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Rose Restaurant
10:30am - 9:30pm
111, A, 11-1 Lan Kwai Fong, 1 Shuijin St.
028 8442 1618
028 8675 8085
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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
We've had a surprising number of cha cantings open up in town during the past year. In their native Hong Kong, cha cantings are café/diner type restaurants with fusion menus reflecting the history and mix of cultures in the SAR – scrambled egg sandwiches, macaroni soup, peanut butter stuffed French toast, ramen noodles with spam, Cantonese fried noodles and barbecue, and curry rice plates are standard fare. Drinks typically include thick, smooth, mahogany coloured milk tea, yuanyang (tea and coffee mixed), Horlick's, and Ovaltine. The service is lightning quick, the tableware usually melamine, and prices such that average folks eat there on weekdays. Hong Kong-style tea restaurants lose something in translation once transported to Chengdu. Some succeed in serving up good Cantonese food, others nail the atmosphere, and a couple do pretty good renditions of the classic dishes. However, few offer the full experience, and the typical 50RMB/person cost is more than working stiffs like ourselves want to spend on a casual lunch, even on payday.

We've tried a few tea restaurants lately and our favourite is one of Chengdu's oldest, Rose Restaurant.

A quality that Rose shares with our favourite Hong Kong cha cantings is that it has been around long enough to have some character. Stellar milk tea is served in mugs sporting a Holstein, and the yuanyang is just as good. We asked for a rib/shao rou barbecue plate the first visit. The skin of the shao rou was pretty hard, but the ribs were fantastic. If we'd been hungrier we would have found the portion a bit lacking. We are in love with the toast, which comes dripping with margarine and condensed milk. Nineteen yuan for toast and tea makes a worthy afternoon snack or decent breakfast. We ordered the fried beef rice noodles next, a standard dish to judge the quality of a Cantonese restaurant. We were impressed that the beef was still smoky from the wok and the noodles were supple and not broken. The crowd includes a lot of locals and shoppers from Chunxi Road, which is a short hop across Zongfu Road from the restaurant. Bills are around 30-50RMB/person.

Rose Restaurant
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