"Cheap" doesn’t always come to mind when you're wading through $400 sweaters in Soho, but if you're looking to find bang for your buck, stop in at Mooncake Foods, the anomalous Pan-Asian bistro-diner on Watts Street, for eats that won't swallow up your wallet.

Photo -- Mooncake foods; Youngna ParkGothamist stopped by on a frigid night earlier this week; the big bay windows with fiery red trim were frosted from top to bottom, but inside was warm and cozy.

Nightly dinner specials cooked up by Chef Kenny Luong for include New Zealand Lobster Tails with Roasted Pine Nut Garlic Sauce or Charred Hangar Steak with cilantro and ginger ($15). But, most items, from appetizers to soups, salads, and sandwiches, are priced between $4-10 and portions are by no means meager. Gothamist has tried several of the sandwiches, but on the most recent visit, also spied large bowls of hot, steaming wonton soup with noodles, snow pea greens, and roasted garlic being delivered to the table next door.

Photo -- Mooncake Foods; Youngna Park Fresh vegetables—especially snow peas, watercress, spinach, and assorted roasted vegetables—show up again and again on the varied menu and are purchased daily by owner, Peter Lee. Appetizers include crawfish dumplings, chicken wings with honey and soy, and cold jicama spring rolls. Enticing salads like pea shoot & peanut salad, seared tuna and arugula with soy lime vinaigrette, and the Thai steak salad ought to tender anyone’s tastebuds. [See the full menu]

Gothamist’s Chicken sandwich with Napa Slaw ($6) arrived on a perfectly toasted French roll with a healthy serving of salad donned in a gingery, sweet dressing. The chicken was ample and moist, recently carved and roasted. Gothamist’s dining companion tried the Tuna Burger with Wasabi Mayo ($8) -- an attractively green spread that added both kick and flavor to the sandwich. On a previous lunch trip, Gothamist also tasted the Grilled Pork Chops with Mango Chutney and inhaled them so quickly that pork chop juices went dripping down our arm.

When we inquired about dessert, our waitress named a handful of house made options: banana cheesecake, white chocolate mousse plate, chaos (layered brownie, chocolate, cheesecake), and key lime pie. Gothamist opted for the key lime pie, which arrived resembling a cheesecake, but with a wonderfully light, creamy, tart and tangy texture. Mooncake also offers a fairly extensive tea menu to accompany dinner or dessert; a pot is $4.

Mooncake Foods is a perfect place for food and friends. The exceedingly friendly staff and fast-food-gone-gourmet will reel you in again and again. And, if you can’t bear the cold even for this charmer of a joint, they offer delivery for destinations within reason.

Mooncake Foods is located at 28 Watts Street in Soho off of Broome Street between Thompson & Avenue of the Americas. Open Monday - Saturday for lunch and dinner, (212)219-8888.