For many exchange students in Hong Kong, their introduction to Cantonese cuisine has been at this unassuming restaurant in Mong Kok, run by the affable Mr Wong. The establishment — officially known as 康樂餐廳 — serves an unlimited food-and-beer dinner buffet for just HK$100. And if you head there post-sunset, you’ll find it packed with students who come here for its basic yet traditional Cantonese dishes and Kingway beer.

The concept began in 2007 when a group of foreign students came to Wong Shu Kau’s first restaurant asking to eat Cantonese food. At the time, Wong didn’t speak English, so he just asked his chefs to make some basic dishes and gave the students a crate of beer — and charged them HK$40. Word spread and soon Mr Wong’s, as the restaurant came to be known, became a haunt among students from America and Europe hankering for local food.

mr wong and customers
Mr Wong is popular among exchange students who want local Cantonese food (© M. B. Moles, C. Riederer via Google)

When Wong moved his restaurant to its current Shamchun Street location near the Mong Kok MTR Station in 2012, the students followed him there. The buffet hasn’t changed since 2007, and includes favourites like egg fried rice, yellow curry chicken, beef tenderloin with black pepper, and fried spring rolls, among other dishes. Diners can wash all of this down with a free flow of Kingway, a Shenzhen-brewed lager. 

The price has increased to HK$100 and, while locals get to pick and eat whatever they like as they can communicate with the staff more easily, the foreign students all get the same dishes. It’s most popular on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, with a mix of regulars, first-timers, and seasoned Hongkongers, with the crowds often spilling out onto the street in front of the entrance and at the back.

See also
13 Incredible French Restaurants & Bistros In Hong Kong

Header image credits: J. Lee, F. Wong via Google

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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