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May 29, 2011

Off the Trail: Hong Kong - Cafe de Coral

When you've got a population of 7 million (hungry!) people, you have to find a way to feed them all. To that end, Hong Kong has a solution, and it's called Cafe de Coral.

Cafe de Coral, or as I fondly refer to it, CDC, I think I'm in love. Granted, for those of you not from Hong Kong, I may sound like a crazy man and at times, even I struggle with my "obsession", but CDC is honestly just "one of those things" here. It's in the airports, malls, hospitals (crazy, right?), on the streets, everywhere! Even more so than a certain fast food chain or a coffee shop in Edmonton!

On the corner of every street, think Chinese restaurant meets Henry Ford - assembly line production of food: you place your order and get a corresponding ticket, present the ticket to the call person (aptly named for the person calling out the order) on the line, he shouts out your order, and the fun begins! Over the next 4 people, each section of your order is assembled and put together on the plate before being shuffled along to the next person. At some locations, they're even putting in a "vending machine" (I BS-you-not, see below!) instead of the order person; just press a few buttons like a movie kiosk and tada, your ticket is printed and ready!

Overall Score (This blogger's opinion): 85/100
What's IN: Whatever you feel like at the time =)
Serving up Hong Kong style breakfast to midday Chinese BBQ to dinner - hot iron plates, rice and more, CDC offers your food fix at any time of day or night! Now, I'm not going to go on and on about how good the food was (and it was!) because Chinese food in Hong Kong and Chinese food in Edmonton is like apples and oranges. But for just $3-5 CND, you can net yourself a hearty breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Personally, I'm going to review the Chinese BBQ at lunch because that's just when I happened to stop by, but know this, the food is excellent (for the cost!) and the price is right, regardless of time!

A fair warning to those health conscious folk before we begin though, these dishes are not for the faint of heart (figuratively or medically): the missus (or mister, I'm not sexist!) may find it a little on the salty & fatty side!

Barring that slight hurdle (as my chef always told me, fat is flavour! ...and a cruel mistress at that), they really are something to try. The meat [ (crispy) pork, duck, soy sauce chicken ] is always juicy and the skin crispy - in the same style as a roast done over a spit. Fill the rest of the bowl with a generous helping of rice and *some* vegetables, and the flavours will have you licking your lips and watching your belly line time and time again. Top it off with a cold milk tea and you bet I'll be there.

In summary:

Easy to find? Check.
Convenient? You bet.
Fast? Absolutely.
Tasty? Yes, please.

...Seconds, anyone?


  1. There are many similar kinds of restaurants in HK, but I agree that "CDC" is one of the best. Right on, Doug!

  2. Woah, whoops sorry for the long reply, I totally missed your comment! Ya I know, there's a few - Maxim and some other ones I can't translate - but CDC is definitely one of the largest, more popular chains from what I know

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