Mido Cafe the Timeless Cafe at Hong Kong Temple Street

Mido Cafe (美都餐室)

English Address (Google Map): G/F, 63 Temple Street

Chinese Address: 油麻地廟街63號地下

Opening hours: 8:30am – 9:45pm daily

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Mido Cafe started operation back in the 1950s and is one of the oldest cafes in Hong Kong. This old school cafe is a landmark at Temple Street and was featured in various Hong Kong movies and serial like Goodbye Mr Cool (古惑仔之九龙冰室) and Revolving Door of Vengeance (酒店风云).

The 1950s interior design was retained till date and the nostalgic design offers a glimpse of Hong Kong’s past when air conditioning is a luxury and food menus were hand-written. Unlike the modern cafes that pushes seating capacity to the limit within a small floor area, Mido Cafe is contrastingly spacious.

I visited on a weekday morning and it’s surprisingly vacant. Mido has literally over two hundred items on their menu but their signature dish is the Pork Rib / Pork Chop Baked Rice.

Mido Cafe Menu 1: Click to enlarge

Mido Cafe Menu 2: Click to enlarge

Baked Spare Rib in Tomato Sauce (Baked Rice) – HK$58

There are a few variations of Baked Rice and the most famous one is the Spare Rib Baked Rice. It took a little while to serve and the rice looks absolutely delicious.

The base of the Baked Rice consist of a layer of butter rice, layered with melted cheese, pork ribs and topped with a layer of rich tomato paste.

The tomato sauce is slightly sweet, thick, but not overly cloying and goes really with the melted savoury cheese. The spare rib is the highlight of the dish. The well marinated ribs is really tender and the meat gets seperated from the bones easil and it goes pretty good with the soft melted cheese and tomato sauce.

I read that the portion is really big from online but it’s really not. I even hope for a bigger portion.

Pork Chop with Macaroni in Broth – HK$38

The portion of the macaroni is really big. Much bigger than a typical macaroni soup that you find in Cha Can Teng. The macaroni is much less flavoured than expected and i will choose the baked rice anytime.

The pork chip is not crispy at all but I like the soft and tender texture of their pork chop a lot. I thought this bland macaroni is not doing justice to the accompanying pork chop. Probably i will try their pork chop baked rice the next time.

Stir-fried Veggie in Minced Garlic – HK$48

Like most vegetables that i had in Hong Kong, such vegetables are only lightly salted and flavoured with chopped garlic when one gets to enjoy the natural taste of the veggie. It doesn’t has a raw taste though. But for those who are used to Singapore style of Sambal Kangkong, Oyster Sauce Kailan or Mixed Curry Vegetable, this dish will be a little bland for you.

Conclusion

I have a lot of respect for eatery that goes a long way back as somehow it gives a clue to their popularity and ability to satisfy patrons of different generations.

Iced Lemon Honey HK$18

Just basing on what I’d ordered, i thought the baked rice is quite good while the others are ok. I would visit this place again for their baked rice, probably the pork chop version.

For first-timer, you may want to consider to give yourself a chance to be charmed by this timeless Hong Kong cafe and try out the one signature baked rice that had withstood the sands of time.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Direction

1. Come out from Yau Ma Tei MTR Exit C

2. Look for the main road (Nathan Road) and walk against the traffic

3. Past Wing Sing Lane and keep walking

4. Turn right at the next turn and walk straight along traffic and you will see Mido Cafe

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Tim Ho Wan at Hong Kong Fortress Hill

Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong (添好運 / 添好运)- The One Michelin Star Dim Sum

English Address (Google Map): 2-8 Wharf Road, Seaview Building, North Point

Chinese Address: 北角和富道2-8號嘉洋大廈地下B,C及D鋪

Opening hours: 10am to 9.30pm

Scroll to the end for address and opening hours of other Tim Ho Wan Branches

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Firstly, i will bore you with a little bit of history of Tim Ho Wan (添好運/添好运). The main chef Mak Kwai Pui (麥桂培) of Tim Ho Wan was originally from a well established restaurant  under the Four Season group – Lung King Heen (龍景軒). He later opened Tim Ho Wan in year 2009 that offers 5 stars hotel Dim Sum at street price.

