I first came into contact with this Hong Kong café at Marina Square Food Loft, serving superb Hong Kong milk tea but sad looking trolley noodles. Opened by Victoria Lee, a Honger Konger who moved to Singapore, she brought in a team of Hong Kong chefs to ensure authenticity.
The truth is I did hesitate a little before traveling all the way to Katong, due to the bad experience at Marina. (Though the strange thing is I order the milk tea there regularly without fail.) It’s hard not to miss Old Hong Kong Tea House as it is located within the preserved Katong Village with white walls and striking maroon signboards.
Upon entering the ‘cha chan teng’, you feel like you traveled back in time framed pictures of Hong Kong celebrities from the 70s and 80s, such as Danny Chan, Leslie Cheung and Jacky Cheung. It is interesting yet ‘cheap’ because the décor designs are obviously torn from old magazines and records. This is what I call ‘fei wu li yong’ (recycling).
Customers patronizing such Hong Kong cafes often get spoilt for choice, as this particular one offers more 500 dishes! Old Hong Kong’s specialties include Trolley Noodle, Bamboo Basket Baked Rice, La Mian (hand-pulled noodles) and their drinks.
Trolley Noodles is one of the more prominent street hawker fare. You can choose a base noodles ($2.20) with additional ingredients costing between $1.00 to $2.00. Unfortunately, it is no where close to the piping slurping noodles you will have in the streets of Kowloon.
This café obviously does not care about the art of food presentation. The Braised Ee-Fu Noodle with Brown Sauce ($8.80) was sickly looking in its flaxen yellow, with curry sauces spilled at the side. The brown sauce was also obviously M.I.A. A through disappointment.
The dim sum was actually quite tasty, but unfortunately losing out in its appearance with undrained oil on the plate.
The signature is the Hong Kong Milk Tea, apparently made from 5 different tea leaves, filtered water and imported evaporated milk. The blend was perfect along with a smooth texture, ending off with a slight bitter tea aftertaste. So good that I ordered another round.
If you crave for after midnight supper, rest assured this café is open 24/7 for the entire year. With no service charge included, prices are still rather affordable.
Old Hong Kong Tea House, 86 East Coast Road #01-09/10 Katong Village S(428788) Tel: 63451932
Opening Hours: 24 Hours Daily