Header image courtesy of @breadnplants (via Instagram)
As a former industrial district, Kwun Tong’s streets are full of hidden gems tucked away inside its many, many factory and warehouse buildings. Kwun Tong’s DIY spirit, combined with its ever-growing number of offices, has made for an interesting mix of commerce and culture, resulting in a proliferation of artsy cafés and restaurants offering tasty and affordable lunches in cool industrial settings. From decades-old Hong Kong restaurants serving surprisingly creative diner fare to fusion restaurants where you can shoot some pool while you wait for your food, here are our top eight affordable lunch spots in Kwun Tong.
While Hoi Chiu Canteen may look like your run-of-the-mill cha chaan teng (茶餐廳; Hong Kong-style tea restaurant), its menu offers a few creative surprises besides the classics. For a quick but satisfying bite, try the deep-fried salt & pepper siu mai ($13) or the sando-esque egg & spring onion flower toast ($27), which features thick rectangles of scrambled eggs speckled with spring onion blooms, sandwiched between white bread that’s fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside.
In the mood for something more filling? There’s also the fried noodle pancake with beef brisket & shrimp sausage ($52) or the Shanghai noodles with boiled chive dumplings ($42). To end your meal on a sweet note, get the buttery “devil condensed milk toast” ($27), which comes dusted with Ovaltine powder for that extra hit of childhood nostalgia.
Hoi Chiu Canteen, Shop G6, G/F, Shing Yip Industrial Building, 19–21 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong | (+852) 2342 9160
Fan of fusion flavours? Check out Burger Saan, a relatively new addition to Kwun Tong’s food scene that puts a local spin on hearty burgers and fries. For a fiery yet satisfying lunch, pair the Kwai4 ($98), a beef burger with wasabi sauce, with the numbingly spicy Ma4 Laat6 fries ($18). All the beef burgers feature patties that have been handmade with a combination of Wagyu and Angus beef, but those who don’t eat red meat are also catered to with the Nuen6 Gai1 ($96) chicken burger and selection of snacks and sides—we like the octopus dumplings ($32) and cream of mushroom soup ($26).
Burger Saan, Shop O, 5/F, Block 3, Camelpaint Building, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 5929 1186
In the mood for a bowl of comforting, soupy noodles? You’re in luck—Tokyo noodle house Kanzan Menya’s local outpost can be found inside Kwun Tong’s very own APM mall. The pork- and seafood-based soup comes in three variations—original, chilli, and black garlic—and you can take your pick from regular ramen noodles ($85) or tsukemen (starting from $79), which are fatter, chewier noodles that you dip in a thicker and more concentrated soup. If you fancy a side dish, you can also round out your meal with the fried chicken ($42) or the Hong Kong-exclusive pan-fried gyoza ($38), which you can choose to have dry or served in soup.
Kanzan Menya, Shop L21B, 2/F, APM, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 3148 1321
For fusion fare served in a quirky, Instagram-friendly atmosphere, check out Happinesssss. This café’s eclectic collection of bric-a-brac and neon signs give it a sense of cosiness, as if you’re dining in a (very cool) friend’s living room—especially if someone’s strumming on the café’s communal guitar. Play a game of pool or have a look at the books and toys on the shelves as you wait for your all-day breakfast ($74), rib-eye steak with garlic gravy ($86) with a side of rice or spaghetti, or fresh tomato udon pot with pork cutlets ($60).
All of the aforementioned dishes are available as lunch sets with a complimentary standard drink, which you can upgrade to special drinks like the matcha smoothie or lime mint soda for a few dollars—alternatively, those with a sweet tooth should try Happinesssss’ extensive menu of pancakes, ice creams, and milkshakes.
Happinesssss Café, Shop 2, G/F, Shing Yip Industrial Building, 19–23 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong | (+852) 2650 0028
If you’re after a similar hipster café vibe (with the added quirk of giraffe-inspired décor) but prefer braised pork rice to truffle risotto, head to Scoool Café. This hybrid bookstore and café has been dishing out homey Taiwanese fare like braised beef noodle soup ($55), fried chicken in fermented tofu batter ($55), and grilled eel with silky egg rice ($70) since 2015. For the most bang for your buck, get the signature Taiwanese braised pork rice bento ($58), which consists of braised pork rice with a side platter of pig’s ears, hard-boiled eggs, dried tofu, chicken wings, and radishes braised in Chinese master stock.
Scoool, Flat C, 1/F, Mai Hing Industrial Building Block A, 18 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong | (+852) 3188 2380
If you visit Katsuo Udon’s original shop in Cheung Sha Wan, chances are that there’ll be a long, snaking queue of people waiting for their handmade udon noodles. However, Kwun Tong-based office workers will be glad to know that the second branch is far more low-key—perfect for quick weekday lunches! The menu is extremely customisable and comprises 17 cold and hot options (starting from $68), as well as loads of extras like grilled mackerel and chicken, enoki mushrooms wrapped in beef, and tempura.
The udon is served in soup or your choice of dipping sauce—besides the original, you can also choose seaweed, barley, or coffee-flavoured sauce—and some options even come with flavoured noodles. If you enjoy Katsuo’s udon and fancy taking some home to experiment with a dipping sauce of your own creation, they also offer packages of their noodles—or better yet, join one of their udon-making classes!
Katsuo Udon, Shop O, 11/F, Block 3, Camelpaint Building, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 5226 2241
If you’re after a light but comforting desk lunch, try Yee Siu Kitchen, a small restaurant and takeaway specialising in healthy Hakka food and slow-cooked soups made with ingredients prized in traditional Chinese medicine. You can order restorative broths like the fish maw and chicken soup ($42) or abalone, red date, and chicken soup ($42) on their own, or as a set ($70) with a main like their signature shredded chicken or rice noodles in fish soup.
Yee Siu Kitchen, Shop 6B–6C, G/F, Hung To Centre, 94–96 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong
Get your lunch and bubble tea fix in one at Doctor Beans, a casual Taiwanese restaurant with two branches in Kwun Tong. The menu has a huge selection of lunch sets to choose from, including the salt and pepper ribs with stirred sesame noodles ($62) and home-style braised pork rice or noodles ($48), as well as braised beef noodle soup ($64), all of which come with a drink like bubble tea or flavoured soy milk. Feeling snacky? Check out the range of savoury and sweet small bites, including street food-style sausages ($32), Taiwanese fried chicken ($32), and taro panna cotta toast ($48).