In less than a year, Tim Ho Wan was awarded one star by Michelin. By then, it already has a reputation for selling the best dim sum in Hong Kong. As we know, it had created a storm when they opened their first branch in Singapore.

I used to visit their branch situated between Prince Edward and Sham Shui Po station and that is the branch that was awarded the Michelin star. I remember it was not exactly a great experience. The place is really really cramped and the waiting time is crazy, and service is below average. My conclusion then is they are great for the Polo Char Siew Bao.

When i visited Hong Kong this time, I didn’t have the intention to visit Tim Ho Wan but i got some free time on hand and the location is rather near my hotel so i thought , “Ok I’ll give it another shot”. I visited their Fortress Hill branch for supper at around 8.45pm.

This branch is at least 4 times bigger than the one that I visited and it’s much more spacious and well decorated. It was almost full house but i still manage to get a table instantly. I only ordered a few items, and surprisingly, all of them hit the right spots.

Tim Ho Wan's Menu: Click to enlarge

Tim Ho Wan’s Menu: Click to enlarge

Char Siew Polo Bun (酥皮叉烧包)

The Polo Char Siew Bao is fluffy soft and topped with a thin layer of not-overly-sweet sugar crust. The Char Siew is covered in a warm thick and rich gravy. The bun’s crispy texture complement the Char Siew perfectly.

This is the exact item that was awarded with one Michelin Star and just one serving is always not enough. This is still the best item at Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong. However, i do hope that they can be more generous with the Char Siew fillings though. This dish cost HK$18 (S$2.90) while it cost S$5.25 in Singapore.

Beef Ball with Bean Stick (陈皮牛肉球)

This dish is pretty good as well for it’s soft steamed and well marinated minced beef. There is a well balance of fatty and lean beef in this combination and the steamy hot beef ball taste really fresh.

There are also Bean Sticks (Tau Kee) placed beneath the meat ball and they absorb the natural sweet meat sauce during the process of steaming. This meat ball is my second favourite dish of the day. This cost HK$16 (S$2.60) while it cost S$4.90 in Singapore.

Steamed Malay Sponge Cake (香滑马拉糕) 

This is one of the four heavenly kings of Tim Ho Wan and it’s well known for it’s soft fluffy texture. I had this in Singapore’s Tim Ho Wan and i actually like it, but it comes at a costly price tag of $4.45 nett.

For the same item, it only cost HK$15 (S$2.40) and therefore makes this dish much more enjoyable than having it in Singapore. The steamed cake is served piping hot and i enjoy the fluffy spongy texture with a eggy light brown sugar taste.

Beancurd Skin Roll with Meat and Prawn (美味鲜竹卷)

The ingredient of the Beancurd Skin Roll taste very fresh and flavourful and the shredded vegetable wrapped in the chewy Beancurd Skin actually enhances the overall texture.

The gravy that comes with it has just the right level of saltiness and does not overpower the main lead. It cost HK$20 (S$3.20) while it cost S$4.65 back in Singapore.

Conclusion

Actually I myself was quite surprise that the experience of visiting Tim Ho Wan’s Fortress Hill brand is vastly different from the previous visit (5 years ago) of the Sham Shui Po Branch. Comparing Hong Kong’s price to Singapore, their signature Polo Char Siew bun is mark up by a whopping 80%. I always have this philosophy that the taste of food is somehow link to the price and waiting time. For this visit, there is zero waiting time and realising Tim Ho Wan’s affordable price, everything appears to be better.

Their century egg congee is not the most flavourful. Those who enjoy something light may enjoy this porridge much.

For those who are already a fan of Tim Ho Wan, then this is a must-visit for you. And for those who think that Singapore Tim Ho Wan’s price is too exorbitant, this will be your chance to enjoy a better quality Tim Ho Wan at a much cheaper price.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Directions

Actually Tim Ho Wan is between the Fortress Hill and North Point Station but it’s more straight forward to walk from Fortress Hill.  It’s about a 7 to 10 minutes walk.

