Cha Chang Teng in Hong Kong

char chang teng

Cha Chang Teng (literally tea houses) is the equivalent of mamaks in Hong Kong. They’re everywhere and they cook up a fusion of East-meets-West cuisine. The waiters are loud, the place is packed and the locals all wind up eating there at some point or another.

chinese tea

You’ll be served with Chinese tea (complimentary) as soon as you sit down and since I can’t read Chinese, my ex patiently narrated the daily specials for me.

tea counter

I later found out that they have an English menu. It is a significantly abridged version of the Chinese menu, but it’s available.

char siew noodles

I went for a HKD 24 (RM 10) noodle dish which contains slices of char siew (barbecued meat), bak choy and pickled vegetables. It came in a thin broth but was surprisingly good. You can choose the noodles you want – I went for the ramen-like instant noodles.

pork macaroni

My ex had the bizarre macaroni meets pork slices in soup. It costs HKD 36 (RM 15) and comes with a side order of…

buttered toast

…buttered toast and a deep fried chicken wing.

people-eating-hk

I didn’t quite like her dish though. The macaroni fusion idea wasn’t executed very well. It sounds like an intriguing dish but it tasted rather bland.

tea house

However, I highly recommend their milk teas (nai cha). It’s brewed strong and tastes a little like our teh tarik minus the bubbles.

hong hong tea

There is a very popular evaporated milk brand called Black & White which they use liberally in their tea. The cup and saucer even comes with the brand of the above mentioned milk embossed on it.

hong kong food

I highly recommend going to a char chang teng when you’re in Hong Kong. The food can be hit and miss but you’ll have plenty of options – both inane and out-of-the-ballpark weird. There’s also something very appealing about the ambiance – the loud conversations, the shouted orders, the waiters jesting with you.

eating hong kong

It’s the definitive Hong Kong epicurean experience. You can’t get more local than this. :)

Posted: 9:12 PM Hong Kong time.

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31 thoughts on “Cha Chang Teng in Hong Kong

    • Heh! Thanks for telling me bro, I did not know that!

      I didn’t use the “complimentary tea” the second time we went to a different cha chang teng, coz I read your comment and told my ex. :)

    • Yeah, most of them is pretty clean now!

      We went to a more traditional one yesterday, it was good – nice wantan noodles too. They also serve polo buns but I prefer Macau’s polo buns. :D

  1. HB, the Hong Kong Baked Pork Chop is one to try it well known Hong Kong Diner dish. If you’re in Macau try the Pork Chop Bun it good deal and filling. Hope you had the well as pantie hose tea . Lai Cha made with black tea leaves put into a bag to strain the leaves serve with milk and sugar.

    • Thanks Vickie!

      Yup, I tried the pork chop bun in Macau! It’s pretty good!

      However, the one we went to is more well known for their steamed milk dessert with red beans…and their polo buns is great too. Warm and buttery! :)

  2. I’m a sucker for cha chan tengs & mamak stalls… heh :P
    Last time I went for breakfast at a cha chan teng, it was awfully packed with Hongkies and I had to wait outside for an hour but the breakfast set was worth it! Damn full afterwards woots!

    Gosh I miss Hong Kong! Miss the food and culture so much~

    • Me too!

      I ended up eating at a lot of cha chang tengs!

      I like the ones with heaps of locals, they’ll order random stuff that’s not in the menu.

      The siew mei and waxed meat in Hong Kong is excellent too! I miss the place. :)

  3. i love my char chan tengs in hk. food is cheap (for hk standards that is), service is quick (although it can get nasty) and usually, they specialize in few items that taste superb compared to other dishes. hehe

    • Morning Michelle! :D

      Yup, it’s cheap and you apparently can order just about anything – infinitely customization possibilities. Heh.

      I noticed some of the locals order off the menu so in the end I started doing that too – except I didn’t know what it was, so I’ll point at the table and say I’ll have what the guy is eating.

      Yup, agree, the waiters can be quite loud and brash sometimes but we didn’t have any bad experiences.

      Interesting! How can you find out what a cha chang teng specializes in?

      Do you have to eat there a lot or something? We were recommended a place for wanton noodles in a cha chang teng, it was excellent. :)

    • Yup, and the tea is really good too. Some cha chang teng call theirs “silk stocking tea”, think they strain it through a very fine mesh or something.

      The Black & White milk goes very well with the tea too. I shall go and compare while my memory is still fresh. Heh! Cheers bro! :)

    • Heh! Nope, we’re just friends. :)

      We bought the tickets ages ago, when we were still in a relationship.

      Well, since the tickets were there, we decided to go as friends. It was a good trip! Managed to meet some new people and learn local customs too! :D

  4. the macaroni dish baffled me for a while but this is what im guessing stemmed the idea for alot of “fusion” hong kong restaurants in our country like Kim Gary.

    • Hey, now that’s food for thought.

      I’ve always wondered if it started over there in Hong Kong or over here in Malaysia…fusion cha chang tengs I mean.

      I’ll ask my HK friend and see what she says. :)

    • Heh! Well, it’s always good to remain friends after breaking up, that’s what I think. :)

      I’m close to quite a few of my ex-girlfriends. Cheers bro!

    • Indeed bro! I love nai cha!

      I drank it almost every day. The yin yong (coffee and tea) is pretty good too.

      I think the trick is in the evaporated milk and the strong blend of the tea.

      Alas, I didn’t manage to track down crispy deep fried fish skin. Next time! I love Hong Kong. :)

  5. HB, what I like in Hong Kong was the Hong Kong Toast with sweeten milk and also salted dried fish in fried rice. It something I could not find when in San Francisco. I miss trying something call Wong Jook or Golden Jook when in Hong Kong.

    • Yeah, that’s pretty good! You can order just about anything.

      I saw this person eat steamed rice with two fried eggs and a few bak choy vegetables on a plate, custom ordered.

      That’s the beauty of cha chang teng in Hong Kong.

      Oh, we tried to find a good porridge place too and found one, but had to choose between that and siu mei and we went for the latter. :)

    • Yup, that’s my ex, we bought the tickets when we were still together. Heh.

      Well, yeah, but no worries, at least we’re still friends. :)

      Oh, it’s deceptively simple but it tastes delicious! Mine does anyway.

      A lot of food in cha chang tengs in Hong Kong are like that – doesn’t look much in the way of presentation, but tastes wonderful! :D

  6. I remember they put the bucket of ice for drinks covered up in the ‘cha chang teng’ I went in Mongkok. But the food served was otherwise, edible~

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