Top 10 Hong Kong Bing Sutts, from Old-School to New Wave
Thought the traditional bing sutt was dead? Think again. From half-century-old diners to modern day reinterpretations, these cafes—precursors to the cha chaan teng—are proudly slinging the no-fuss, east-meets-west dishes that best characterized 40s Hong Kong—and a few updated twists, too.
1. Kam Wah Café
Opened in: 1972
You’ll find flocks of tourists outside Kam Wah Café, which is famous for its super-thick butter in the crunchy and sweet-flavored pineapple bun ($10). The cold butter and the warm bun combine for a mouthful of different textures and temperatures. Wash it down with a silky milk tea ($17), ordered “cha zau,” which means replacing evaporated milk with condensed milk for a smoother and sweeter beverage.
G/F, 47 Bute St., Prince Edward, 2392-6830.
2. Man Fong Café
Opened in: 1959
With over 50 years of history, this illustrious café has successfully extended its business to Taiwan. While scrambled eggs, baked curry and macaroni soup are all on the menu, the most well-known item is the 500g giant chicken leg ($32). Marinated with salt, sugar, soy sauce and msg-laden Maggi seasoning, the chicken is best consumed caveman-style as you tear away at the pockets of crispy skin and fat.
Shop 10, G/F, Chee King Garden, 35-55 Kin Tak St., Yuen Long, 2870-2777.
3. Kowloon Café
Opened in: 2015
Taking its name from the Chinese title of 2001 film “Goodbye Mr. Cool,“ Kowloon Café is decorated like a retro cinema. Their pineapple bun ($26 with drink) comes with a slab of butter served on ice to keep it nice and chilled. Another chef’s secret? Milk is added to the pork chop macaroni soup ($29) to ensure maximum creaminess.
G/F, 9 Kowloon Bay Industrial Centre, 15 Wang Hoi Rd., Kowloon Bay, 2707-4339.
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4. Kam Kee Café
Opened in: 1967
This award-winning bing sutt won its fame through quirky touches such as their table tennis racket-shaped menus, a collective memory of kids who grew up in public housing estates. Though instant noodles may seem too common, Kam Kee’s version elevates it to the next level: our favorite is the instant noodles with curry sauce ($45) with firm, pliant noodles in a fragrant curry loaded with spices. Can’t get enough? Order the farmer’s bread bowl ($62) as well, filled with golden beef curry rice.
G/F, 213 Des Voeux Rd. West, Sai Ying Pun, 2254-2010.
5. House 41
Opened in: 2013 (originally as Fullcup Café)
Located in the historic Mei Ho House in the artsy corner of Shek Kip Mei, House 41 boasts walls painted with scenes that recall Hong Kong’s yesteryear. Traditional snacks like maltose crackers and Hong Kong-style toast are served, along with more hefty plates such as slow-cooked Spanish suckling pig.
G/F, Mei Ho House, Block 41, 70 Berwick St., Shek Kip Mei, 3728-3550.
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6. Mrs Tang Café
Opened in: 1965 (originally as Wor Kei)
Be prepared to wait almost an hour here, despite its remote location in Yuen Long. Tourists and locals flock here alike for the signature items: tomato and egg pineapple bun ($17) and egg salad toast ($20). The pineapple bun is stuffed with melted cheese, thick butter, fresh tomato and a pan-fried egg; while the egg salad toast is simple yet effective, slathered in mayo and perfect washed down with a Hong Kong-style milk tea.
Hang Tau Tsuen, Ping Shan, Yuen Long, 2617-2232.
7. Duddell Street Starbucks
Opened in: 2009
The fact that Starbucks would open a bing sutt-themed location in Central is emblematic of the importance of the old-school diner to Hong Kong’s identity. Not only does the vintage design nod to old Hong Kong, the menu has been tweaked to include traditional cha chaan teng offerings such as pineapple buns, red bean pudding and egg tarts—made, of course, with a dash of coffee.
Shop M2, Mezzanine Floor, Baskerville House, 13 Duddell St., Central, 2523-5685.
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8. China Café
Opened in: 1963
With interiors that haven’t changed much for the past 50 years, China Café remains a popular filming location for old movies and period dramas. The Kaya stuffed French toast ($20 with drink) is one of the best versions we’ve tasted outside of Malaysia and Singapore, with the sweetness of the coconut jam and coconut milk complemented by the hot and crispy toast.
G/F, 1077A Canton Rd., Mong Kok, 2392-7825.
9. Fullcup Motorcycle Café
Opened in: 1959 (originally as Pak Kung Café)
The owner proudly displays his collection of vintage collectibles at Fullcup, with each retro toy train and bicycle infusing a sense of nostalgia into the quaint café. Combining old with new, the café now serves a sizable western menu which features the Fullcup Burger ($79), a juicy all-beef patty topped with melted cheese and caramelized onions. Pair this with the elegant rose latte ($46), with rose syrup adding a fragrant note to counteract the bitterness of the coffee.
G/F, 91 Ma Tau Kok Rd., To Kwa Wan, 2362-2215.
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10. Stone Houses Café
Opened in: 2016
Located in a grade-three historic building which was recently restored as a heritage center, Stone Houses Café is filled with trinkets from the 1940s, depicting life in the past. It may look like a relic of a bygone era, but the menu is modern and up-to-date with western snacks and breakfast items including eggs Benedict with smoked salmon ($55), and specialty pours ($28-$42) featuring customized latte art.
133 Junction Rd., Kowloon City, 2325-0131.