Tucked away in one of Mong Kok’s old tenant buildings across MacPherson Stadium on Shan Tung Street, you’ll find the newly-opened Lo Yi Faateng 老二花廳. It’s a real gem of a café for those who are able to locate it. The journey to Lo Yi Faateng takes you through an inconspicuous doorway and up a murky staircase that opens up to an artfully decorated room with a “dictator” theme. It’s a quirky little oasis you definitely cannot miss.
The café caters to the lazy lifestyles of today’s youth, opening daily at 3PM and closing at midnight – perfect for late risers like me. Having made so many mistakes regarding opening times in the past, I made sure of Lo Yi Faateng’s hours before I went. I knew I had to visit before it became popular with the masses of Hong Kong, so I hurried along one Saturday afternoon.
To start off, the owners of Lo Yi Faateng have kept the room’s original layout and checked floor tiles. The café is decorated with furniture and antiques to give it character. An old Sharp fridge is tucked between the tables, and books of various genres stacked are inside wire baskets and peeling wooden shelves for customers to flip through. Each piece appears to have been thoughtfully picked out by the owners to work with the hipster vibe of the space.
Topping up the quirkiness is the painted street art of famous dictators on the walls. Kim Jong-un doing the hula in a dress, Osama Bin Laden cycling with bunny ears on and Muammar Gaddafi on a motorcycle in a cape are examples of the wacky drawings you’ll find in Lo Yi Faateng. They’re the stars of the show, sure to draw in visitors.
Lo Yi Faateng offers an extended menu of that ranges from pasta to cake. Tea sets are available until 6PM, then swapped for dinner sets until closing time. It was late afternoon when I visited, so I opted for a sweet treat to indulge in, deciding on the Chocolate Mousse Cake which came with a drink of choice. It was cheap, but taste-wise, it was rather bland. The cake had obviously been retrieved from the freezer then served too quickly without time to thaw. Definitely don’t expect anything fancy at Lo Yi Faateng, but then again, you’re here for the architecture anyway, aren’t you?
Besides the uninspiring food, I would give Lo Yi Faateng a general thumbs up. The tables were clean, the waiters were attentive and the environment proved perfect for an afternoon chat. The café also provides fast wifi, which makes it a great place to work. It might get a little stuffy in summer and slightly chilly in winter with only open-air ventilation, but that’s nothing to complain about. A little fresh air is what we all need in Hong Kong right now!
Lo Yi Faateng 老二花廳
1/F, 80-82 Shan Tung Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
+852 9823 9939
More great finds on the dark side (Kowloon):
- Be Tabula Rasa Studio
- Café Hillywood
- Feed Your Nerves
- Floom Floom
- Lucy Coffee n Food
- Mum’s Not Home
- Storerooms No. 3
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