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6+ Tiny Things to define a Classic Cha Chaan Tang

Cha Chaan Tengs in Hong Kong are popular because of their good food in good price. When you are enjoying a cup of nice, hot milk tea, you may try to look for these things which may only be found in old Cha Chaan Teng now.

Signboards at front door showing menus

Usually they show today's lunch which are changed daily to attract customers.

Handwritten Menus

Handwritten menus on colourful papers. In the old times the shop owners write the menus by themselves which almost look like calligraphy, or some would use special Chinese number which is rare to find now.

Hong Kong people love booth seatings very much

Cutlery (& Tissue papers)

Cutlery is one of the best examples to show that it is ”East meets west“ because as a local restaurant, they provide metal folk, spoon and knife. Also they used to provide a type of tissue paper which is thin, "crispy" and not very useful since they don't absorb water very well so it doesn't help much when you use it to wipe your mouth. It was very commonly used between 80s-90s and it has become one of the things which people miss now. Check the video below to see that type of tissue paper.

Handwritten ticket (and is put under the glass of the table)

As shown below, it shows how much you have ordered. Grab it and bring it to the counter to pay.

Pay by the counter please


When you order coffee or tea, you may need to add some sugar. Many Cha Chaan Teng used to put the sugar inside containers shown below. Since Hong Kong has a humid weather, sometimes the sugar would clump together. Some staff or the shop owners might take the container to break the sugar clumps regularly. That is why nowadays many shops would provide small sugar packs in order to avoid this problem.


Is there anything else you enjoy to see from an old Cha Chaan Teng? Please comment below or message us via twitter, IG or facebook @hongkonguide to let us know!


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