Cafe at Hong Kong Arts Centre

If you want to have some harbour view and a quiet corner to sit for coffee or some snack, this may be the place to be. The cafe is situated at the fourth floor of Hong Kong Arts Centre.

Pumpernickel is known for its bread. It has a few branches with one at Hong Kong Arts Centre which seems to me doing slow business due to the location (Hong Kong Arts Centre is at the edge of Wanchai). The best time to come is during the tea time (3pm onward) on weekdays when the cafe offers tea set. The food is good value and the place is quite, with few people, and some open view of the harbour.

photo taken during a weekday afternoon

Another advantage of visiting this cafe is that you can take the opportunity to see some art exhibitions at Hong Kong Arts Centre which to me is one of the most vibrant arts places in HK.

Pumpernickel
Tel: 2588 1001
Address:4/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00

Red bean soup with sweet balls

If you ever want to try traditional Chinese dessert, I recommend this:Red bean soup with sweet balls is a common traditional Chinese dessert dish. The sweet balls’ contents are usually sesame seed or peanut butter. I fell in love with this dessert recently. Good red bean soup, with the bean completely dissolved into the soup and mixed with dried lily bulbs and herbs, is hard to come by. I love the one prepared in Honeymoon Dessert in Sai Kung. It tastes so good, especially when you eat it hot in cold weather.

Nunnery and park: more compassion needed?

Chi Lin Nunnery is a Buddhist nunnery built in the Tang dynasty architecture style, consisting of gardens and temples. Construction of the complex started in mid-1990s and opened to the public for visit in year 2000.The nunnery has little heritage value in terms of history, but the complex is grand and elegant, worth a visit.The temples of the complex are open until 4:30pm. So make sure that you get there early enough.

Next door, Nan Lian Garden is a public park designed and managed by Chi Lin Nunnery. It is also in the ancient gardening style of Tang dynasty. The park is beautifully landscaped with trees, timber structures and rocks of special shapes and formation. Such a beautiful park, however, has aroused public anger because of the despotic management style – you are not allowed to eat, even snack, in the park, for example. I personally saw a foreigner being stopped from eating nuts from a small box by a security guard on the day I visited the park. Here, you are constantly under the watchful eyes of guards.

There is a sign at the entrance to the tea house, saying that if you are not a patron, you shouldn’t enter the area. It is not a welcoming park.

I have to recommend the vegetarian restaurant inside though. A very nice place to sit in with decent vegetarian dim sum and food.

the restaurant is behind the waterfall

A set meal per person is HK$120, with four courses. I liked it. This dish of vegetarian dumpling dim sum – thrumbs up.

To be consistent with its “despotic” management style, no photography is allowed in the restaurant and there is minimum charge of HK$80 for lunch and HK$40 for afternoon tea. Shouldn’t a Buddhist related place have more compassion?

Besides the restaurant and the tea house, there is a cafe. A small cup of coffee sells for HK$12 and tastes good. How to get there:

Exit C2 of Diamond Hill MTR station.

 

Parkes Street

If you are looking for some light food and dessert of local speciality, you may come to Parkes Street (白加士街) in Jordan, Kowloon. The street has gathered some of the best noodle and dessert shops in town.

If you take MTR, get off at Jordan Station. Take exit C2 (Bowring Street). Once you are on the street level, you can see the sign of the street about one block away: Walk to the intersection between Parkes Street and Bowring Street. At your right, you will first see this dessert restaurant (Mega Eight Dessert,大良八記). You can check out its offering at its website.  The shop offers both traditional and fusion dessert.

But obviously, this dessert restaurant (Australian Diary, 澳洲牛奶公司) , just a couple of shops away, is more popular. The day I was there, there was a long queue at the restaurant. In fact, it is so popular that a queue is commonplace. Its signature dessert piece is steamed milk.

Nearby, you can see this noodle shop – Mak Man Kee(麥文記麵家). Its signature piece is no doubt Wonton Noodle, reputedly among the best in town. A friend of mine often comes here. She loves the shop’s pork knuckle noodle as well.

Next door is Mak’s Noodle, whose owner is a cousin of the owner of Man Man Kee. Mak’s family, known for making superb wonton noodle, has branched out to open different noodle shops in town, including Mak Man Kee, Mak’s Noodle and this one I blogged previously. It looks like that Mak Man Kee, frequented by more customers, is better reputed and more popular than Mak’s Noodle next door.

Cafe restaurant in TST

If you look for simple food in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), especially around the Star Ferry pier, do not miss this restaurant – Deli and Wine, right next to Hong Kong Cultural Centre. This restaurant is actually run by a giant food chain in Hong Kong Maxim’s Group. It is a new move by the group, focusing on light and casual dining with another similar restaurant located in the shopping mall next to Hang Hau MTR station.

My favorite food for Deli and Wine in TST is vegetable curry and mushroom pasta. For their price (about HK$50), the food is unbeatable.

The curry vegetable comes with one plain rice and one bowl of curry

The interior decor is like a cafe. The seating is pretty comfy.

I have tried their fish burger and spicy French Fries in the Hang Hau branch. Liked them. They tasted ten times better than McDonald’s fish burgers and French Fries. The branch in TST sells fish burgers too.

Address: G/F, Restaurant Block, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road