Central Restaurant
This restaurant, hidden inside a building block on Tai Po Road, has been open for business in a low-key manner for half a century. Inside, the old-fashioned Chinese lanterns give off a murky yellow light, seemingly a scene from old photographs. The typical “one tea-pot and two dim-sums”, mixed with people’s noises, will fill a hungry stomach, especially when big buns are chosen. “Coarseness” was the typical style in those old decades, bringing about contentment.
The 74 years old owner Mr. Ng said, “Our restaurant does not have a refined shop front or furnishings, which save money so our food and dim-sums can have larger portions and customers can have valuefor- money”. Mr. Ng spent most of his life here in Central Restaurant, and has witnessed its history – he worked here since he was 14 years old, starting at the bottommost jobs. During the riots of 1967, when there was shortage of eggs and meat, they made fried rice using quail eggs. He also remembered the Shek Kip Mei fire; by now many old customers and neighbourhood folks have moved away.
Mr. Ng still goes to the shop everyday to look after business, and insists on getting to the market to oversee the provision of supplies. He strives to ensure a high quality of the food served, allowing it to survive in this strongly competitive market. He strives also for a momentary freeze-motion take of this old shop in fleeting times.