On the weekend I managed to squeeze in a late lunch at Lan Fong Yuen. Being a seasoned Hong Konger I thought going at 3pm will avoid the peak lunchtime craziness. How wrong was I! Unfortunately I’m not that seasoned and Hong Kong is constantly in peak time craziness!
Anyway waiting until 3pm I was absolutely starving and gasping for their “lai cha” or milk tea.
Lai cha literally means milk tea but it can also represent how the tea is made. “Lai” can mean to pull in Cantonese which describes the way the tea is pulled through the filters and sieves. Sometimes it is pulled through 7 times to get the full flavour from the tea.
Each shop has their own way and blend to make their own signature lai cha. Usually a blend of Ceylon tea and sometimes even Chinese Pu’er is used in the blend. Then boiling water is pulled through the tea and filters several times.
Rumour has it that some very old shops still use lady’s tights as the filter. Maybe this is continued from the colonial post and the war when filters were in shortage. I know that in Britain that was the case during WW2.
What I really like about this place is the “local-ness” in menu and atmosphere. Although this is not the original shop and not as old as it looks, it does feel genuinely aged. What I also like are their signature items. Obviously the hot milk tea is smooth, with deep dark tea taste topped with a creamy condensed milk finish.
But seriously, their cold milk tea is really good too. I get really annoyed whenever I order cold milk tea and I don’t drink it instantly the ice cubes melt and dilutes the tea. Grrrr..I want a cold milk tea not a cup of watery milk!
However at Lan Fong Yuen some genius invented the frozen milk tea ice cube! When this ice cubes melts it just oozes more coldness and keeps its tea concentration.
I highly recommend coming here for a cuppa and a condensed milk bun to help relieve yourself from that late afternoon slump.
Be warned..there are a lot of local treats here you might overeat!