1. Come out from Exit B of Fortress Hill Station

2. Walk straight and turn left at a junction to Power Street

3. Continue walking straight until a T Junction and turn right on City Garden Road

4. Continue walking straight. City Garden Hotel will be on your left.

5. After passing City Garden Hotel, walk a little bit more and Tim Ho Wan will be on your right.

Scroll to bottom to see address and opening hours of other Tim Ho Wan branches

Other Tim Ho Wan Branches

Olympian City Branch

Shop 72, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui [大角咀海庭道18號奧海城二期G樓72號舖]

Opening hour: 10am to 9.30pm

Sham Shui Po Branch

11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po [深水埗福榮街9-11號地下]

Opening hour: 8am to 9.30pm

Central Branch

Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station (Podium Level 1, IFC Mall) , Central [中環香港站12A鋪(IFC地庫一層]

Opening hour: 9am to 9pm

Tseung Kwan O Branch

Shop 49, G/F., POPCORN 2, 9 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O [將軍澳唐俊街9樓POPCORN 2期地下49號] O

pening hour: 10am to 9.30pm

The most popular Ji Dan Zai – North Point Egglet

利強記北角雞蛋仔 Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai (North Point Egglet)

English Address (Google Map): King’s Road, 492, Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 北角英皇道492號

Opening hour: Mon to Sun 10.00am to 11.00pm

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Egglet Ji Dan Zai (鷄蛋仔/鸡蛋仔)  is one of the most popular street snacks in Hong Kong that is mainly made from sugar batter made with egg, sugar, flour and evaporated milk. This batter is poured into a special two-sided pan and the batter is heated to crisp in the shape of mini egg. Egglet (Ji Dan Zai) literally means mini chicken egg as what the appearance suggest.

Having tried a couple of Egglets off the street, i decided to search for one that is popular among the locals. There are many stalls selling Egglet in Hong Kong and one of the more reputable one is the 利強記北角雞蛋仔, or people just simply calls it North Point Egglet (Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai).

It’s quite easy to miss but the smell of the egg fragrance helped me to locate this stall

They have a few branches (nine as per openrice), but i read that their Tsim Sha Tsui and the main branch at North Point are the better one. There is a short walking distance from the North Point MTR to this stall and the egg fragrance can be detected even before reaching the stall. If not for the queue, this Egglet stall is almost unnoticeable. If you look closely, you can see that the the whole wall outside the stall is decorated with newspaper articles on North Point Egglet, with some labelling this little stall for selling the best Egglet in Hong Kong.

Stall full of newspaper articles

The Egglet

Every piece of Egglets are freshly prepared and each piece is served piping hot from the pan. Their Egglet is exceptional crispy while the interior remains fluffy and soft.

Each and every piece of eggette is freshly made

One thing to note is it’s noticeably less sweet than a typical Egglet found in Hong Kong which one gets to savour the natural fragrance of the eggs. In fact, some people complained that the Egglet can be sweeter.

Fresh and hot

There are no fanciful flavour and everyone just simply state the quantity of Egglet when they order. I was actually really stuffed then and i told myself that I will not finish the whole thing but It’s so addicitve and before I know it, the paper bag is already empty. To me, the texture of the Egglet is more important than anything else and North Point Egglet hit that right on the spot.  It’s priced at a still-reasonable HK$15.

Top and bottom exterior is cripsy while the center is fluffy and soft. Some said that it can be sweeter though.

Conclusion

Although preparing an Egglet looks easy, the control of the timing and the temperature of the pan is much tougher than it looks. It simply takes too much effort and requires a lot of experience to do up a good Egglet. If i compare Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai to Singapore’s Eggette, none is even close.

One of the headers said it’s voted number one among 137,000 primary school kids of Hong Kong

My favourite Egglet was from a stall at Mongkok’s Garden Street. It’s not very well known but I thought their Egglet is the best I had so far. To be honest, the taste between that and North Point Egglet is actually comparable in term of texture and taste.

Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai was also reported on CNN, Shenzhen and Taiwan Media

Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai is slightly better in term of the egg fragrance and each piece is piping hot and freshly prepared only upon ordering, while the one i had was already pre-made and placed at their counter.

