[Singapore] Honolulu Cafe at the Centrepoint, Orchard Road.

Since its revamping last year, Centrepoint has seemed to turn to F&B outlets to shore up its business, in place of retail trade as Singaporeans rein in their shopping. Honolulu Cafe from HK is one of those new F&B outlets which has been doing roaring trade since the word ‘go’. Honolulu Cafe is a household name in HK, having been founded in the 1940s by the late Mr Yeung Jin Hei. It’s now run by his sons, Wayne & Derrrick Yeung, since the elder Yeung’s passing 3.5 years back. Wayne Yeung subsequently decided to expand Honolulu Cafe’s business overseas - with 3 in Beijing and 1 in Shanghai before opening this Singapore outlet last year.

Try coming here by 11am, as Singaporean diners can be quite “kiasu”, so the place is often packed to the brim with the lunch crowd by 11.30am!!

The usual suspects which one finds in a HK cha chaan teng here:

  1. Nissin noodles with fried luncheon meat & egg (submerged in the soup, of course, cha chaan teng-style).

  2. Honolulu Cafe’s famous chicken pie - Oh Lawd, this is still the best I’d tasted in Singapore: smallish chunks of chicken in creamy sauce encased in a slightly sweet short-crust pastry. Heavenly. These dainty little chicken pies sometimes sell out by lunch-time.

  1. Sandwich with luncheon meat and fried egg omelette. This is a HK classic which I absolutely loved and will never miss having each time I’m in HK. Somehow, it can never be replicated in Singapore - and, sadly, not even here. The moistness of the egg omelette (fried Chinese style, i.e. much firmer than Western omelettes) is missing. The taste, of course, is all different because of the difference in the ingredients used in Singapore: the bread, condiments, etc. Looks like I still need to go to HK for the real stuff:

  2. Cantonese egg tart - another Honolulu Cafe staple. This was done pretty well, and tastes best when it’s freshly baked and the rich, flaky puff pastry is still warm & crisp. Honolulu’s 70-year-old recipe is supposed to have “192 layers of flaky pastry”. I thought it was the best I’d tasted in Singapore, and prefer it over the ones from another HK transplant, Tai Cheong, over at Takashimaya in Ngee Ann City.

  3. Choice of beverage just has to be the HK-style milk tea. Done pretty well here, though it’s tweaked to suit Singapore tastes and is slightly sweeter.

Honolulu Cafe
01-33, First Floor, The Centrepoint
176 Orchard Road
Singapore 238843
Tel: +65 6734 6609
Opening hours: 11am - 10pm daily.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo