When I am leading my Chinatown food tours, I am always on the look out for new spots. Hidden Gem popped up a few months ago. I stopped in and got to chat with the owner and found out she used to own Empress Garden, a Taiwanese restaurant a few storefronts down that I really enjoy (love their Peking noodle with meat sauce and Taiwanese meatball).
Hidden Gem is more snacky/breakfasty with a one page menu of mostly Hong Kong and a bit of Taiwanese style foods. You'll find spam, Hong Kong style french toast, a few soups, and a few meat over rice options.
There are also 4 "sets" that come with a drink. I picked Set D ($6.95) which comes with chicken congee and leek dumplings. The congee is a huge bowl with chicken and scallions, it is on the thinner side, a prefer a thicker congee. Adding the homemade chili oil was necessary to pump up the flavor. I enjoyed the large leek dumplings more, t
The snack I was most excited for was the Taiwanese Egg Pancake ($4.95). This delicious breakfast item, called dan bing, is made with a flour crepe layer, an egg layer, and drizzled in a soy based sauce and scallions. Its savory, eggy, saucy, crispy- there is nothing not to like. I can't even think of a time of day I wouldn't want this. The dan bing/jianbing trend is big in places like NYC and Portland (and is simply a non trendy breakfast staple in parts of China) but there are not many places in Philly to find it. It is reason enough to make the visit to Hidden Gem.
Hidden Gem, 122 N 10th St, 267-606-6625