Central Lunch Series: 樂香園㗎啡室 Lok Heung Yuen Coffee Shop

Remember that char siu egg place I didn’t know the name of not too long ago?  Thanks to a new friend I found it!  It’s on the interestingly named Gilman’s Bazaar side street next to The Center, which has a couple other eateries.  It’s called 樂香園㗎啡室 Lok Heung Yuen Coffee Shop (yes, the sign uses 㗎 instead of the more usual 咖, as part of the word for “coffee”).

We got there soon after 1pm and as is usual around these here parts, there’s already a queue.  As a two person team though we slipped through the hordes with ease, and slid into our seats.

Everyone crowds on stools around a few round common tables, which means close quarters.  Not so great if you’re hemmed into the corner by strangers, but I guess you get used to it in HK.  For the second time, I sat near the door and the baked goods corner.  Unfortunately this meant near the old gentleman with a booming voice, and, er, a personality.  Don’t expect deep conversation with your friends.  Do expect to be amused by his booming soundtrack to your lively meal.  Sometimes you just can’t stop chuckling.

The special lunch menu – they also serve the usual noodles and sandwiches.  We tried for the signature dish no. 1, shrimp egg rice (滑蛋蝦仁飯) but again they were already out – looks like a half hour head start is needed!  So we settled for the char siu and scrambled egg rice (滑蛋叉燒飯) and minced beef in tomato sauce rice (鮮茄免治牛飯)(both $30),and two iced lemon teas ($16 x 2).

Still good.  Juicy char siu and fresh, smooth, slightly runny eggs, and plenty of rice to go with the egg-gasm.  Only downside – apart from the spring onions, not much veg, so don’t eat this everyday and expect a balanced diet!

My friend described this as tasting “very local”.  As this is a “local” place I guess that’s a good thing.

The iced lemon tea was pretty good, except just a bit too sweet?  I felt full halfway through…

A better view of the inside.  They also had a baked goods counter, and though I didn’t get to try they seemed quite decent…

Total bill: $92 ($46 each).  Probably another reason for the steady customer flow – quite reasonable for a rice dish and a drink and dining in, for Central/Sheung Wan.  It’s got character too!  Take that, big chains!

In short: Turnover (i.e. waiting) time – fast.  Service – efficient and polite (if you’re not talking to the old gentleman, in which case you better know what you want).  Time for food to arrive – short.  Utensils – clean.  Decor – minimal.  No nonsense, just solid, affordable, local food.

Restaurant rating: NOM NOM NOM NOM

Address: 中環機利文新街8-12號地下 G/F, No.8-12 Gilman’s Bazaar, Central

Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 7am-7pm

Tel: 2815 4788

Web: Openrice 中文, Openrice English

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