Hong Kong: Cha Chaan Tang at Lon Fong Yuen

April 27th, 2011
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Among the notes I got from friends and friends of friends ahead of our trip to Hong Kong, I read a couple references to cha chaan tang tea houses as a particular institution in local culture. Despite what I read about it being the home of low budget comfort food, it never occurred to me that it would basically be a diner.
One in particular, Lon Fong Yuen, was highly recommended and conveniently turned out to be right at the beginning of Gage Street, the strip of markets that I obsessively returned to, ogling the Butcher shops and the people who worked there.


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When we walked in, I think we were both surprised to find the tightly packed room with no other non-Asians besides ourselves. Thankfully, we sat next to a Chinese-Canadian couple that helped us through the ordering process.
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Lon Fong Yuen was mentioned for its ‘silk stockings tea.’ Depending on which story you read, it’s either called that because of the material used in the teabags or because the tea is just that smooth.
I don’t usually drink tea, but I certainly wasn’t going to skip it here. The tea is milky and strong and after I was done with it, it was pretty sweet too. It was perfect for me. Tammi had a tea/coffee blend that’s another specialty of Hong Kong Teahouses.
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That’s all well and good, but the food is what drew me here. The other recommendation for was the chicken. A boneless thigh on a bed of salad and ramen noodles was one of the simplest and tastiest dishes I have in Hong Kong. The chicken was tender and juicy, the ramen noodles – the cheap variety I know from my college days- just worked with it. there was no broth thrown in, just noodles, chicken and salad. It sounds ridiculous, but it was great.
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There was also the pork sandwich – a small pork chop on a McDonald’s-like sesame seed bun with a tomato underneath.
Lon Fong Yuen, 4-6 Gage Street, Central. Hong Kong.

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