If you are at the Hong Kong Island area already, why not pop by this stall to have a shot of Hong Kong’s local taste.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Directions

The direction is very straight forward:

1. Exit from North Point Exit B3.

2. Walk straight against the traffic until you come to a cross junction

3. Do not cross the junction and turn to you right and you should see  Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai (North Point Egglet)

Click to enlarge

 

Sun Kee Cheese Noodle at Tsim Sha Tsui / Wan Chai

Sun Kee Cheese Noodle (新記餐廳)

Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 7.30am to 3.00am

English Address (Google Map): Champagne Court 16-20, GF 13-14, Kimberley Rd Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 尖沙咀金巴利道16-20號香檳大廈地下13-14號舖

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

This place was recommended by a friend’s sister a couple of years ago. Comparing to most of the eateries that i blogged about in my Hong Kong food itinerary, this is a less known to Singaporeans and almost all of my friends have not heard of it.

The outlook of the shop at Tsim Sha Tsui

Upon entering the eatery at Tsim Sha Tsui, the first thing that caught your eyes is definitely the Hong Kong Stars studded photos displayed on their wall. It includes Grasshopper (草蜢), Edison Chen and a few Hong Kong Stars that i can recognize but not name.

This place is not super crowded, but the tables were mostly filled up

Sun Kee’s signature dish is their grilled pork cheek (or pork jowl) in cheese sauce, or I simply call it the cheese noodle.  I visited their two outlets, one at Tsim Sha Tsui and a newer branch is at Wan Chai. And the reason for visiting this place whenever i visit Hong Kong? Matchless Grilled Pork Cheek, be it from Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong itself.

Tsim Sha Tsui Branch Menu (as of Nov 2013)

Wan Chai Branch Menu – 1 of 2

Wan Chai Branch Menu – 2 of 2

Cheese Noodle with Grilled Pork Cheek

Pork Cheek refers to the cut at the jaw area, at the hollow of a pig’s cheek. This area is mainly made up of  lean meat, interlaced with thin layer of fats. As pork cheek is not exactly tender, the best way cook is to cook is for an extended period of time until the fiber and fats break down. It’s also one of the best cuts for barbecued pork.

It’s served with the cheese sauce covering the pork cheek

I’d tried pork cheek in various eateries in Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong but my favourite is still Sun Kee’s. Theirs are very well marinated and has an exceptional grilled fragrance. If pork cheeks are grilled properly, the interlaced fat breaks down and melts in your mouth and that is exactly what Sun Kee has to offer.

Ta Da~ After some re-arrangement of the pork cheek

Their cheese noodle is also the reasons for my visit. At first glance, it appears to be really cloying but apparently not. The cheese sauce is not exactly heavy on the stomach. The taste is very balanced and the cheese is not overpowering.  It is especially enjoyable when the cheese mixes with the oil from the grilled pork cheek.

The only thing is they are not too generous with their cheese sauce for the price paid (HK$42 or S$7). As pork cheek doesn’t come cheap because of their limited availability on a pig, i guess this price is still kind of reasonable.

Love their smooth creamy cheese noodle

Grilled Pork Cheese Dry Noodle with Sunny Side Up

I visited their Wan Chai branch on my last visit and I’m glad that the taste doesn’t differs much from Tsim Sha Tsui’s. The menu is slightly different so i ordered their dry noodle with pork cheek. In actual fact, it taste exactly like indo mee (a kind of instant noodle that can be found in Singapore) andddddddd I LOVE IT!

Look at those pieces of meat~

It’s quite dumb to pay such a price (HK$43) for an instant noodle actually but i still get to eat the grilled pork cheek with my favorite instant noodle so who cares. Only order this if you really really like indo mee.

You can order just the grilled pork cheek if you can’t get enough of it, but i thought it taste better when it’s paired with cheese sauce.

I’m pawned by these grilled meat

For my past visits, I tried other dishes like the fried rice, sausage and egg cheese noodle and their chicken wings but they are not exactly worth It. The cheese ball is not bad, and you may order their grilled pork cheek itself but i still think it’s taste best with cheese sauce.

