Time travel

I live in a part of Hong Kong Island that has, for the most part, resisted changes. There are no ginormous housing complexes nor Starbucks (for now anyway). When I first moved into my flat two years ago I was delighted by the sights and sounds. Around the area, my favourite is the cha charn teng 茶餐廳. This morning, I was “inspired” by Infilmity over Twitter to get my much-needed caffeine dose.

View from upstairs nook

My favourite cha charn teng 茶餐廳

Everytime I come, I always opt for the upstairs nook. Fortunately I am not tall or I might risk head injuries with the low ceilings and makeshift / make-do interiors.

Upstairs nook


True Hong Kong locals know the menu is standard across all cha charn tengs in Hong Kong. Ordering food in cha charn tengs has its own lingos and you’ll get better service if you can say them. Within minutes my meal arrived. Unlike fast food, each dish is cooked after an order is placed, but cha charn teng’s speed and efficiency really surprise me.

This is 茶餐 cha charn A for $24

This is 茶餐 Cha Charn A for $24

Milk tea is the few instance I take my beverages with sugar. I am fairly sure my cup has served many people.

It seems everyone drank from the same spot

How many pairs of lips sipped from this cup?

They've had this for a long time, a rare sight in Hong Kong

Old-style sugar bucket

Sugar is the catalyst


Cha charn teng, to me, represents the Hong Kong better than any monuments and landmarks. It is unpretentious, surprising, efficient and has its own rules and lingos different from anywhere in the world. After I finished my gastronomic spread and paid my bill content, I saw this and it pretty much summed it up for me:

Right by the cashier


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