Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sun Wah Cafe (新華茶餐廳) - ♕♕♕ 1/2

This lies only 88 meters down the road from my last reviewed Steak House according to GPS:  Leon Restaurant (莉萊餐廳), in Cheung Sha Wan.  Sun Wah Cafe is regarded by local foodies as being one of the if not best HK Cha Chaan Teng, Cake and Bakery Shops, all rolled into one.  They even make Barbie style cakes here on a daily basis.  One often see endless positive reviews of here on sites like  Openrice - Sun Wah Cafe, but the same can also be said of many other places. Sometimes places can become over-hyped for no understandable reasons, but sometimes its pretty spot on dependable… I cannot represent for everyone elses’ opinions, but while I liked this shop’s concept I believe it is fast running downhill, slowly relying on living on its past glory! 

For example, I was initially elated to find so many of my loved childhood specialties on the menu - like the disappearing HK Styled Ice Cream Sundaes, Sodas, Western-Chinese fusion desserts.  Mostly unheard of in today’s generation, some items so rare, they cannot even be found in the most traditional Bing Sat 冰室, the predecessor to Cha Chaan Teng’s.   During my 3 visits to here, everytime I’d tried to order the HK style ice cream related drinks or desserts, my order was turned down by the staff.  Only during the 3rd time when I was annoyed enough finally, did I ask why its so coincidental every time these items weren’t available.  The guy mourned and explained:  ‘We don’t carry these ingredients anymore.  No one knows or wants to order them.’’    And I was deliberating back and forth, about our responsibilities.  So why are these extinct 20-30 odd items even printed on the menu still?  Did we as Customers or Foodies killed it off 1st by not continuing to order them, or did the Shop gave up on it long before we did?  Fortunately, one could still find some of these items walking around in Macau, who have done a tremendously better job in preserving the past culture.. Ninja

140820091175bThe Menu selection which is detereorating over time, especially the right hand column -
A 1/3rd of the items are no longer available for ordering.  Nevertheless, I think this shop is still recommendable, as it’s certainly a once in a life time experience..

050520104344bGreeted on this 2nd night visit,
by a tray of Portuguese Tarts out front..

Iced Pineapple Drink -
I had ordered their Pineapple Punch, a long lost drink, but still out came this normal Pineapple Ice.
This was a little too syrupy sweet for me ~ 7/10

Satay Beef in Bread Roll -
The bread was baked here, its fresh and lightly toasted, the satay beef was very good.
Absolutely adorable version ~

HK Milk Tea -
A lot of places make a mediocre one these days.  With its fame, I thought this would be different, but on both occasions I ordered this, it was not even remotely aromatic and even carried that too sharp a ‘sourness’ finish.  I also detected COFFEE taste within this tea, which is baffling ~

Egg Tart No. 1 -
This is meant to be the definitive, most famous Egg Custard Tart, designed to please the anti-Pâte Sablée type supporters. Considered by some to be the best egg-tart in the whole of Hong Kong! Well personally the pastry was definitely flufflier than many of flaky-pastry version, but the layers are not well defined enough and running at risk of becoming a fat blob, not helped by that melting oil.  It tasted mostly of lard and oiliness, overwhelming the sense and any buttery taste.  Its certainly pushing the extreme for a pastry shell even by French standards.   The egg custard had very little taste of egginess, but at least this one was warm –

Egg Tart No. 2 -
On another night, this egg tart had way less defined layers and even had more oil leaking down the lips.  The egg surprisingly taste just a tad stronger but still weak, but this was COLD, as they didn’t have any pie warmer.  So unless you can come and coincide with the new tray of Egg Tarts being released, don’t expect to receive a tasty one. This was also super oily on the mouth..  ~ 

Iced Milk Tea, was stronger but also tasted like it had coffee put into it.  Weird ~ 7/10
Portuguese Tart, was cold & under caramelised. Not at all tasty compared to the ones in Macau ~ 3/10

BBQ Pork Bun (Char Siu Bao) -
This was ok. The bread was great, but the fillings were under-seasoned and dryish.
Don’t expect any Tim Ho Wan’s Mexican BBQ Pork Bun here ~

Price: $20 - 40 Per Person
Score: ★★★★☆

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sun:            07:00 - 00:00am

Address:  長沙灣青山道334號
(334 Castle Peak Road, Cheung Sha Wan)
Ph: 2387 3698



  1. It is really amazing (and shocking) to read that "traditional" old school type snacks, drinks, and dishes (like the pei pa duck you mentioned that you found in a Chinatown outside of HK) are fading out of existence due to lack of demand or knowledge. I'm really hoping I don't have to trek all the way to Mido or Guang Sing all the way up in Sheung Shui when I visit, just to have a red bean shaved ice drink :-o (because they still have the machines)...asuming they area still around after I return!

    Either the owner doesn't want to spend $ printing new menu, or new owner bought the business from old owner and is calling the shots differently.

    Also a very interesting point you bring up about Macau (and I suppose Taiwan...which has no problem preserving food culture and history)...I guess that explains why people are flocking to Macau and Guangzhou and other areas for traditional food that is being preserved and done well or better, including bamboo noodles and shrimp roe, or hmmm dried fried beef chow fun (at a stall that got overexposed by Ah So and the food media)?! . It boggles the mind.

  2. Oh you still remember my Pei Pa Duck comment! Surprising :D In fact it can be found in just about any Chinese restaurant, not just China town. Or some very traditional dim sims as well.

    The thing is I am trying to balance between having traditional shops keeping their existing food items but also upping their game too, but at the same time some of the other leading restaurants should also become and may be invent and evolve some of the dishes to create new ones more suitable for this generation!

    Nouvelle Chinese as now served in some higher-end Chinese restaurants overseas, are often automatically rejected by locals and are often wrongly labelled as Fusion Chinese (when they're not, they're just contemporary twist on dishes). Anyway I think its a multi-dimensional problem, but I guess no one cares about it! For me, all I want is to eat better food :D



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