Cheese Ball, drizzled with cheese and the filling is cheese.

The chicken wings. Nothing special and i thought there is an artificial taste in it’s marinate.

Conclusion

Actually I am a little reluctant to write on this eatery because the lesser the people know about this place, the better. Most of the time, there is no queue when I visited and this place so it’s not bad to keep its this way. But I thought my blog is not that influential anyway so I thought I shall just share it for the benefit of my readers.

Out of my five visits, there was one time (the third time) which the Grilled Pork Neck didn’t keep up with the standard while the rest of the fours times were great. I think i actually recommend their Wan Chai branch more because it’s more comfortable and easy to find. In fact, it’s only thirty seconds walk from Capital Cafe. You may read up more on Capital Cafe and their black truffle scrambled egg toast here.

So far, after so many trips to Hong Kong, this is still one of my must-visit. Even if i am really really full, i will just probably share a bowl of noodle among two person. This is so-call die die also must eat. I’d recommended Sun Kee to a couple of friends and some say they love it. Another one say it’s nice, but don’t need to visit every time. Let me know how do you find it.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

The Wan Chai Branch Shop Outlook

The interior of Wan Chai Branch. Actually it’s much more comfortable than Tsim Sha Tsui Branch.

Sun Kee Wan Chai Branch

Opening Hours: Mon to Sun 7.30am to 11.00pm

English Address: 3 Burrows St Wan Chai Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 灣仔巴路士街3號地下

Map and Directions

Wan Chai Branch

I tried different ways of reaching Sun Kee but thought this is not the fastest, but easiest way, to follow the main road – Hennessy Road and turn right at Mallory St

Tsim Sha Tsui Branch

It’s easy to locate Champagne Court by coming out from Exit B1 of Tsim Sha Tsui station, walk along Nathan Road and turn right into Granville Road then turn left on Carnarvon Road. When you reach Champagne Court, you may a little effort to locate the eatery as it is within the building at ground floor.

 

Yat Lok Roast Goose Vs Yung Kee, Michelin Starred VS Star-ed

Yat Lok Vs Yung Kee, Michelin Starred VS Michelin Star-ed

English Address (Google Map): G/F, 28 Stanley Street, Central Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 中環士丹利街28號地下

Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 7.00am to 7.00pm Sun and PH 9.00pm to 3.30pm

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

I had roast goose twice in Hong Kong. Once was bad, second time was good. The second time was at the famous Yung Kee (鏞記) back in Year 2012. However, Yung Kee seems to have reputation of “for tourist” and “overpriced”. Therefore this time, I want to compare Yung Kee to a non-restaurant that serves good Roast Goose and see what is the actual difference.

Click here to see my post on Yung Kee Restaurant

Although it was said that Yue Kee Roast Goose Restaurant (裕記大飯店) has the best roast goose in Hong Kong but it is quite inaccessible for this trip. For those who are interested, here is their address at Sham Tseng: Sham Hong Road, 9, Sham Tseng, Hong Kong (深井深康路9號).

Yat Lok (一樂食館), featured in the Hong Kong Michelin Guide 2011, was given the Bibs Gourmands rating for it’s quality cooking and good value. I need to emphasis that it was Michelin “starred”, as some misunderstood it as Michelin “star”.

It was said to be well-received by their locals over Yung Kee and the price is much cheaper too. Coincidentally, Yat Lok is only a couple of minutes walk away from Yung Kee.

Menu 1: Click to enlarge

Menu 2: Click to enlarge

Menu 3: Click to enlarge

Signature Roast Goose

I initially wanted to order their drum stick noodle but it was “sold out” so i ordered a quarter (bottom) of a goose and it comes with a whole drumstick at HK$140. Note that just the drumstick alone cost HK$97. The top quarter is cheaper and cost HK$110. The outlook of the goose is definitely enticing and looks really delectable.

The price of the quarter goose is shown on their wall menu

The best part of the roast goose? Obviously it’s the skin. The skin is thin and moderately crispy and it’s cushioned by a layer of super melty fat. Have it together with the meat and upon taking a bite, the oil oozes out from the fat and into the succulent meat and it was pure divine.

