What makes a Hong Kong cafe distinct is its eclectic wide-ranging menu, made of different kinds of Canto-Western cuisine.
Instant noodles with curry, macaroni with tomato soup, condensed milk and ice cream on thick toast, and not forgetting milk tea and coffee together – better known as “yuan yang”.
The Hong Kong cafes are sometimes known as “Cha Chaan Teng”, literally meaning “tea restaurant”.
Hong Kong’s Cha Chaan Teng are known for its brisk business, straight-forward and no-fuss service (some would say rude), and hours of operations which can last from very early morning to wee hours in the night.
The food presented in Singapore tends to be ‘safer’ though (example, I still can’t find Satay Instant Noodles here), and in a more polished restaurant setting.
However, not all will be instant success. Anyone remembers Seoi Gor Cafe, Wong Kok Cafe, SIFU, and Canton-I?
If you are craving of some of those Cha Chaan Teng food, here are 8 Hong Kong Cafes In Singapore:
Legendary Hong Kong
63 Jurong West Central 3, #03-80 Jurong Point 2 Shopping Center, Singapore 648331
Tel: +65 6794 1335
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
The cafe is run by 8 professional chefs hailing from Hong Kong, and they have raised the bar for other Hong Kong cafes in Singapore.
The interior is modeled like an old-school HK Cha Chaan Teng, serving a spread of roast meats, pastry, toasts, noodles, congee and dim sum.
Their house specialty is the London Roast Duck, sometimes known as the ‘best duck in the world’ for its succulent meal and tasty flavours. Legendary Hong Kong gets the premium duck supply exclusively from Silver Hill Farms, where each duck sold is de-feathered by hand so as to ensure integrity of the quality of meat and no bruising.
Do you know that roasted pork is to be eaten with mustard, roast duck with plum sauce and the roasted chicken with a garlic sauce blend for the best complement?
This was told to me by a waitress here. Looks like Legendary Hong Kong is keeping things authentic here.
Also, don’t miss the oozing Custard Bun with a crispy bolo bun exterior.
Tai Cheong Bakery
Holland Village 31 Lorong Liput Singapore 277742 (Holland Village MRT)
Opening Hours: Pastries and Drinks 10am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 10pm (Sat, Sun, Eve of PH)
Mains: 11am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Tai Cheong Bakery is known for its signature Egg Tart, famed for its crumbly cookie-like shell, buttery fragrance, and smooth wobbly egg custard.
This café at Holland Village is the brand’s FIRST dine-in concept ever.
There are other typical Hong Kong cha chaan teng dishes such as Scrambled Egg Toast Stack with Chicken Chop ($9.50), French Toast ($6.50) and Macaroni Soup ($8.50) available too.
To me, the special must-get is the Singapore-exclusive flavour of Pandan Egg Tarts ($2).
The creation features aromatic pandan-infused egg custard in the buttery pastry shell. The fillings reminded me of the Nonya Kueh Kueh with its kaya-ish fillings. Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore (Holland Village)
(Click PLAY for highlights of Tsui Wah Restaurant Singapore)
Tsui Wah Singapore
3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-03, Singapore 179020.
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:30pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
Tsui Wah’s first outlet in Singapore is located at Clarke Quay (facing the riverside) – a good choice of location especially when it intends to extending opening hours into the night.
It has also extended its operating hours to 1:30am daily, serving a supper-exclusive menu from 10:30pm which includes fiery favourites like Mala Soup 麻辣烫.
The contemporary-styled restaurant has a seating capacity of over 140, with an al fresco dining area which faces the riverfront. Food wise, some hits and misses.
Didn’t particularly like the Iced Hong Kong Milk Tea ($4.00) as found it diluted and lacked the unique slight-bitter taste.
The popular choice would be the Crispy Bun with Condensed Milk ($4) – freshly baked bun coated with butter and condensed milk. Tsui Wah Singapore (Clarke Quay)
Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe
68 Orchard Road, #06-08/09/10,Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 6884 8698
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon-Sun)
Branches at Anchorpoint, Compass One, Joo Kon Fairprice Hub, Djitsun Mall, Harbourfront Centre, Changi Airport T3, East Point, Heartland Mall, JEM, Springvale @ Siglap, NUH Medical Centre, Tiong Bahru Plaza, Yee Tee Point, White Sands, West Coast Plaza
Xin Wang should be the most visible Cha Chaan Teng in Singapore, as it is one of the earliest to reach out to the youths, and has many branches around Singapore.
