Hong Kong diners, or Cha Chaan Tengs, are common across Toronto and the surrounding suburbs, serving a classic assortment of oriental variations of French toast and Portuguese chicken. And while the food is great, the drinks are the most notable part of these places.
This guide will let you know what to drink next time you’re at a Cha Chaan Teng.
Hong Kong Milk Tea
Asia really likes its milk tea—to the extent that every country has their own variation. Hong Kongers sieve their tea through a net that resembles a pantyhose (which is why the drink is also called pantyhose/silk stocking milk tea) to bring out a tangy flavour from a mixture of ground black teas. Evaporated milk and sugar are added after the leaves are sieved and steeped. The drink is served both hot and cold.
New City Restaurant
Address: 8392 Kennedy Road, Unionville
Address: 155 East Beaver Creek Road, Richmond Hill
Address: 3330 Midland Avenue, Toronto
Hong Kong Lemon Tea
Using the same brewing method as the milk tea, this variation (a staple on menus including at Lucullus Bakery) replaces the evaporated milk with three to four slices of lemon. The drinker has to smash the lemon slices with the provided spoon—and straw if it’s the iced version— to mix in the citrus. Vita, a popular drink brand, also packages this lemon tea in juice boxes, creating the Hong Kong equivalent to Nestea.
Address: 31 Elm Street, Toronto
Address 328 Highway 7 East, Richmond Hill
Address: 7750 Kennedy Road, Markham
Address 169 Enterprise Boulevard, Markham
Yuenyeung is a combination of coffee and tea. Popular in other countries such as Malaysia and Ethiopia, the Hong Kong version uses the pantyhose tea, coffee, evaporated milk, and sugar. The name Yuengyeung comes from Mandarin ducks, which represents the love between two partners in Chinese culture.
The combination of tea and coffee has a creaminess that is enhanced by the evaporated milk and can be found on the menus at Deer Garden Signatures.
Deer Garden Signatures
Address: 633 Silver Star Boulevard, Unit 125, Scarborough
Address: 550 Highway 7 East, Unit 108-109, Richmond Hill
Horlicks and Ovaltine
Both Horlicks and Ovaltine are popular drinks around the world. Ovaltine is a milk flavouring powder made from malt and whey and has a cocoa taste to it. Horlicks is also a powder used with milk and is made from malted barley and wheat flour. Both drinks taste great hot or on the rocks. and are available for order at cafes like One Ten Cafe.
One Ten Cafe
Address: 28 Finch Avenue West, Unit 110, North York
Red Bean Ice
Red bean ice is a delicious treat found at places like Toronto’s Phoenix Cafe—a combination of red bean, crushed ice, milk, and vanilla ice cream. Bubble tea straws are used to slurp up the red beans and a long spoon is provided to eat the ice cream. If you consume it too quickly, be warned of brain freezes. (It’s hard not consuming it quickly when it’s so good.)
Address: 10A Edward Street, Toronto
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