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Header image courtesy of Café Library (via Facebook)
For the last half-century, the new town of Sha Tin has rested against the tranquil Shing Mun River as modern shopping complexes and residential high-rises cropped up around it, bringing with them a host of gourmet gems to satiate local residents and weekend shoppers. Hong Kong’s coffee shop trend has reached even this enclave in the New Territories, so here are some of our favourite cafés in Sha Tin for you to check out.
Love all things pink? Café Library ought to be on your radar for its rose-coloured interiors, which will make you feel pretty in pink as you sip and nibble your way through the whimsical menu. At its fancy doorway is the shop’s iconic Instagram hotspot, a circular chair wrapped in fluffy “clouds,” but what keeps customers returning are the one-of-a-kind dishes.
Café Library’s menu sports mind-blowing artistry layered upon a range of creative flavour combos. Crab & Go ($145) features a crab shell overloaded with meaty and cheesy goodness, while the Che Tropical Bombon ($88) and Earl Grey Lady ($88) are made up of a gigantic marshmallow balloon sitting atop a glass jar, with a waffle underneath.
Café Library, Shop 703A, 7/F, New Town Plaza Phase 1, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin
It is no secret the Beans Group seeks out the quieter suburbs of Hong Kong to set up shop, and Beans the Greenhouse is no exception. Boasting floor-to-ceiling windows that keep the wood-themed space naturally lit, the integration with nature at this café is taken a step further with a self-contained alfresco dining area, cut off from tumultuous street activity.
Fusion plates at affordable prices are what Beans is known for. On weekdays from 11 am to 6 pm, the lunch menu features trademarks like spaghetti with crab and salted egg yolk ($64) and shredded BBQ pork rib burger ($78) with a complimentary drink included. If you are ready to pamper your stomach, we definitely recommend the abundant deluxe full English breakfast ($128) and the Backyard Breakfast ($138).
Beans the Greenhouse, Shop 503, 5/F, Grand Central Plaza, 138 Sha Tin Rural Committee Road, Sha Tin | (+852) 2777 7078
Café Koinonia is a jewel easily overlooked by even the most adventurous food hunters. Lodged amongst Sha Tin’s timeworn housing estate clusters, the coffee shop might not look like much from the outside, but its delightful eats and coffees make it a winner for us.
Wallet-friendly and customisable selections are at the forefront of Café Koinonia. Whether you are in the mood for café fundamentals like an all-day breakfast ($88) and ham and cheese croissant ($27) or larger plates like carbonara ($58), this little place will dish it up. What’s more, all set beverages (starting from $20) are half-priced from 12 pm to 2 pm on weekdays! Café Koinonia also whips up scrumptious cakes, with a rotating selection.
Café Koinonia, Shop 2, G/F, Green Leaves Garden, 15–17 Yuen Chau Kok Road, Sha Tin
Literature- and travel-inspired Alchemist Café brings its unique local charm to the Heritage Museum, so visitors can continue their cultural itinerary at this coffee-fuelled traveller’s lodge long after exiting the museum. Fill your mind and body with lunch picks like the English brunch ($118) and the made-to-share grand snack platter ($138).
Sweets like the Spring in Kyoto ($108) and Sunset in Paris ($108), where two ice scoops are generously served alongside four fruity waffles, make for a sugary finish. As you indulge in these treats, the café highly encourages you to flip its travel guidebooks to get lost in faraway destinations or even contribute to someone’s next trip through bookcrossing.
Alchemist Café, Shop G6, G/F, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin
An early bird in the emerging culinary trove of Shek Mun, Coti specialises in exciting caffeine flavours, from the barista’s special pour-over ($68) to bizarre trademarks like milk and peanuts coffee ($48) and sparkling lemon coffee ($48).
In this petite hideaway, you will find dishes and drinks large enough to keep you spirited for the entire morning and afternoon. Come round at noon for the all-day breakfast ($74) or grilled eel with rice ($88), paired with a classic coffee or tea.
Coti, Shop 228A, 2/F, Kings Wing Plaza 2, 1 On Kwan Street, Shek Mun, Sha Tin
Soufflé pancake enthusiasts are missing out big-time if they have not bookmarked this dessert paradise. As the epitome of “good things come to those who wait,” this upstairs café attracts long queues, but patient diners will be justly rewarded with sizable servings.
Whitewood Coffee’s popular matcha pancakes ($58) are drizzled in a brown sugar sauce and make up one of the tallest and fluffiest soufflé pancakes in town, combined with a rich green tea-infused cream—a match made in heaven. If you are not big on sweets, the deluxe English breakfast ($86) and Napoleon pasta ($64) provide savoury satisfaction.
Whitewood Coffee, Shop 207, 2/F, Kings Wing Plaza 1, 3 On Kwan Street, Sha Tin
Located in the heart of Sha Tin’s largest housing estate property, Reactors Coffee works hard to perfect its coffee chemistry for café hoppers, committing to hands-on bean roasting to brew aromatic cups of joe. Fetch a coffee on-site or take home a selection of espresso beans (starting from $110) and drip bags ($40) from shelves or online.
If you have time for a chill dine-in meal, the smoky Italian parma ham and dried tomato spaghetti ($88) coupled with the complimentary Americano or tea is a great option to tuck into while enjoying the sun-lit open courtyard. For a sweeter option, the creamy homemade Basque burnt cheesecake ($55) is worth a try.
Reactors Coffee, Shop G92, G/F, Fortune City One, Sha Tin | (+852) 2655 9333
Sensory Zero has risen from zero to hero with its artisanal coffee philosophy, breaking into one of the largest neighbourhoods of the New Territories. As with all of its branches, an open bar area constitutes the centrepiece of the minimalistic interior, showcasing with no reservation the exquisite craftsmanship of its talented roastmasters.
House blends are a critical backbone of its coffee legacy, spotlighting, amongst many others, the top-notch shakerato ($50), piccolo latte ($35), and the ever-changing artisan choice (starting from $125) that impresses picky coffee tasters across the board.
Instagrammers will be betting their top dollar on the photogenic Crazy chocolate ($45) and Crazy mocha ($50), essentially assorted chocolatey beverages that appear oddly well on camera but do not overpower your palate with sweetness.
Sensory Zero, Shop 706, 7/F, New Town Plaza Phase 1, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin
Enjoy a simulated journey to the countryside in the nature-themed Sensu, a haven of soothing hues and replicas of variegated bushes and exotic birds. Contrary to the colour scheme, Sensu’s fare focuses on bold visuals that feed the camera and the senses alike.
Go for the chef-recommended tornado omelette with Kawasaki eel ($158) or the extravagant Matsuba crab meat Japanese miso sauce linguine ($138). For an unusually romantic experience, shatter the outer shell of the orb-like Sensu Blue Planet ($98) with your loved ones to uncover the vibrant goodies hidden inside.
Sensu, Shop A237, 2/F, Phase 3, New Town Plaza, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin