Kasa — Hong Kong, China
In the quotidian lives of Hong Kong denizens, the ubiquitous cha chan tang looms large. At all hours of the day, these large, bustling diners lure those seeking a quick lunch of beef tendon noodles; a slurp of yin-yong, a sweet icy mix of coffee and tea; or perhaps a late-night supper of French toast slathered with peanut butter and thick honey.
Lim + Lu’s interior design for Kasa (either a pun on ‘casa’, or a rough tranliteration of the Chinese ideograms for ‘fragrant family’) in the city’s heaving Central quarter infuses the cha chan tang model with a light contemporary touch. The handsome black-framed concertina entrance folds open to a long narrow space where the chipped tessellated floor tiles segue into raw concrete, vinyl booths, marble table tops, and the familiar accoutrements of pendant lamps, and crude pink and green tiles. Clerestoried windows provide a thematic link between the second floor and the ground floor, while the bright neon ideograms for ‘healthy eating’ lend the space a Wong Kar Wai noir mood while subtly telegraphing the eatery’s MO.
Speaking of, the menu is of the east-meets-west variety, to whit, sweet potato noodles with mushrooms and onsen egg, and a salmon fillet dressed with ginger and scallion.