Hong Kong’s cha chaan teng tea restaurants are known for their affordability but some steep dim sum prices in the city’s touristy Tsim Sha Tsui area are taking a bite out of that reputation.
Sky Post reported Thursday that some regular dim sum dishes such as shrimp dumplings and steamed spare ribs are on the menu for HK$48 (US$6.19) per dish at one Ashley Road cha chaan teng, a price that online arbiters of local taste refer to as hotel-grade. Such dishes usually go for around HK$20 to HK$25.
The restaurant’s owners say they have no choice but to charge more as rent and food costs eat into margins, the report said. Other caterers claim the cha chaan teng in question is obviously not targeting local customers but big-spending mainland tourists.
One woman who works in Tsim Sha Tsui said she would rather go to a hotel than pay those prices at a cha chaan teng.
Ground floor space in Tsim Sha Tsui comes at a price, with one 2,000 square foot shop in the area leased out for HK$1.95 million per month to a jewelry business, the report said.
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