May 12, 2010

The Asia Trip: Cafe de Coral - Hong Kong

Cafe de Coral front desk
Cafe de Coral is the biggest Chinese fast food chain in Hong Kong with over 100 restaurants.  While I was in Hong Kong, every one I saw was fairly busy and, for a fast food restaurant, pretty upscale.  I wouldn't have guessed it was a fast food chain from the exterior if my cousin hadn't told me.

Cafe de Coral features the varied cuisine of a sit-down Hong Kong cafe with the speed, price, and convenience of fast food.  It's a pretty interesting dichotomy, especially considering the number of people who pass through during the very busy lunch hour.
Cafe de Coral menu
As you can see, the menu features a fair amount of Chinese restaurant staples from BBQ pork.  Cafe de Coral has a rotating menu of over 100 menu items each day in a cafe setting.  Dishes range from traditional Chinese dishes to more foreign (mostly westernized) dishes with Chinese nuances.
Cafe de Coral food pick up
The way the ordering works is you order at the front desk and then get in one of two lines depending on what you ordered to pick up your meal.  I think, but I'm not sure because I don't speak a lick of Cantonese, that the lines were separated with one for roasted meat items (like char siu pork and barbequed duck) and another for everything else.
Cafe de Coral Tonkatsu Combo
An example of a foreign dish with Chinese nuances is the dish I ordered: Tonkatsu over rice.  There was a special where tonkatsu over rice and a soda was going for $29 HK dollars (about $3.75) and I'm all over specials.  Tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet) is more of a Japanese dish and is normally served with a soy-based tonkatsu sauce (mysterious, I know but that's what they call it).  Here, the pork cutlet was served topped with a thickened egg drop soup as a sauce and a side of steamed green beans.  It was pretty good and filling for the money.
Cafe de Coral Roast Meat Combo
My cousin got something a bit more traditional combination of roasted meats: char siu BBQ pork, squid, a chicken wing, and a soft-boiled egg over rice with some greens.

Cafe de Coral was really unlike any fast food restaurant I'd ever been to. With all the different menu options, there's quite literally something for everyone.  I recommend a visit if you're ever in Hong Kong just for a truly Hong Kong take on high-traffic, speedy fast food.  Even if you're been to a Hong Kong cafe here in the U.S., it's similar but still very different.


  1. Yeah, Cafe de Coral is a cool place. I always want to try it when I visit HK but always end up eating at restaurants rather than fast food!

    Ha, I like the probably KIRF Vileroy and Boch bowl!

  2. I mostly ate at restaurants as well but I had to at least fit in some fast food!


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