I remember days where friends would gather at Xin Wang Cineleisure after a late night KTV or movie session, seated at booths to chit chat over Thick Toast and Snow Ice.
However, that outlet has rebranded as “Chill Gen” concept, with offerings of mini hotpots. (Though I am not too sure about the appeal of its current menu.)
There are a total of 186 items and 24 categories in XW entire menu. If you would want me to recommend THAT ONE DISH, it would be the Chicken In The Basket ($11.50 – crisp on its outer layer and surprisingly tender on the inside, with the plus point of not being overly oily.
As for the best-selling dish from Xin Wang, it is the Pork Chop and Egg Papaya Soup Bee Hoon. Xin Wang Hong Kong Café (Kovan)
Centrepoint #01-33 F/G, 176 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238843
Tel: +65 6734 6609
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
The signature Honolulu Egg Tart ($1.70) is known for its 192 layers of flaky pastry, crumbly, with wobbly eggy fillings.
Frankly, the Egg Tart was not too bad – liked the crumbly crust which reminded us of cereal.
Offering include Pineapple Bun with Butter ($2), Deep Fried Egg Puff ($2) and BBQ Pork Pastry ($1.70), French Toast ($3.00), Sandwiches ($3.00 – $7.00), Instant Noodle ($5), Beef Brisket Noodle in soup or with noodles ($6.00) and Main courses of Baked Pork Chop Spaghetti or Rice ($7.80), Baked Fish Fillet Cream Sauce Spaghetti or Rice ($7.80).
Most of the other dishes were really quite average-tasting, but good for a fuss-free meal in town. Honolulu Café Singapore (Centrepoint)
Streats Hong Kong Café
IMM, #01-126, 2 Jurong East Street 21 Singapore 609601
Tel: +65 6564 6471
Branches at Bukit Panjang Plaza, Resorts World, City Square Mall, West Mall, E!hub Downtown East, Bedok Mall, Suntec City, Tampines 1
Streats Hong Kong Cafe is known for halal Cantonese cuisine and dim sum, and has casual and modern tea house vibes.
Recommend dishes include Salted Egg Yolk Pumpkin Fries, HK Fried XO Seafood Noodles, Fried chicken & Beef Rendang set.
Kowloon Bay HK Café
Hillion Mall #01-07, 17 Petir Rd Singapore 678278
Tel: +65 6266 2062
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Kowloon Bay located at Bukit Panjang boasts a range of westernized Cantonese meals. Prices considered wallet-friendly.
If you are at lost on what to order, get the Signature Fei Po Char Siew – honey glazed HK-styled BBQ roasted meat; HK Crispy Pork Belly; and Coffee & Tea Dance – their interpretation of Yuan Yang.
Central Hong Kong Café
Wheelock Place 501 Orchard Rd, B2-01, Singapore 238880
Tel: +65 6262 4056
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 10:00pm Last order 9.30pm (Mon – Sun)
Lead by Hong Kong Group Executive Chef Chiu Ka Wai, who has been the master chef at Regent Hotel Summer Palace for more than 20 years, you get a wide range of Hong Kong staples and street food.
This includes Fried Lamian with Seafood ($8.90), Hong Kong Wanton Noodle ($6.00 for soup, $6.50 for dry), Beef Brisket Noodle ($6.50 for soup, $7.00 for dry), Hong Kong Curry Beef Brisket On Rice ($7.90), Hong Kong Style Fried Beef Hor Fun ($8.90) along with toasts, stocking milk tea, ginger coca cola and more.
The ‘problem’ with Hong Kong cafes are that there are too many dishes to choose from. I quite liked the saucy Braised Beef with Black Bean Hor Fun, with tender braised beef slices, rice noodles smothering with wok-hei.
Other Related Entries
Tai Cheong Bakery Singapore (Holland Village)
Tsui Wah Singapore (Clarke Quay)
Xin Wang Hong Kong Café (Kovan)
Honolulu Café Singapore (Centrepoint)
Tim Ho Wan Singapore (Plaza Singapura)