Kowloon Tong Dessert Cafe

Review by: Roadfood Team

Our two meals at Kowloon Tong Dessert Cafe, a late-night Hong Kong-style cafe in the Inner Richmond district, were easily our finest during a recent trip to San Francisco. Both took place around midnight, on consecutive nights, and on each occasion, even at this late hour, the small tables were jam-packed with scores of people. While you peruse the menu (a copy or two is located beneath each tabletop), a pair of servers effortlessly (but hurriedly) weave through the seating area, eager to take your order. It’s a sparsely decorated and no-frills kind of joint, with a large CASH ONLY sign affixed near the back of the restaurant.

What to eat at Kowloon Tong Dessert Cafe

Our two meals at Kowloon Tong Dessert Cafe, a late-night Hong Kong-style cafe in the Inner Richmond district, were easily our finest during a recent trip to San Francisco. Both took place around midnight, on consecutive nights, and on each occasion, even at this late hour, the small tables were jam-packed with scores of people. While you peruse the menu (a copy or two is located beneath each tabletop), a pair of servers effortlessly (but hurriedly) weave through the seating area, eager to take your order. It’s a sparsely decorated and no-frills kind of joint, with a large CASH ONLY sign affixed near the back of the restaurant.

The menu is as fascinating as it is lengthy: which is to say, very. The cafe offers a veritable treasure trove of midnight snacks and various other treats, from chicken wings to banana splits, or from soya tofu to boiled Coke with ginger and lemon for the more adventurous. On our first visit, we were only up for a snack, so we tried the steamed rice crepe, the unusual boiled Coca-Cola, and a satisfying and soothing green tea.

Our waiter told us that the boiled Coke with ginger and lemon is often suggested as a cold relief, but even without colds we found it delicious and with a real depth of flavor. It came in a tall cup with visible, floating chunks of ginger and lemon slices. The rice crepe was similar to the shrimp or pork-stuffed rice paper rolls you see in dim sum restaurants, but with a thicker soy-based sauce (that tasted like it might have had peanuts or peanut butter in it), and sans any protein. It was light and delicious, and came in an appealing boat-shaped bowl.

On our second visit to Kowloon Tong Dessert Cafe, we had an opportunity to try a slightly larger selection of items. A banana and strawberry smoothie was fresh-tasting but nothing out of the ordinary, although our second night drinking boiled Coke proved that the previous night’s delicious beverage was no fluke.

On the savory side of things, we tried two pretty similar items: the thick toast with condensed milk and peanut butter, and the Hong Kong-style waffles. The waffles, as it turns out, are presented as a waffle sandwich with layers of condensed milk and peanut butter, which meant our two snacks were a little redundant. Luckily, both were delicious–the waffles had a nice, crisp exterior and a pleasantly soft interior, while the toast was majestically thick and crowned with plentiful PB and condensed milk. A sweet treat, for sure.

Our dessert selections were an excellent banana split and an unusual concoction of black sticky rice with mixed fruit and strawberry puree. This latter dish came in a small bowl, with layers of somewhat flavorless black rice readily overpowered by sweet and delightful strawberry puree and a satisfying selection of fruits. It was good, but no match for the superb banana split, which came served in a lengthy bowl with room for plenty of ice cream, banana, whipped cream, and chopped peanuts. All in all, a very satisfying pair of meals, and a fun little place to check out.

Original post by Max C.

 

Directions & Hours

5pm - 12am
  • Monday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Thursday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Friday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Saturday: 3:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

Boiled Coke with Ginger and Lemon

DISH
Banana Split

DISH
Condensed Milk and Butter Toast

DISH
H.K. Style Waffles

DISH
Deep Fried Soya Tofu

DISH

Kowloon Tong Dessert Cafe Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Kowloon Tong Dessert Cafe?

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