Hong Kong’s ‘greasy spoon’ cafes

Bourdain also sampled a pineapple bun – a low-cost cha chaan teng snack that, Jung revealed, truly incorporates no pineapple. “It can be an unfilled bun with a sugary, crumbly topping that is intended to be scored in a sample that resembles the markings of a pineapple, but several areas will not bother with that anymore,” she claimed. “It can be in particular delightful when you have the pineapple bun break up in 50 percent, with a thick slab of amazing butter inside. It goes beautifully with sizzling or cold milk tea, dependent on the temperature.”

And when youthful Hong Kong democracy campaigner Joshua Wong was interviewed for the Monetary Times’ common “Lunch with the FT” slot, with Hong Kong’s anti-governing administration protests about to achieve their remarkable peak in November 2019, it was no surprise that the PR-savvy activist pulled up a plastic stool at Tak Yu – a well-known-with-the-folks cafe hidden away in a down-and-filthy Wanchai backstreet. Wong coupled his fried rice with a cup of Hong Kong-model milk tea, which is a silky and fragrant cha chaan teng specialty.

“As you can in all probability figure out from the cost of a cup [usually about HK$20], the tea leaves aren’t the finest good quality, so preparing is pretty essential in earning a fantastic milk tea,” mentioned Jung, conveying that the Hong Kong consume is brewed powerful and filtered numerous instances – normally by means of a long, stocking-like strainer – to make it smoother.

“Smoothness is the most essential component of excellent milk tea. It shouldn’t be coarse or astringent,” she additional. “It can be served with evaporated milk, which also smooths out the tea and helps make it richer than it would be with contemporary milk.”

Drinks are central to the cha chaan teng expertise, said Jung. Other popular beverages include things like yuenyeung, an obtained-flavor concoction produced from two-pieces milk tea and one-component black espresso. Then there’s hot Coca-Cola with lemon and ginger warm water with raw egg and sugar and 7-Up with lemon slices marinated in salt (fantastic for a sore throat, evidently). And “crimson bean ice”, a signature cha chaan teng consume contrived from sweetened pink beans, evaporated milk, vanilla ice cream and crushed ice.