Café de Hong Kong is not a café per se, but more of a zhi char eatery offering Hong Kong-style homecooked food. We always joke that it should be called "Zhi Char de Hong Kong" instead! Lol!
Located along Balestier Road, this is one of our favorite haunts whenever we crave for something unpretentious and highly satisfying. The delicious food always impressed every time we were there.
Francis Mak is the owner behind this culinary gem. Hailing from Hong Kong, he has since settled in Singapore for the last couple of years. I'm glad he has brought a piece of his hometown to this little island of ours.
Some of the menu items he offers are not unlike what we will find in our local zhi char stalls, such as perennial favorites Salted Egg Prawn ($24), Sweet & Sour Pork ($10), Poached Vegetables with Three Eggs ($12).
On one occasion, we ordered deep-fried Seasoned Mixed Mushrooms ($11) and Soup of the Day ($6) because we were in the mood for those. Nice but when dining at Café de Hong Kong (especially for first-timers), one should really go straight for their well-received signature dishes to understand what's their popularity is all about!
For instance, the Chinese Lettuce - Yau Mak Choy ($15) may looked like a simple plate of stir-fried greens, but its lovely crunchiness and appetizing saltiness was thoroughly enjoyable with steamed rice.
Bamboo Charcoal Tofu ($18) is another crowd pleasing dish which deserved our order whenever we visit. The Stewed Pork Belly ($12) was all of wondrous melt-in-the-mouth softness and addictive braising sauce layered with savoriness of salted vegetable. If you intend to order a whole Fish ($48, price varies depending on catch of the day and weight), it can be prepared to your preference. We had ours deep-fried and paired with bittergourd in black bean sauce.
Their Nam Yu (Fermented Beancurd) Roasted Chicken (half $17, whole $32) deserved more than a noteworthy mention. Deceptively ordinary in appearance, the magic unfolded as the chicken's skin enchanted us first with its thin crispiness, then captivating us next with its well-marinated tender meat. So perfectly done! Advance order is required so do remember to make known your request when making a reservation.
Carbs are enemies in my constant struggles against weight gain, but I love them to bits here at Café de Hong Kong. The Fish Roe Fried Rice ($10) was an irresistible plate of popping party in the mouth. Staple noodle dishes such as Braised Bee Hoon with Sliced Pork ($7), and Beef Hor Fun with Egg Sauce ($8) were exceeding agreeable with the coveted wok hei (breath of wok). Utterly awesomerrific!
It's amazing that even though the entire zhi-char meal can be already so full-filling (pun intended), we will always have further space for their French Toast ($5.70 with one cup of hot coffee or tea, additional 30cents for ice variant).
The bread was thick and pillowy fluffy, encased in a crisp thin batter with eggy aroma perfuming each gratifying bite. Accentuated by only a slab of butter goodness and sweet syrup, this may not be as photogenic when compared to those trending Shibuya toast, but I would choose this any time. If you're a fan of Hong Kong-style toast, this is one which you must must must try!
Usually I will end my meal at this point, but when Francis asked me to give their Mango Pudding ($4) a try, I was so glad I eventually did. Thumbs up to this home-made refreshing dessert abounding with pieces of sweet mango.
No doubt I will return again. There are so many delectable reasons to :D
Café de Hong Kong
Address: #01-01, 586 Balestier Road, Singapore 329898
Contact: +65 6255 3865
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 11.30am-3pm & 5.30pm-11pm / Closed on Mon