[Hong Kong] Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園)

Hong Kong’s like Singapore on steroids: Everything’s bigger, louder, messier. Both countries take their food equally seriously, but there’s no denying that it’s much easier to find affordable and delicious food in Hong Kong. Each time I visit I just want to eat the island up. Such big and noble dreams.

Despite the fact that cha chan tengs (tea houses) are about as ubiquitous as people in densely populated Hong Kong, a Google search reveals a few common names, and Lan Fong Yuen appears on the must-eat lists of visitors and locals alike. And for very good reason too, as we found out when we visited.

Chicken Steak Instant Noodles with Green Onion Sauce (蔥油雞扒撈丁), HKD24.00.

That Nissin  (出前一丁) noodles can be found on most shelves in Asian supermarkets hasn’t stopped them from being one of the most-ordered items in cha chan tengs. Before I even placed my order I looked across my table and saw a mother-and-son pair sharing a plate of this. The lady next to me had one to herself. Nearly everyone in the restaurant had come here with the same goal in mind.

Here’s why: This particular plate of Nissin noodles is, freakin’, sublime.

Think you can cook Nissin at home? Well, can you cook a plate of Nissin that’s so springy it bounces off the tip of your tongue when you bite the noodles off to chew? Eaten together with the neatly chopped green onions and cabbage, the fragrant noodles are comfort food taken to an ethereal level. I haven’t even started on the chicken steak – a juicy, tender filleted chicken thigh with a piece of crispy skin barely clinging on to it.

Pork Chop Bun (猪扒包), HKD12.00.

On to one of the many other signature dishes, the pork chop bun.

Truth be told, I wish I could say this pork chop bun was excellent. The pork chop itself was succulent and had been grilled close to perfection, having managed to retain most of its juice while possessing a lightly charred exterior. The bun, on the other hand, was a little too dry. You’d have better luck in Macau finding a truly outstanding pork chop bun, I think.

These dishes were paired with a glass of their famous Silk Stocking Milk Tea (丝袜奶茶), HKD13.00, which isn’t pictured here because… it looks like any other old tea. It wasn’t really filtered through a stocking, in case you just got kinkily excited. You creepy perv. The tea is pulled through a sackcloth resembling pantyhose, hence the name. The brew was fragrant, full-bodied and rich, and is probably not something you should feed to anyone with lactose intolerance or diabetes. Nevertheless, the cold version makes for an incredibly rewarding treat on a hot day, especially after all the climbing you’d have to do at Central to get to the foodie spots. You ought to work for your food.

The lunchtime crowd at Lan Fong Yuen on a weekday afternoon.

Lan Fong Yuen is packed to the seams at mealtimes, and deservedly so. We lucked out and got seats for 2 almost immediately (teehee), but you’ll likely have to wait in line.  Turnover is brisk, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. As with most hole-in-the-wall establishments in Hong Kong, don’t expect this to be a 3-hour-long degustation experience. You order, you eat, you pay, you leave.

Oh right, you’ll be expected to share if your group is smaller than 8. Good luck waiting forever for a table though, if your party’s anywhere near that size.

Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園)
2 Gage Street
Central, Hong Kong

Opening hours: 8.00a.m. – 8.00p.m., Mondays to Saturdays.

One Response to “[Hong Kong] Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園)”
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Located right smack in the heart of Central, Wai Kee Congee enjoys a steady stream of customers every morning. The premises are tiny so expect to share a table with strangers, as is the case with nearby Lan Fong Yuen. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: