Peanut butter toast, rice bowls, noodles and milk tea. These are the comfort staples of cha chaan teng (Hong Kong–style restaurants). Travel with your taste buds to some of the best in Melbourne.


Look for the circular green neon sign and slip into the bright tiled environs of Plus852. There are rice or noodles, all-day sets and sandwich meals. Or you could tackle their French toast. It’s a brick of white peanut butter toast, with a cascade of condensed milk and a hunk of melting butter. Team it with one of their own brand of bottled iced milk coffee. The caffeine should fend off the food coma.

A stack of toast with melted butter on top.
Peanut butter toast perfection from Plus852. Photo by Sofia Levin.

Cafe Soho

Tucked down in the Tivoli Arcade, Cafe Soho does a cheap and cheerful line in classic HK comfort food. And you can customise it to your liking. Order your instant noodles and with additions like Spam or fried chicken wings. Ditto with sandwiches and fillings like corned beef and egg. Or go a bake – choose your protein, fave sauce and get it baked to golden perfection. The all-day sets are great value too.


Fire up your ‘gram. TuanTuan has a brunchy, Parisian-chic interior. Their dishes are equally pretty. The menu is a captivating culinary showcase. Macanese rice dishes alongside TuanTuan’s innovative curries, congees and noodle soups. Snow Buns are their signature though. Pillowy orbs filled with crispy barbecue pork, sweet pineapple or salted egg custard. And make sure you order an iced milk tea – with a teddy bear–shaped ice cube! 

A table filled with dumplings, iced coffees and Asian food.

Heyday Hong Kong Café

Heyday is tucked down a nondescript Chinatown laneway. It's an unassuming little joint with a distinctly retro vibe. Menus are stuck on the wall and prices are easy on the pocket. Dip inside for colourful, cosy plates of fluffy French toast or hearty stir-fries. There are the usual spaghetti dishes and sandwich sets, but we reckon the Heyday signature is the way to go. It's a plate of crispy chicken wings with egg on rice. Simple. Delicious.

Cafe d’Hong Kong

This cute Hong Kong eatery in QV serves up the greatest hits. HK-style rice dishes, cart noodles and sizzling plates are just the tip of this menu’s iceberg. The sets are a hearty option. Choose a saucy protein, say, satay beef or shredded pork with preserved pickle. It comes served with butter toast and a fried egg. Or you could try the baked fried rice or spaghetti. Order it with a chicken chop and melted mozzarella.

Toast, rice bowls and fried chicken at a restaurant.
Cafe d’Hong Kong. Photo via QV website.

Le Charme Peking Duck

This tiny Chinatown local puts a charming flair on modern Hong Kong eats. Le Charme's sharing sets for two to four friends are an absolute steal. Try the signature Peking duck set. It comes with all the regular trimmings, plus side dishes, dumplings and dessert. Or the spicy chicken hot pot. Nothing beats dipping a deep-fried beancurd roll into that boiling broth.

Kowloon Cafe

This cafe is loved by locals for its cheap eats and lunch sets. Pop into the Kmart Centre and grab a seat in the busy Kowloon Cafe. Choose a housemade drink and your meal set from the daily specials. It won't cost you more than $16.50. Favourites include cheese baked pork chop and teriyaki chicken on rice. And pair it with a refreshing iced lemon tea or milk tea.

Lead image and imagery of Plus852 by Sofia LevinSeasoned Traveller.

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