Hong Kong's best... Cha chaan teng
Australia Dairy Company
Judging solely by the queues outside no matter the day or time, there’s little contest over Australia Dairy Company being the most crowded cha chaan teng in Hong Kong. You don’t need to look at the menu when you come here, you’ll find everyone else eating the same couple of dishes, and you should too; they are famous for making the best scrambled eggs and steamed milk pudding in town. 47 Parkes St, Jordan, 2730 1356. $60.
With a near-replica of the Australia Dairy Company menu, this place serves the Islanders who are too lazy to cross the harbour. Cartons of Hokkaido milk, an essential ingredient for the creamy scrambled egg, are put proudly on display at the kitchen counter, as are signed posters of Cantopop singers on the wall. Shop B1, G/F, Kwong Sang Hong Bldg, 6 Heard St, Wan Chai, 2666 7766. $70.
Forget your Atkin’s diet, head down to Happy Valley for Cheong Kee’s ultra-thick toast. It is their most loved item on the menu, the toast is crispy on the outside, and as soft and fluffy as a cloud on the inside. Choose from sweet condensed milk, butter and sugar, jam and peanut butter to top it off. Shop 1, 2/F, Wong Nai Chung Complex, Happy Valley, 2573 5910. $70.
Cheung Lee Restaurant
Kick it old-school with a visit to Cheung Lee, an old and traditional ‘bing sut’. This time-honoured café looks like it hasn’t been redecorated in decades, with its tiled walls and antique cashier machine. All the typical eats are here, but you’ll find most guests chowing down the egg and beef satay toasted sandwiches. 120 Electric Rd, Tin Hau, 2570 6655. $60.
They don’t just serve the same old Horlicks and Ovaltines here, they serve these staple drinks as icy milkshakes. No cha chaan teng would ever dream of not having eggs on the menu, and this one is no exception with their extraordinarily thick scrambled egg sandwiches; getting your mouth round one will be a hot mess. If eggs aren’t your thing, try the freshly deep-fried wonton served with sweet chili sauce. 40B San Chuen St, Tsuen Wan, 2493 7308. $60.
Many are drawn in to Kum Wah by the buttery aroma that spills out onto the street, and there is not a time of day when a crowd can’t be spotted outside buying the freshly baked goods. The most popular item on the menu is the pineapple bun served with a slab of butter inside. With its crispy, sugary top, and the fluffy and sweet bread underneath, the bun is so popular that it’s not unusual to have to wait a while for it. 47 Bute St, Prince Edward, 2392 6830. $70.
A favourite with Tai Hang locals and visitors alike, Mun Sing has the added bonus of outdoor seating. On top of the usual instant noodles and sandwiches, Mun Sing is also popular as a dinner spot with their signature dish being a mountain of steamed ground pork with salted egg. Other dishes include ‘mouth-watering chicken’ and steamed tofu with scallops. 16 Wun Sha St, Tai Hang, 2576 7272. $120.
Sun Wah Café
This far-flung cha chaan teng is known for baking one of the best egg tarts in town – rich custard with a buttery, flaky crust that’s browned to the perfect level. Chicken pie and satay beef instant noodles are the other go-to dishes here. 34 Castle Peak Rd, Cheung Sha Wan, 2387 3698. $60.
If you are looking for something comforting, quick and filling over lunch, this cha chaan teng is the place to go – just make sure you arrive before 1pm to avoid the long queues. A full cha chaan teng menu is on offer, and the kaya (Malaysian coconut jam) toast is a specialty here. 12-16 Li Yuen St West, Central, 2111 0841. $80.
Tsui Wah Restaurant
Is there anybody who doesn’t eat here? From your morning breakfast to your late night munch, Tsui Wah has always been there to serve your needs. Favourites include Chinese-style curries and Hainanese chicken rice, washed down by the smooth, sugary milk tea. 15-19 Wellington St, Central, 2525 6338. $100.