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Sham Shui Po Noodle Shop Brings Back Flavors of Ordinary 1960s Hong Kongers

Raja Jie, a new noodle restaurant, opened on April 11. It offers "raja mian" noodles, a formative dish in Hong Kong's culinary culture, in a 1960s Hong Kong atmosphere.

The noodles are referred to as "raja"―meaning "adequate" or "dirty"―because they were sold in pushcarts using ingredients considered leftover scraps at the time: fish dumplings, beef ribs, squid and pig intestine, pig blood clots, pork liver and so forth. As Hong Kong's food culture evolved it came to be known as "che zai mian," and now few are familiar with the term "raja mian." The owner, Mr. Feng, opened the restaurant in Sham Shui Po because "I want to reproduce authentic old raja mian, with the flavor and ambience."

The restaurant, previously a butcher shop, is decorated inside with old signs and tiles, along with retro items from antique stores and flea markets, to recreate 1960s Hong Kong.

While the food is raja mian intended for the ordinary Hong Konger, Feng is attentive to patrons' needs. Customers can choose from either chicken or fish broth, together with the standard raja mian mix of fish dumplings and pig intestine. They can also choose turban shell soaked in chili oil or Shaoxing wine, or home-made octopus dumplings. Feng says the restaurant sells 350 bowls a day on weekends.

Raja Jie has seating for around 40 guests. A bowl of noodles costs HK$28, plus HK$6-10 for extra ingredients.

Business hours are from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (and from 11:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays).

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