Sun Wah Cafe serves up a marvelous rendition of ham omelette and satay beef instant noodles. While they are not as well known amongst international audiences as say the Australia Dairy Company, Kam Wah Cafe or even the Capital Cafe, the food quality at Sun Wah is really top notch. We highly recommend this place if the location is not too inconvenient for your itinerary.
During the planning stage of our Hong Kong trip, we actually ran out of breakfast cha chaan teng places to visit as we did not want to make repeat visits. Digging a bit deeper and we found out about Sun Wah Cafe near the Cheung Sha Wan MTR. While this wasn’t near the usual sights in Kowloon or Hong Kong Island, the location was actually somewhat on the way for us on our trip to Disneyland.
Service and Ordering
Unlike some of the other more ‘famous’ cha chaan tengs in Hong Kong, we did not encounter any questionable service here. Still, as with any eateries in Hong Kong, it pays to go there prepared especially if you are a Chinese with a problem speaking Cantonese.
Their famous set here is called the ‘special set’ or 特餐 (tè cān), it is the set located at the bottom left section of the left menu above. It comes with satay beef instant noodles, ham omelette, a bun with butter and coffee or tea. This set will set you back HK$36. As usual we would recommend the milk tea and you will have to add HK$3 if you prefer the iced version. Unlike some of the other cha chaan tengs, you do not need to change your eggs as the ‘special set’ defaults to their delicious ham omelette.
We were seated on the second story for our visit, and they had this really cool elevator system for the food – the alarm would sound and the staff on the second story would go and collect the food from the food elevator. If you have some kind of choice, I would recommend try to sit further away from that and nearer to the entrance as the noise gets a bit irritating after a while.
Sun Wah Cafe Satay Instant Noodles
This is a pretty common breakfast dish in Hong Kong that we were pretty uncomfortable with. Initially. We had tried this particular dish at another cha chaan teng just the day before and we were sorely disappointed so we did not have too high hopes for this dish here.
However we were given a very pleasant surprise. The instant noodles were served near al dente standard, and there was this intoxicating aroma that emerged from the satay beef. Our first mouthful was sheer delight, with the tender beef and the perfectly balanced satay sauce proving a very delicious combination together with the (no doubt MSG-laden) instant noodles. We rate this 4.2/5. We did have a problem trying to rate this dish as instant noodle dishes are generally ‘cheat’ dishes with the seasoning doing more work than anything else. However this dish still required some skill in preparation with the satay beef and al dente noodles, and we had to give it props for the nice taste.
Next up we had our ham omelettes. It was our sixth day in Hong Kong and it was the first time we came across a cha chaan teng with an omelette as a signature. It was delicious. The ham was very fragrant and it provided a very good combination together with the soft omelette. This is not your 5-star hotel chef’s breakfast omelette but for the price it was certainly very satisfying. We rate this 4/5.
If you dine at the well known cha chaan tengs in Hong Kong, you will almost never go wrong with their milk tea that is never diluted. It has the usual strong tea fragrance with an abundance of milk. We found the milk tea pleasantly satisfying and give it a 4/5. However, we had been previously spoilt by the super delicious milk tea at Lan Fong Yuen and Capital Cafe, so we have to put Sun Wah at the 3rd spot behind those in terms of the milk tea standard.
Yes, Sun Wah Cafe is well known for their egg tarts as well. If you noticed from the storefront picture, they have many empty trays egg tarts which no doubt attests to their popularity. After all our mad egg tart experiences in Hong Kong and Macau over the five days prior to our breakfast at Sun Wah Cafe, we realized that the key to a delicious egg tart is whether you get it piping hot. Unfortunately we were not able to get their egg tarts piping hot, but we can appreciate the ample custard and the nice balanced flaky crust that went along with it. We rate these 4/5.
Come to Sun Wah Cafe for breakfast if you’re planning to spend a day at Disneyland. It is a no-brainer.
The breakfast cha chaan tengs really provide exceptional value for the quality of food. You get air-conditioned dining, a delicious drink and two usually delicious main dishes for the price of a McDonald’s meal. It makes one wonder whether this concept will work in Singapore, given that most seem to want to sleep more and do breakfast at home. In Singapore a breakfast cha chaan teng outlet will have to contend with the cut-throat fast food breakfast meal prices and the usual toast and various hawker breakfast stalls. Perhaps a bit too risky given the slim margins.
It would not be a bad idea if one of the top Hong Kong cha chaan tengs opened a branch in Singapore though, they would have the usual long queues as with all overseas fads and if they can keep a decent price point, I don’t see those queues abating.