Nestled between the bustling suburbs of Prince Edward (太子) and Mongkok (旺角), lies Kam Wah Cafe & Bakery (金華冰廳) on Bute Street (just off the corner of Tung Choi Street (通菜街)). What’s unique about this area is that within a walking area of 10 minutes, you’ll go from wandering inside the most modern mall (Langham Place 朗豪坊) filled with international cuisines and fashion brands, to Fa Yuen Street (花園街) a local market with uniquely identifiable green stalls along a few streets (this complements Ladies’ Market 女人街), all the way to “Pet Street” on Tung Choi Street (通菜街) where you’ll find a multitude of pet shops, as well as vendors selling fish along the street.
One of the must try/must eat foods any visitor visiting Hong Kong must have includes dining at a local “cha chaan teng / 茶餐廳” which is like a cafe (except way not as hipster), but rather a “tea restaurant” (direct translation), where local Hong Kong-ers usually frequent for an early breakfast meal to kickstart the day, or in the afternoon for a quick & light bite.
Some of the frequented dishes when visiting a “cha chaan teng” or “tea restaurant” include a pineapple bun (菠蘿包), egg tart (蛋撻), french toast (西多士), alongside a cup of milk tea (奶茶) either hot/cold, or “yin yeung” (鴛鴦), which is uniquely a combination of milk tea & coffee.
Though I am not a frequent “pineapple bun” (菠蘿包 chinese name || bo lor bao – canto translation) consumer, I’ve actually grown to be quite addicted to the pineapple buns at Kam Wah Cafe & Bakery in Mong Kok / Prince Edward, and whenever I have friends/tourists in town, I always love taking them to Kam Wah.
Just before you enter the restaurant, there’s a huge display of other baked goods you can purchase/try out too.
There are two shop fronts that sit side by side of one another which are both a part of Kam Wah. Each little shop front probably houses around 30 or so people. Expect to share tables with other locals if you’re in a smaller group (that doesn’t fill an entire table) as this is an authentically Hong Kong custom when dining out at more local restaurants where space is limited.
The menu is only available in Chinese, however most of the time it’s easy for you to show the staff photos of what you’re looking for. I know some of the staff speak basic English too.
So here (above) we have Kam Wah’s infamous pineapple bun with butter (菠蘿油 || bo lor yau). There’s the option of just getting the pineapple WITHOUT butter (菠蘿包 || bo lor bao), it’s really as you wish. The idea of the added butter is so that it will melt between it between the heat of the bun.
I love the pineapple bun here so much and I think I might be addicted. I love that the top layer (almost cookie-like) is so crispy but a whole different texture, but then the bread of the bun is like soft but slightly dense/chewy. Added with the butter it’s just a whole lot of exotic but fragrant textures & smells into a small piece of goodness. I have never actually been able to smell a “pineapple” smell from pineapple buns, but they smell damn good, whatever it is.
This time I tried the corned beef egg sandwich (but got the bread toasted for an extra $3) and had a cup of hot milk tea (熱奶茶 || yiit nai cha). I loooooove the milk tea here. Hot ones come without any sugar (you can add it yourself later) but the iced milk tea’s (凍奶茶), will come with sugar in it already (unless you tell them so – you can tell them no sugar, or less sugar).
The corned beef sandwich itself was okay, I wouldn’t say I loved it. I’ve had better at Four Seasons Cafe before where that one is literally melt in your mouth and smells soooo amazing. This one at Kam Wah’s was a bit too egg heavy and not enough flavours of the corned beef came through.
Other things I’ve ordered on separate occasions include the french toast – top left corner (西多士 || sai dor si) which is basically french toast with peanut butter between it, and on top you drizzle maple syrup as well), the egg tart – middle right (蛋撻 || dan ta) and satay beef sandwich – bottom centre (沙爹牛肉蛋三明治 || sah deh ngau yuk sam ming jii) – this you can also get as a toasted variety too.
French toast / sai dor si is really yum too, it’s definitely different to the western styled french toast varieties you’d get, and definitely worth trying. The satay beef sandwich was also surprisingly really flavourful too. Don’t expect the satay flavour to be similar to the Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian type though, this satay (I suspect) is more of a HK style satay bbq sauce flavour (which in Chinese we call it 沙茶), so I’d say it’s definitely a lot less peanut-y than the usual variations you might be accustomed to.
If you’re keen to see the food in action check out my vlog on Kam Wah’s Cafe & Bakery here (skip to 1:58 mins).
Any recommendations on amazing pineapple buns in Hong Kong? Comment and share below!
Kam Wah Cafe & Bakery 金華冰廳
47 Bute Street
Mong Kok / Prince Edward
Address in local language: 旺角/太子弼街47號地下