Food: Milk tea or ‘lai cha’, the fuel for Hong Kong’s engine
Some cities are fuelled by coffee, but in Hong Kong it’s milk tea that keeps things running — a potent, nostalgia-infused caffeine hit with fierce competition to brew the best in town.
There are thousands of restaurants offering the full gamut of international cuisines, but the city’s no-frills diner-style cafes, some of them decades old, remain perennial favourites with locals, and still do a roaring trade.
Known in Cantonese as “cha chaan tengs” or “tea restaurants” they serve up cheap local favourites, from fried egg sandwiches and buttery French toast to noodle soups and macaroni.
The standard accompaniment is a milk tea, or “lai cha” — a tangy, deep-tan brew made from blends of black tea strained repeatedly for strength, then mixed with condensed or evaporated milk. Read More