on a street diagonally across kam wah is the 40-year-old man wah cafe & bakery, which is not on your typical tourist radar and caters to a local clientele of working class folks from the commercial areas in its vicinity and neighbourhood regulars. the interiors are a haphazard, almost messy display of retro wallpaper, chinese new year buntings and laminated menus plastered across the walls.
in space-scarce hong kong, eateries aim to turn tables around as quickly and frequently as they can, so service is always quick and efficient. and often, borders on brusque. but not at man wah, where the wait staff, who are all definitely older than the bing sutt itself, may have a no-nonsense air about them but are not unfriendly. you just need to look at the owner to understand why. usually seen at the till, he’s an affable gentleman with a booming voice who is happy to tell you about kam wah’s history – as long as it’s not during the lunch hour rush, when customers typically order from their set meal menu.
try the cha choi (preserved mustard plant) stir-fried with pork slices and served with a fried egg. add a splash of soy sauce over the eggs and eat with steamed white rice, and you have an honest-to-goodness wholesome meal.
g/f 204 sai yeung choi street, mongkok, kowloon opens 7am-11pm daily