Thugs sought after Hong Kong's old Mido Cafe trashed

Mysterious, organised attack on much-loved cha chaan teng leaves police scratching heads

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 August, 2013, 7:29am

More than 10 thugs are being sought by police after tables and chairs were smashed in one of the city's oldest local-style tea restaurants in Yau Ma Tei yesterday.

Last night, officers were looking for three taxis that picked up the gang after the attack at the Mido Cafe, at the corner of Temple Street and Public Square Street, at 8.15am.

The two-storey cha chaan teng, which opened in 1950, is less than 200 metres from Yau Ma Tei police station, and the restaurant's owner, Wong Shing-fan, 65, was there alone, preparing to open for the day. The metal roller- shutter on the front door was half open at the time of the raid. Two Cantonese-speaking men entered the cafe and Wong told them it would open until until 9am.

After the two men left, four other men rushed into the cafe.

"They overturned some tables and then picked up chairs and struck other tables before throwing the chairs around," a police officer said. "They also smashed a glass door before running out of the restaurant. The restaurant owner was not hurt."

He said eight other men wearing masks had been seen standing guard outside during the attack.

The raiders and their eight lookouts were picked up by three cabs before police arrived.

A man, 33, who is believed to be connected to the triads was arrested near the shop last night.

The restaurant owner told police that she did not have any dispute with anyone and she had not received any threats or demands for protection money before the attack.

About a week ago, a waiter at the cafe was punched by two diners when he refused to help them change a table. Anti-triad officers are investigating whether the two cases are linked.

The Mido Cafe is a popular haunt for locals, tourists and film buffs seeking strong milk tea, buttered toast and baked pork chops with fried rice.

Its tiled floor, high ceiling, bench seating and original cash register have featured in television shows and movies, evoking the mood of old Hong Kong.