HK 2013 : Teakha Cafe @ Sheung WanNovember 25, 2013 | 3,217 views
A not-so-hidden gem of a laid-back, zakka-inspired cafe in Sheung Wan named Teakha led us to this back alley; beyond MTR lines, uphill climb and a pleasurable walk under the sun.
Now wait a minute. The Hong Kong posts are coming on too fast and furious? Allow me to. It must have been years since I last churned daily rants on this blog, and pushing myself just a wee bit further by bringing that same energy back. In hopes of finishing the Hong Kong (and maybe Taiwan) chapters before we bid 2013 goodbye. So bear with the accelerated reviews, or better yet, immerse yourself in the roller-coaster ride.
Ironically, no Ocean Park or Disneyland this time around, after a visit to each back in 2008 and 2011 respectively.
But the food excursion to Sheung Wan was not without a few hiccups along the way. Read on to find out what they are.
Kau Kee Beef Noodles – Another missed opportunity.
To get to Sheung Wan, you need to take the Island MTR Line (light blue) westbound one station away from Central MTR. Alighting from Sheung Wan MTR station, take the A2 exit and walk southbound towards Gough Street and begin your food journey.
Last round, we had this amazing tomato beef noodles from Sing Heung Yuen; a hawker stall (or “dai pai dong”) that you must have seen at least once from the Hong Kong dramas/movies. And directly opposite of the stall is Kau Kee Beef Noodles; widely acknowledged as one of the best in Hong Kong. But we skipped that after one too many meals in succession.
This time though, we wanted to try at least a bowl of their signature curry beef noodles, and they were closed. Do NOT come on a Sunday, please. Even Sing Heung Yuen closes on Sundays.
On a Sunday, everything moves at a much slower pace in Sheung Wan.
But as they say, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And we made do with plan B. Of course there are more than just plan B’s (or even C’s) in my food list, as usual. The limitation has always been stomach space more than anything.
And thus, we walked about half a kilometre or so to Teakha Cafe in Sheung Wan; one of the latest craze in town.
It was around 3pm. And naturally, everyone takes a back seat and forget about life worries around tea time in Hong Kong. Especially on an off day.
The stroll was at a relatively leisure pace; serenaded by an unorthodox sense of tranquility in the middle of the bustling city. The weather was a beautiful sunny yet cooling one; 24 degrees Celcius at most. Even the uphill climb barely felt like a struggle; but the nagging hunger pangs sure was.
Teakha Cafe is situated at a side alley off Tai Ping Shan Road; a neighbourhood fenced by perimeters of high-rise apartments. Even at its most secluded and far-fetched location (as compared to seemingly everywhere else that’s within 5 minutes away from MTR stations), Teakha was packed that afternoon. And a couple of people were already standing around and others kept streaming in.
We almost gave up the wait, since most of the ones seated were oblivious to the surrounding world … happily chatting away and sipping on the beverages that Teakha is well-known for.
Hojicha au lait that was boiled before served hence the lengthy waiting time; the Greentea Cheesecake & Brown Sugar Cream Cake were outstanding in their own rights, and a cup of warm, Sea Salt Ying Yang (slightly savoury blend of coffee and tea)
Thankfully, a couple moved away from their seats right by the entrance. I guess Lady Luck’s with us that afternoon after all ….
The garden tables and foldable wooden chairs, low stools and crates were all part of the quirky outlook of a ‘contemporary yet nostalgic’ cafe. Ordering’s done DIY at the counter, and you only have to give your name. The list of beverages are listed on the blackboard inside the cafe; but here’s a link to their menu on their website in case you’re one who plans everything to a tee.
The drinks here ain’t cheap though, at close to average of HKD45/RM18/USD6 per serving, but rest assured that you wont’ get conventional 3-in-1’s or normal brews like the ones at the neighbourhood ‘cha chaan teng’.
The Sea Salt Ying Yang for one, was a smooth concoction of coffee, tea and milk, plus a light sprinkle of sea salt to infuse the beverage with a faint savoury hint. Worked well in my opinion, in this age of sea salt caramel ice cream craze. Hojicha au lait on the other hand, emitted a waft of fragrance from the reddish-brown tea leaves that was roasted in porcelain pot over charcoal fire; rendering the brew with less astringent flavour and mixed well with the addition of milk. Served piping hot from the pot (yes, they really boil every cup of tea for you if you want it warm), sipping on this will really calm the frayed nerves.
Greentea Cheesecake is their most popular item, and not hard to see why. Shy of passing off as just another cheesecake, the dense texture and deep green colour of the cake may look intimidating, yet the taste was neither overpowering or bitter. All of their cakes and pastries are displayed at the counter, however this may prove to be a challenge when you want to browse the selection since the inside of the shop can barely hold a good dozen of patrons, and the space was really limiting. The Brown Sugar Cream Cake had bits of flower petals (what seemed to be chrysanthemum but I doubted so) on the sponge cake; and this was a clear winner. A light, airy texture with hints of sweetness from the brown sugar, and cream sandwiched in between the layers that was not cloyingly rich.
Everything came to HKD164/RM69/USD22, not dirt cheap yet this was a pleasant tea break experience beyond the usual ‘cha chaan teng’. And then we continued on the eating spree (yes, this after lunch at Mak’s Noodles in Central actually) towards the western end of Sheung Wan ….
Secret Ingredient does more than just food delivery. Read more on their website.
This beautifully-designed half open cafe is named Food We Like To Eat Cafe on Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. And directly opposite of this is the Hollywood Road Park.
This garden in the city was previously named Possession Point; the location where the Royal Navy landed on Hong Kong Island, before the signing of the Treaty of Nanking. Upon reaching Hollywood Road Park, we rested our feet from the somewhat incredible journey (okay la … with more food & photography stops than necessary!), and breathed in a tank or two of fresh air. Before the next pit stop for the day.
Question : How often does lightning strikes twice? Not common? Wrong.
Stay tuned for more ramblings. For now … Happy Monday people, and chase the blues away with a good bite or two.
TEAKHA Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Closed on Mondays Opens from 11am – 7pm on other days. Find Teakha and many other food finds on Motormouth’s HK Food Map