Sunday, January 11, 2009

茶餐廳 - Cha-Chaan-Teng

the coldest temperature was recorded in Hong Kong since 1985 on the weekend; minus 1 Celsius! that's -1! (recorded up near the China border)

that explains why it was so hard to get out of my super-cozy bed...

i decided to have a lazy day reading magazines, drinking coffee, listening to music etc but by noon i was getting restless and decided to go for a walk. i'm lucky that near my apartment there are a few hiking trails that on a clear day give amazing views out towards Victoria Harbour.

on my way i met some interesting people and a few wild dogs!
i met lots of old people who although were huffing and puffing they were zooming past me like they had an engine strapped to their a**.
well i was taking in the views... at a nice slow pace.

halfway up the peak (mountain? hill?) was a guy with paints, brushes, easel and all doing a watercolor of the view. i had a bit of a chat with him and he was doing it for his own enjoyment. the painting was pretty up their with the best, but he said he didn't sell them, just kept at home.

me taking in the view & the mountain artist

i've got sore legs today but the hike to the top was well worth it.
sitting at the top looking out at the view munching on an apple... what more could i ask for! (you don't have to answer that...)

chewing gum graffiti & the smoggy view

then came the real reason for leaving my apartment and venturing into the wild... the well-loved "cha-chaan-teng" (茶餐廳) or i guess you could call it a Hong Kong Diner.
i knew that before i left my apartment and hiked up the peak i would be rewarded with some super-high cholesterol snack as a reward.

when i first came to Hong Kong i admit i was scared about going to a cha-chaan-teng.
why? well when you enter you usually have to "share a table" with someone you have never met before... sitting opposite each other watching each other eat... no small talk either.
secondly everything is done in Cantonese, English is not spoken here like many other restaurants.
and because it's very casual dining, i always thought the waiter/waitress was pissed off with me, as they yelled my order and half-chucked my plate onto the table.
but this is the real Hong Kong and i have grown to love it (as best as i can) and enjoy yelling back to the staff to get a smile on their face.

and i put up with this for 2 little treats: a buttered pineapple bun & and silk stocking milk tea.
a what you say!?
well a pineapple bun (菠蘿油 : bo lo yau) actually doesn't use pineapple (the top looks like a pineapple... well it's meant to) and it's warmed up with a slab of butter placed in the middle.
mmm, healthy.

and a silk stocking milk tea (奶茶 : nai cha) is a Hong Kong invention from the British colonial times when locals saw British drinking tea. it's brewed in a sack like bag (looks like a stocking) making for a super-strong brew. evaporated milk and sugar is added and there you have it; a local favorite.
don't know why but it's almost always served in a Holland Black & White branded cup...
it's pretty strong, but again, i have grown to like this smooth drink just as much as the friendly yelling of the staff.

so after burning all those calories climbing the peak i probably just doubled what i had burnt off.


dapper kid said...

Wonderful photos :) And that tea sounds right up my alley lol, next time I'm in HK ;)

world of sekimachihato said...

* dapper kid
hey thanks for the comment! you made my day lol
yup, it's a good brew, you should come over and have a cuppa with me :)

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