Try turning up to Ying Chow without a booking and you'll be lucky to get a table straight away. Extremely lucky. Sure, it's possible, but Ying Chow happens to be one of Gouger Street's most popular Chinese restaurants, and one if its smallest. People come here for the food, delicious and authentic Chinese for far less than many of the bigger and fancier spots.
This is the type of food that fills you up, don't stick to one dish, order multiple ones from the menu and share between yourselves. The hotpots are great, and its always worth checking out what's on the list of specials. Start off with a small bowl of soup, and grab some steamed rice to go with your meal. The Chinese bread is also quite tasty, it's like a pork bun but without the pork in the centre, a little bit sweet, light, and a nice accompaniment to the meal.
What little wall space Ying Chow has is filled with awards, as well as dishes from their menu written out in Chinese. It's definitely small, you'll sit back to back with the tables either side of you, and if you've got a large group you might want to try and grab one of the outside tables. Kids are definitely welcome, high chairs are available, and any little ones are likely to draw a bit more attention from the staff.
It's a restaurant that is always bustling, probably not the best place to choose if you want a catch up with a long-lost friend. Sometimes the noise can get a bit much if you're after a relaxing night out, but it all adds to the atmosphere. Tables after often filled with multiple dishes, and covered in beer bottles. Pick from some of the Asian beers, there are some good ones that come out of the region, sure you'll pay more than you would overseas but they're worth trying.
See what all the fuss is about and try eating out at Ying Chow, if you can get a table that is.