[Hong Kong] Besides Tsui Wah – which is a hot favourite among Singaporeans, where else can you go to try classic and authentic Hong Kong café food?

Located in Mongkok’s Goldfish Market, Hong Lin Restaurant is a more local, lesser-known version of Tsui Wah that also serves a huge range of local classics as well as uniquely local-style Western cuisine.

This humble café has been around for a long time and have been in the same spot for more than a decade at least.

No-frills, fast service and good food is the name of the game here.

From their extensive menu, you can easily find something from breakfast all the way till supper that you fancy trying. Which also explains why you will see people in the tightly spaced café at all hours of the day.

A good selection of classic breakfast and tea items like bolo butter bun, egg tarts, cocktail bun, chicken pie, coconut tarts are periodically baked fresh and taken out piping hot from the oven and straight to the display shelves at their shop front.

A queue sometimes form outside their shop, with locals stopping by to pack some baked goods for takeaway.

The café is located along Tung Choi Street, a street parallel to the popular shopping area of Fa Yuen Street.

Expect to be seated in a cramped and noisy cafe, which is the perfect way to experience the local-style dining.

I ordered their Prawns with Egg Noodles or more descriptively written on the menu as “Stirred Noodle with King Prawn & Shrimp Roe in XO Sauce” (HKD50, SGD10.50).

The noodles were springy and prawns crunchy to the bite.

Shrimp roe was dusted on the noodles and a small bowl of soup also served on the side. Remember to mix in the dollop of XO scallop sauce paste to add to the overall taste.

Not to be missed is their Pork Chop Baked Rice (HKD68, SGD11.80).

Fried rice that was lightly flavoured with egg was buried under a home made tomato-based borscht sauce, topped with a tender piece of pork chop.

It was a nice mix of salty and tangy, a very appetizing dish to order. I had recommended this dish to a few visiting friends, and all of them had given this a thumbs-up.

I also ordered their Macaroni with Chicken Chop (HKD38, SGD6.60).

If you enjoy macaroni in broth, this dish will be a comforting one as it was nicely done with grilled pieces of chicken on top.

My lunch companion tried their Hoi Nam Chicken Rice Set (HKD60, SGD10.50). He actually enjoyed it.

Granted it cannot be compared with the Singaporean Hainan Chicken Rice since this is the Hong Kong rendition of this dish, it was not too bad as the chicken was tender and rice was tasty.

However, if you were a Singaporean chicken rice purist, I would recommend skipping this dish altogether.

I usually order their Swiss Soy Sauce Chicken Wings, which is a must try, but in this instance I ordered too much food so I had to give that a miss.

Portions are definitely generous and filling even for famished tummies.

The Hong Kong Milk Tea here also does not disappoint.

Hong Lin Restaurant is a “cha chaan teng” worth putting on your to-try list, if you want to venture a little out of the usual cafes.

Just remember to save some tummy space for their bolo butter bun and eggs tarts – both of which are supposedly very popular among the locals.

Hong Lin Restaurant 康年餐廳
143-145 Tung Choi Street Mongkok, Kowloon Hong Kong
Tel: +852 23918398
Opening Hours: 6.30am – 3:30am (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Hong Lin Restaurant

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* Written by DFD’s Hong Kong Correspondent @kara_the_explorer, who is the Singaporean “tai tai” living the foodie dream in Hong Kong. Daniel’s Food Diary paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.


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