The cafes of Hong Kong are like kebab shops in Australia – nostalgic, comforting and literally everywhere. Howin Chui wanted to create an eatery for Hong Kongers who were missing the cafes of home, and opened the first Kowloon Cafe with business partners Howard Lee and Gary Tsui in Chinatown, in 2019. Now the chain has locations in Burwood, Eastwood, and this smaller “express” eatery in Chatswood.

The menu here is geared more towards takeaway – but you’ll still find the staples including the HK Style Super Thick French Toast, and Crispy Butter Pineapple Bun (which doesn’t contain any pineapple, but rather looks like one), and the Spam and egg sandwich.

This being a Hong Kong-style cafe, tea is what it’s all about here. The brews combine multiple types of tea, from bags to powder, and include a variety of hot and cold options. Other HK-inspired drinks include Ribena with vanilla ice-cream, and cold, salty lemonade.

All Kowloon Cafes share a casual, cafeteria-like feel, all backdropped by Mahjong characters and neon signs. Chui developed the design in collaboration with architect and designer Darren Kong. Hong Kong’s greatest hits of the 1980s and 1990s, which Chui describes as the “golden years”, provide a nostalgic soundtrack.

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Updated: February 9th, 2024

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