Cafe Inside, G/F, 47 Water St., Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Area:Sai Ying Pun
Nearest Train:Sheung Wan
Opening Hours:daily 7pm-7am
Reviewed In:December, 2012
This colorful café looks like it’s been decorated by a grown-up emo chick, but the canvases of sinister manga and anime-looking Betty Boop characters hanging on the bright green walls next to a Union Jack flag didn’t seem to faze the other guests.
After spending a good 10 minutes looking at every odd toy, picture and memorabilia usually found in an old school nursery, we tried to order brunch dishes, which ended up being a group effort. The sweet and friendly staff couldn’t speak a lick of English so they asked a lady at a nearby table to help with our order.
We were looking for at least one breakfast dish but with all of the confusion we decided to make it easy and just go with two lunches: a grilled chicken sandwich (pictured) and spaghetti and meatballs in a homemade sauce which comes with a choice of soup or salad (a giant pile of light green lettuce drizzled with oil and vinegar). The first meal turned out to be a plain open-faced sandwich which used a very thickly sliced piece of white bread that you might find in a little kid’s lunch box. The al dente spaghetti was tossed in either a tomato sauce from a can or in ketchup mixed with chopped pineapples—the “homemade” label on the menu is definitely questionable.
The experience for Canto-speaking peeps might be quite different from ours, and this small and homey Sai Ying Pun spot could be a nice place for a cheap and simple—if not exactly western—meal. But for those of us looking for the real deal, it’s a different story.