It's 1:30 in the morning, and you're hungry. But where do you go? It is a divisive debate among the Harvard student body, and loyalties to the Square's late-night stops run deep. Over the next 11 days, The Crimson will debate 11 popular choices around campus. First up: The Kong.

I first visited the Kong during my pre-frosh weekend in the spring of 2009. And it has been a steamy, delicious love affair ever since.

Hong Kong Restaurant is simply the best. The Alpha and the Omega of late night food. As a wise man once said, “There’s no telling how a good night will end. But great nights end at the Kong.”

Those of you who know me understand the intense passion that I have for the Kong. I could write a short novel on the topic, but I am forced to condense it into a blog post. Let me explain to you why the Kong is more than a restaurant—it is a home, a palace of Chinese greatness, Harvard’s capital of good times.

First of all, I am convinced that whoever designed the restaurant is part-Willy Wonka, part-wizard architect. You can roll into the Kong with a group of 10, and the place can be absolutely packed. If you’re lucky, there’s a table for two hidden in the back. And yet somehow it never takes more than five minutes to be seated. Yes, the table you’re at may only have four chairs, but the group of 10 is somehow all sitting comfortably.

And even when you’re doing that waiting, it’s all inside in the friendly confines of 1238 Mass. Ave. I’ve never not waited outside to get Pinocchio’s after 11:30 p.m. Even Felipe’s, perhaps the third leg of the late-night trifecta, is known to occasionally force its patrons to wait outside. Never at the Kong.

The food? Spectacular. I myself am a man of the C-19 persuasion (pork fried rice, three crab rangoons, and four chicken fingers), though I have been known to stray on occasion and experiment with scallion pancakes (“scal pals,” as a buddy of mine affectionately calls them) and beef chow foon. While I rarely venture onto the other pages of the Kong’s extensive menu, I have never once been dissatisfied with my meal.

And the Scorpion Bowl? That almost clinches the best late-night restaurant title right there.

The Kong, more than anything else, values loyalty and friendship. As a regular patron, I am often greeted with a hearty “Hello” or “Hi, Ben, great to see you again!” The waiters are both friendly and bro-huggable and it meaningfully adds to my regular Kong experiences. And I am convinced that it is the best place to run into people outside of Annenberg.

It is indeed a beautiful thing, and at 1:47 a.m., an atmosphere you can’t recreate anyplace else.