Quarter Goose (with drumstick) at HK$140. Not as cheap as expected.

I have to emphasis that i am actually not a big fan of oily roast duck back in Singapore. Most of the time, there is a ducky smell that accompanies the fatty portion of the roast duck. However there is no such smell from Yat Lok Roast Goose and i can only taste the fragrance of the fats. Most importantly, it’s oily but not greasy.

Can you see the oil on the Goose? Enjoyed every drop of it.

When you order a quarter goose, it also comes with their braised sauce. This mega rich sauce is rather salty but it goes perfectly with the roast goose to boost it’s flavour.

Noodle (濑粉) in Soup

I thought the noodle don’t really taste good. It’s rather Al Dante and it didn’t really absorb the soup much. The soup is only nice when the goose braised sauce is added into it. Else, there’s nothing special about the noodle. Probably I will order their rice in future.

Conclusion

So how does Yat Lok fare against the Year 2012 Yung Kee (cus i heard Yung Kee’s food had deteriorated). Yung Kee’s goose skin is crispier and the braised sauce has more dimensions in taste. On the other hand, i thought Yat Lok’s goose meat is slightly more succulent and fragrance of the goose fat is just lovely. In my opinion, Yung Kee and Yat Lok is comparable in taste, which i think it’s already an accomplishment for Yat Lok.

Just basing on the price of the quarter goose alone and comparing apple to apple, Yung Kee cost HK$165 (HK$150 + 10%) while Yat Lok cost HK$110 for the top quarter which is 2/3 of the price. On top of that, for those who wish to enjoy a plate of roast goose rice, it is also available at Yat Lok at HK$49, which Yung Kee only offers the minimum of a quarter goose. Therefore it’s more economical to eat at Yat Lok while it’s more comfortable to dine in a grand and posh restaurant environment with a more complete service in Yung Kee.

You may want to just visit both places since it’s in the same vicinity. Just order a quarter goose from Yung Kee and foot the bill. That will save your pocket from burning a hole. There is no need to be embarrassed. Then, pop by Yat Lok and do an instant comparison and let me know your comment K? I wish to hear for you.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

The small cosy restaurant. It was not that crowded when i visited so my dining experience is quite ok.

Map and directions

Direction to Yat Lok is very straight forward

1. Come out from Central Exit G

2. Walk against the traffic until you reach Queen’s Road Central

3. Cross the road and walk along the traffic until you see d’Aguilar Street

4. Turn in, walk straight until you see Stanley Street on the right

5. Turn right into Stanley Steet and walk straight to reach Yat Lok

Click to enlarge

Sing Heung Yuen, the surviving Da Pai Dang and it’s Tomato Noodle

Sing Heung Yuen (胜香园/勝香園)

English Address (Google Map): Mee Lun Street, 2, Central, Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 中環美輪街2號排檔

Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 8.00 am to 5.30pm Sun, closed

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Introducing another of my favourite eatery in Hong Kong – Sing Heung Yuen (胜香园/勝香園). This place is not exactly a cafe but a Dai Pai Dong (大排档). Dai Pai Dong is a kind of open-air food stall that was once very popular in Hong Kong in the older days. It’s directly opposite another famous eatery Kau Kee Beef Brisket Noodle (九记牛腩).

Sing Heung Yuen has a proper kitchen though, but the dining area is a make-shift area built with temporary structure and canvas with no air conditioning.  I read from somewhere that such Da Pai Dang is very rare nowadays and there’s only less than 30 such stalls in Hong Kong.

There’s a queue even at 4pm on a Friday

Sing Heung Yuen’s specialties are tomato noodles and their unique crispy toast (condensed milk / pork chop). During meal hours (or even non meal hours on weekend), long queue is formed outside this no frill eatery. Like a typical Hong Kong cafe, the turnover rate is amazing and therefore the waiting time is not as painful.

If you plan to visit Sing Heung Yuen, there is a need to do some leg warming up exercise because there are some steps and slopes to climb. If comfort and tidiness of surrounding is an utmost consideration for an eatery, I think you also can give this place a miss.

