20 for two, without drinks, without tip
If you only have $5 to spare, XO’s congee is pretty good. I order my usual favorites: sliced pork or fish.
With decent congee on the menu, I don’t know why they try to westernize everything else. XO is probably the only place in Chinatown that serves spaghetti as an alternative to rice. Their rice dishes are only good when you’re in a drunken stupor and they will definitely make you wonder why you ordered them in the first place after several hours.
Everything comes in some kind of thick brown sauce that reminds me of a poor man’s stew, cornstarch and soy sauce galore. But at least they’re civilized enough to be served with two stalks of green vegetables.