Deep-fried Crispy Baby Pigeon, Tea-smoked Pigeon (pic: Woo Cheong Tea House)
Dining Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s historic Woo Cheong Pawn Shop returns as Woo Cheong Tea House

Hong Kong's 133-year-old Woo Cheong Pawn Shop has reopened as a high-end traditional Cantonese restaurant in the heart of Wanchai.

The century-old Woo Cheong Pawn Shop reopens as Woo Cheong Tea House after its three-month renovation, bringing high-end traditional Cantonese cuisine within the iconic and historic four-story tenement building.

The Woo Cheong Pawn Shop was built in 1888 and originally owned by the Lo family, a well-known local pawnshop trader. The four-story building is well-known for incorporating Chinese and Western architectural features like high ceilings, French windows to the balconies, and light wells. 

In 2007, the Woo Cheong Pawn Shop was revitalized and turned into a landmark with exhibition space and specialty restaurants.

Head Chef_Edmond Ip (pic: Woo Cheong Tea House))
Head Chef_Edmond Ip (pic: Woo Cheong Tea House))

The new Woo Cheong Tea House is the first high-end Cantonese restaurant managed by Classified Group. Situated in Wan Chai, it boasts an “innovating with tradition” philosophy that celebrates the district’s status as a meeting point of rich history and modern cultures.

Other than exquisite Cantonese cuisine, the restaurant also offers elegant dim sum and premium teas which creates an unforgettable dining experience for its guests.

Woo Cheong Tea House is split between two levels. The first floor serves premium teas, signature tea-infused cocktails and dim sum items that are prepared fresh to order. On its second floor, guests can enjoy traditional Cantonese cuisine in an elegant and chic setting.

Positioning itself as a garden oasis in the busy city, the restaurant uses a floral theme and vivid colours that contrast the jostle of the streets and the tramway just beyond the restaurant doors. Also, every room in the restaurant is connected to Woo Cheong Pawn Shop’s iconic balcony to create a unique dining space.

Head Chef Edmond Ip builds his menu on the essence of Cantonese cuisine, craftsmanship, seasonality and flavour. On top of these three elements, Chef Ip has also added innovative new touches to the traditional cuisine. 

Deep-fried Crispy Baby Pigeon, Tea-smoked Pigeon (pic: Woo Cheong Tea House)
Deep-fried Crispy Baby Pigeon, Tea-smoked Pigeon (pic: Woo Cheong Tea House)

Taking the dish Deep-fried Crispy Baby Pigeon with Tea-smoked Pigeon Egg as an example, instead of flavouring the meat first with a soya sauce marinade before air-drying and deep-frying, the chef chose to marinate the meat while raw and then deep-fried to preserve the tender juiciness of the meat. The dish is also served with a tea-smoked quail egg put in a vessel shaped like a bird’s nest.

Some other must-try Chinese cuisines include Sautéed Prawn, Stir-fried Pork Spareribs with Mandarin Peel and Black Vinegar, as well as Tea-smoked Chicken.

For dim sim, another Head Chef Eric Sun incorporates healthy eating practices and multicultural culinary elements to present a brand new dim sum experience to its guest.

Woo Cheong Dim Sum (pic: Woo Cheong Tea House)
Woo Cheong Dim Sum (pic: Woo Cheong Tea House)

For instance, its Bean Curd Sheet Rolls is enhanced with the superfood of avocado and seasonal black truffles. Its Pan-seared Buns is made with Tom Yum style and mixed seafood, which infuses the flavours of Thailand’s beloved spicy and sour soup into pan-fried buns.

Other special dim sums include Steamed Fish Dumplings, Barbecued Pork Puffs With Mixed Lemon, and Pan- Fried Salmon with Homemade Tofu, Tea-Infused

What’s more, no Cantonese meal is complete without tea. Woo Cheong Tea House offers around 20 types of premium brews, including the rare agarwood tea which is healthy, organic, caffeine-free, and can be enjoyed as a cold brew. Guests can also find the famous ganpu tea, which consists of a whole mandarin filled with pu’erh. This Xinhui speciality is especially soothing in the wintertime.

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