Hong Kong Cafe
149 East Pender Street. Relocation 1952. The Hong Kong Café has the longest counter in the city, with 39 round stools on a raised level off the floor, running the length of the room to the kitchen doors. Intimate tall-back wooden booths and small rectangular mirrors edge the walls. The running-down-the-middle counter becomes somewhat of a single mens' social club in the early community. A hotspot for the infamous, long-running underground Chinese lottery pool'with four draws daily, from 5¢ to $2, and tickets printed by moonlight at the Chinese Times newspaper letterpress. A thick, mysterious atmosphere permeates this dark-paneled chamber of curt old-men waiters who delight in handling the thick china cups and saucers roughly in a clicking and clanging. The most worldly waiters on the Chinatown strip. Their popular coffee, brewed in canvas bags and sprinkled with broken eggshells, has a unique flavour and comes to you heavily creamed, unless you ask for it black. Ah! The specialty of the house'those freshly baked little sugar-coated apple dumpling pastries, hot and irresistible. A new batch released from the kitchen everyday at 2:00 p.m. At the ringing till, regulars come and go with turnovers in a white box from a stack always there, tied shut with a white string from a dangling spool by the waiter's laughing hands in a theatrical show of a nimble and sure twist and snap.