Affinity Kitchen | $$ | 3.5

Hainan Chicken Laksa

A Singaporean colleague mentioned when we first touched down in Hong Kong that we would need to try some proper Singaporean food. A few weeks later the day had finally arrived and, after a short trip on the “Ding-Ding”, we were on our way to Affinity Kitchen. The Ding-Ding is a double-decker tram, which is remarkable for a number of reasons, but mainly because: (1) it is ridiculously cheap to use; (2) it takes you straight to Happy Valley Racecourse and (3) you can charter the Ding-Ding as a PARTY TRAM on a Friday or Saturday night. All aboard – next stop Boogie Wonderland.

Below: The Ding-Ding in full swing and the façade of Affinity Kitchen

Two stops and a brisk 5 minute walk later, I was looking at the Affinity Kitchen menu. The restaurant specialises in laksa, so it is hardly any surprise that laksa dominates the menu. I was immediately drawn to the chicken laksa (a spicy noodle soup with coconut and Hainan province style chicken). Like so many restaurants in Hong Kong, this place was incredibly popular – we lined up for 20 minutes to get a seat.

The interior is very basic and looks like it hasn’t been renovated since the Qing dynasty. This is often a good sign. Locals willing to line up for 20 minutes to get a seat at a restaurant with weathered and slightly lethargic décor are nearly always doing it because they know the food is worthwhile.

Our Hainan chicken arrived with a generous portion of condiments and garlic (possibly something to be mindful of if you don’t intend on returning to the office after lunch smelling like a vampire hunter). The laksa itself was rich and flavoursome, and the fried tofu cubes absorbed the myriad of flavours well. The chicken fell of the bone with ease and was excellent when dipped in the laksa.  One downside was that the chicken was lukewarm. My preference would have been for hot or cold, but it tasted great regardless.

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The portion of noodles was very generous. I should have stopped eating half-way, but my lack of temperance and love of food made that an impossibility.

A very tasty, flavoursome and filling meal. Recommended if you’ve been craving a laksa, or simply if you want to eat somewhere local Hong Kongers eat.

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