Musings of a bon vivant in Hong Kong

Hotcakes & Pea Soup- what a combo set

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Facebook is pretty useful. It helps you to track and “poke” unsuspecting friends, post your musings of the day, upload photos of your drunken nights so you can piece together the shenanigans of the evening and more importantly, helps you track down your next meal!

My friend Krispy K (an eager BB photographer who uploads her photos onto FB faster than you can say “cheese!”) very helpfully uploaded photos of her midnight feasting at an extremely quaint and cool looking cha chaa teng in Causeway Bay called Cafe Matchbox. Continuing the “retro” theme, Cafe Matchbox has decked out its interiors in a Hong Kong ’60s style, with funky green and white tiling on the walls, tacky plastic lights, green blinds and the strains of Canto music of years gone by, playing in the background. I LOVE it.
Nothing makes me happier than going somewhere cheap and cheerful and Matchbox hits the spot. The menu is jam packed with local comfort food, from your baked rice dishes to your soup noodles/ macaroni combo with good ol’ spam or ham with a fried egg. They also churn out some cracking traditional desserts such as egg tarts, mango pudding and cream cakes.
But..when I went, my eye was on the prize. There was one particular set meal I was desperate to get my chops on and that was the chicken pie in green pea soup followed by banana hotcakes. Sounds awesome doesn’t it? Tastes even AWESOMER (not a real word, made it up, but I like it). The other set offers scrambled egg and ham with a thick piece of buttered toast to start, followed by BBQ pork and peas in a noodle soup. Not as exciting but definitely just as comforting. So….we got both sets! And, we also added a bowl of pork liver and instant noodle soup plus a beef consumme for SJ and 2 hot ovaltines for R and myself. Faint with hunger, us 3 girls waited in anticipation, practically drooling over the menu and gazing with food envy at our neighbouring tables’ food. 
SJ was like a girl possessed when her pork liver instant noodle soup arrived. Chopsticks dove into the big bowl and she eagerly dumped the noodles into her own little receptacle, and soon she was in raptures over the liver and the gingery soup. When R and I eventually got to the bowl of noodles, SJ was in a dream-like state and in a happy place (ok, I exaggerate, SJ is a very lovely, elegant girl but she was pretty darn hungry, never seen her attack food like that before- you go girl!) If you are a fan of offal like us, you will love the liver which was cooked to perfection. Some places over cook the liver until it reaches that rather tough and rubbery stage but Matchbox delivered very tender slices and the soup base was YUM.
 Then it was my turn to get all excited. The green pea soup is an arresting sight- VERY green. It’s steaming hot and extremely tasty. The chicken pie pastry is exactly like the pastry used to make the egg tarts- sweet, light and just the right kind of flaky and the sweetness makes an interesting but moreish contrast against the savoriness of the soup.Words can’t express how happy us girls were when we bulldozed our way through this dish.
The scrambled egg and ham? All I can say is, I wish I could make scrambled eggs taste like that. How do cha chaan tengs do it?! And the thick cut toast slathered in butter was deeply satisfying.
The BBQ pork soup noodles were decent, nothing amazing compared to the chicken pie but the BBQ pork was well prepared; the soup was just lacking a bit of flavour.The best part of the meal was definitely the banana hotcakes. 2 gorgeous soft and fluffy hotcakes drenched in syrup and a drizzle of cream, topped with slices of banana and walnuts. What more could you ask for to end a truly scrumptious, cheap as chips dining experience? Drool-worthy.And, before I forget, the ovaltine was amazing too- just like your Grandma would’ve made for you.
Chopstixfix rating: for fab food and fantastic value for money 4/5
Cafe Matchbox, 8 Cleveland Street, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2868 0363
$$$$$$$$$$ ($60 each for a feast!)

Author: chopstixfix

Michelle Ng is a Brit born Chinese-Malaysian who has loved food since time immemorial. She is a firm believer in "Live to Eat, not Eat to Live".

One thought on “Hotcakes & Pea Soup- what a combo set

  1. Thinking of comfort food right now in freezing England, makes me think of the chicken pie in the green pea soup, a far superior version of the Brisbane one where they serve the pie atop a massive pile of mushy peas. Ahh..if only I can get my hands on the wet version and the banana hotcakes!!!

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