Menu 1: Click to enlarge. As of 25 Apr 14

Menu 2: Click to enlarge. As of 25 Apr 14

Tomato Noodle Soup

Sing Heung Yuen’s tomato noodle is actually a very simple dish with simple ingredient. It’s instant noodle, cooked in tomato-base stock while there are 101 combinations of ingredients to choose from. There are choices like sausage, ham, fried egg, canned pork cube, pork chop, luncheon meat, chicken wings, beef etc.

On my first visit, i thought that it’s just instant noodle soup cooked in tomatoes but i think i was wrong. Back in Singapore, i tried combinations of instant noodle with fresh tomatoes, canned tomato, tomato puree but i can never get their kind of taste. This made me realised that their soup stock is more than meets the eye.

To be honest, i think the soup broth has a tinge of instant noodle seasoning taste, but also cooked in other ingredients that i can’t figure out. It’s really rich in flavour while it’s scattered with tomato pieces cooked so soft that it almost melts in your month. Unlike some tomato noodles, the tomato taste is not overpowering and i’m still able to taste the sweetness of the broth. I would finish the soup to the last drop on every visit.

My favourite combination is the pork cube and luncheon meat tomato noodle (HK$28) as i thought the pork cube gravy compliment the broth pretty perfectly.

Condensed Milk / Pork Chop Crispy Bun (脆脆)

Their Crispy Toast is also my must-order whenever i visit Sing Heung Yuen. Some people said that this is even more worthwhile than the noodle itself. Piglet Bun (猪仔包) is commonly found in Hong Kong cafe and Sing Heung Yuen’s Crispy Toast is similar to a Piglet Bun for it’s outlook, but with an almost completely different texture.

Sing Heung Yuen call their toast as Cui Cui (脆脆) that literally means “crispy crispy”. As the name suggest, the bun is really “crispy crispy”. The bread literally crumbles and crackles when you sink your teeth into the bread. Remember to lean towards the table or it will cause a mess with the bread crumbs falling all over you. No joking. It really does. While the exterior is so crispy, the interior yet remains fluffy and soft.

My favourite is their Crispy Bun with Pork Chop and Egg (HK$19). The pork chop is really tender and well-flavoured while it’s paired with fresh tomato slices, fluffy eggs and mayonnaise. It’s easily one of the best pork chop buns that i had in Hong Kong.

Their Condensed Milk Cui Cui (HK$10) is a good option if I feel like having something sweet but not overly cloying (aka “gelat”). There’s actually only a thin layer of condensed milk applied onto the butter spreaded toast bread.

Conclusion

My friend (who don’t really like instant noodle) once told me that this Tomato Noodle “is just instant noodle” and i don’t think he is 100% wrong. One of the reasons why i visit this place whenever i can is i love the simplicity of the dishes and it feels very home-cooked. I love instant noodle, luncheon meat and pork cubes by the way.

I like how they manage to put such simple ingredients together and successfully made it as their signature dish which is well-loved especially by their locals. Set your expectation right before making your way down to the most popular eatery at Hong Kong island district to indulge in Hong Kong old school’s dining culture and  understand why their local folks love this eatery so much.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Direction

This place is not exactly easy to find. My way to this place is rather straight forward and remember to keep a look out for two rather famous eatery as landmark – 莲香楼 and Kau Kee Beef Brisket Noodle (九记牛腩).

Sing Heung Yuen is actually in between Central and Sheung Wan but i always go from Sheung Wan.

1. Come out from Exit E2, cut through the square at Cosco Tower as shown in my maps. The square is easy to identify as it looks like a fountain with steps that lead up to a road.

2. Cross the road and walk towards the left narrow path as shown in my map. You will be going up a gentle slope. Walk straight until you see this restaurant 莲香楼.

3. This is where you should turn right and head up. There will be steeper slopes and stairs here.

4. While climbing up, don’t forget to look to your right for the signboard of another eatery 九记牛腩. This is where you should turn in.

5. Walk towards that direction and you will see Sing Heung Yuen on your left.