Spicy noodles and pickled fish: Chinese restaurants move to Hong Kong

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In the Shek Tong Tsui area, where Return Home Hunan opened in May, many of the brightly colored restaurants – once mainstays of the neighborhood – had recently closed their doors. A restaurant that served cheap noodles and milk tea was gone, as was a restaurant where retirees gathered to eat dim sum and catch up on the day’s news.

“The restaurant business is hard work,” said Roy Tse, the owner of a local restaurant that sold lunch rice dishes once popular among office workers in Hong Kong’s Taikoo Shing business district. There are fewer visitors at lunchtime these days. Those who still come order the bases.

Yeung Hei, the manager of Fu Ging Aromatic Noodles, a longtime local Hong Kong restaurant where a chef braises beef brisket in front of the window, said he had customers coming in every day.

“But then, one day, they just disappeared and never came back,” he said.

Nowadays, restaurants that offer inexpensive fare tend to do better. Many of the newcomers from the mainland attract customers with deep discounts, coupons and special fan club offers.

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