Tuesday, October 29, 2013

茶餐廳 :: 樂香園茶餐廳

While I'm not particularly interested in having instant noodles and luncheon meat, pork chop bun or whatever at a cha chaan teng (茶餐廳) or Hong Kong style coffeeshop, and while similar, it isn't quite our kopitiam. For one, it's air-conditioned. Hurhurhur. I love the old school unpretentious vibes of the cha chaan teng.

Could always train it out to Jordan and the residential estates where the cha chaan teng line every corner. Those might possible serve up chow better than many located in town. But who knows. I don't live in the city. My understanding of its local food is restricted to places I visit and friends' recommendations. Arranged to meet the friends for lunch at a local joint near their office. They sent meagre info and said they would meet me there. Win lor. Anyway, I found it. GPS and Google, always.

樂香園茶餐廳 (roughly, 'Lok Heung Yuen Coffeeshop). It's been around since 1950, suspended business in 2008 at Wellington Street because of rocketing high rental, and in 2009, re-opened at this current address. Apparently, the prices remained unchanged till now. Wah. It was a hive of activity at 11.45am. The usual magic minutes before peak CBD lunch hour. The friends informed me that this is affectionately known as the 'snake pit' (in Cantonese, 蛇竇; in our lingo, 'eat snake'- slacking off) for office workers in the area, where people pop in at all hours for an energy boost.

There was a menu, but it didn't seem like anybody needed to look at it. Locals filled this joint and ordered their favorites. If I didn't grow up in Asia and speak the language, it would be incredibly difficult to imagine the dishes. The servers have no time to entertain questions. 

Ordered an egg sunny-side-up with vegetables and rice. YUMMY. These little coffeehouses and eateries can do a sunny-side-up so well, way better than many cafes. Their yolk is always runny; absolutely satisfying. Pity the chilli offered is always some chilli oil thingy that doesn't hit a spot. Its iced milk tea was damn good. I felt the caffeine buzz.

樂香園茶餐廳 (Lok Heung Yuen Coffee Shop)
G/F 8-10 Gilman's Bazaar, Central, Hong Kong
T: +852 2522 1377; Opens daily 7am - 7pm

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