While on short walk from Novotel Nathan Road in search of brekkie, we discovered a quaint local Hong Kong eatery or "cha chan teng" as referred to be local in the Cantonese language. For readers who are unfamiliar with the "Cha Chan Teng", it is an entirely Hong Kong food culture phenomenon that developed in the 1950s. The demand for western food cooked and served in Chinese eateries resulted in the fusion food that is now commonly available in the "Cha Chan Teng" or milk tea cafe if literally translated from the Cantonese language.
The Brother Seven Cafe or 7 哥茶餐廳 is one of the many modernised eateries that fuel Hong Kongers' appetite for comfort food round-the-clock whether they are working professionals, families with kids or students. The small eatery is a hotpot of east-meets-west decor. Seating is limited to some bright coloured tables and chairs and wall booths. What's interesting is the wallpaper of menus written in Mandarin with some depicting pictures of dishes which were also available on each table. Unlike some of the more traditional venues, service was friendly and helpful with both English and Mandarin menus available. There was no language barrier to turn away the non-Cantonese speakers.
The menu at Brother Seven Cafe contained the distinctly indigenous comfort food of Hong Kong. Milk tea is the common beverage but we spied the uniquely local fusion of coffee and milk tea into a drink called "Yin-Yang", instant noodles in soup topped with canned chili pork shreds, and Italian macaroni in Chinese broth with shredded ham. Making a choice from the endless list of tempting items from the wall and table menus can be a challenge. Fortunately there are breakfast set menus to save the brain from making the tough decisions.
What arrived thereafter hit the spot for local fare. The Hong Kong-style milk tea was thick but smooth from the mix of strong flavoured black tea with creamy milk. We had the pineapple bun which is actually a bread topped with a sweet, crusty pastry and eaten with a thick slice of butter. The instant noodles with chili pork shreds reminded fondly of the quick Chinese student fare and the macaroni in Chinese broth was an interesting but tasty pseudo Italian fare. The set meals also came with a fried egg and finger sandwich, all for an affordable HK$25 per set, with the bun being an extra order.
When you're in Hong Kong, make sure you check out "Cha Chan Teng" like Brother Seven Cafe for a quick, affordable and satisfying meal.