As part of our series celebrating the vibrancy and community within Hong Kong’s dining scene, we spoke to several of the industry’s leading lights about why they love the city’s unique food culture. Here, Nana Chan—founder of tea café Teakha and craft tea purveyors Plantation – tells us about her cha chaan teng cravings and special friendship with a 108-year-old spice shop.
Tell us about one of your favourite Hong Kong food moments.
My favourite Hong Kong food experience is definitely visiting cha chaan tengs—that’s the type of food I crave when I’m away from Hong Kong for longer periods, when I’m stressed out and need a quick binge, or when I’m happy and want something simple.
The allure of cha chaan tengs is quite inexplicable, I’d say. Their menus are often composed of cheap canned or processed foods and in some cases, the service is downright rude, but somehow they manage to capture the heart and soul of the city, and that is something very special to me.
My favourite of them all is Yue Hing, a dai pai dong on Stanley Street. The chef—the husband in Yue Hing’s husband-and-wife team—is known for being meticulous, making only one dish at a time to ensure only the best food comes out from his humble kitchen. I love their diced spiced pork, scrambled egg and melted cheese sandwich; it’s the layer of peanut butter and shredded cabbage, adding another level of flavour and texture, that makes it so addictive.