Seasonal Almanac

Major cold: vulture flies stern and swift (5 of 5)

January 30th, 2009

Mido Cafe (美都餐室) is like a set from a Wong Kar-wai film. Its interior has changed so little since its opening in 1950, it is regarded as the quintessential Hong Kong style cafe (港式茶餐廳). The tiles on the wall, the booth seatings, the ceiling fans, the lighting, the clocks, the deco…. are uncontrivedly ‘period’. This somehow seems less a conscious decision than a result of circumstances.

The cafe is near the Broadway Cinematheque in Yau Ma Tei so it gets its share of the arty crowd. Some people complain that its food is nothing special (despite its fame), but the cafe never has problem filling its tables. We sat upstairs by the window. It had been a warm-ish day so the windows were opened and ceiling fans were on low. Through the venetian blinds, you could see the last character of the cafe’s neon sign: 室. Beyond the street outside the temple the night stalls were selling jade, antiques, trinkets and what-have-yous. On the far side, the fortune tellers amassed. In the square attached to the temple old men continued to play chinese chess well into the night.

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