Category Archives: Temples

Bite Unite. Kitchen, Dining Space. Chefs for hire.

After our lunch at Maureen’s, we decided to walk off a bit of those noodles. SW suggested we walk up towards the Pak Tai temple where he had noticed a new cafe. 

Just when you’ve walked up as far as you can go on the tarmac, the road bends to the left (straight ahead is a path that takes you up to Kennedy Road). Here was a promising sign under the street sign. It was a blackboard with a fairly simple menu touting coffees, tea and a few pastries.

Encouraged by the menu, we proceeded down the street. Lung On Street really is a beautiful street. The banyan trees, conserved and cared for by the temple, provide shade and a sense of nature’s calm. 

At the end of the street is a cul de sac, and this is where the cafe is located, looking all cool outfitted in black and glass. 

It really reminded me of neighbourhood cafes I’ve been to in London, New York or Sydney. Simple, with some alfresco seating areas and a signboard that isn’t screaming full attention. Nicely designed. 

There was a kids cooking class that was going on. About ten children were creating a ruckus just talking to each other. All equipment had been laid out, they were definitely doing some baking. 

There wasn’t a whole lot of space internally as half of it was devoted to a professional kitchen. There was a proper large stacked oven for breads, pizzas or grilling a whole suckling pig. A nice looking fridge and some pots and pans. Importantly there was a deep wide sink and a work top. Bite Unite offers chefs a licensed kitchen for hire.

Khun Tanarak, the owner, is there as the site also serves as his office (he’s a photographer specialising in weddings). 

I asked him about his choice of location.

“Wong Chuk Hang where most kitchens are, is too far away. Most chefs just need a convenient space to pop in, prepare and get back to whatever else they need to do..”

Since he lives up on Kennedy Road, it is also convenient for him to site his office within walking distance.

He apologised as the coffee machine was under maintenance. Well, that’s a perfect excuse to come back to try the cafe another day.

Pak Tai Temple 北帝古廟

This is the most impressive temple in Wan Chai. Set back and away from the main thoroughfare of Queen’s Road East, it seems that not many tourists (or locals for that matter) make it over to this temple to visit or pray. 

On Sunday, it was a quiet and calm. We were the only visitors mid-afternoon and the only people in there besides the staff.

It’s free to enter and look around as long as your kids don’t touch or destroy anything. The statues and prayer alters are rich in color and there’s a stillness in the air that only thick stone and incense can create. 

many altars, a drum
pray, write your name

There are so many different altars for prayer, I will attempt to find out if they are for different reasons.

And then the impressive incense room. If you have a sensitive nose you might want to avoid this room.

Finally, if you’d like to know your luck for the year ahead (year of the monkey), the temple masters have it on display already.. So you know what to pray for.

Hososcope predictions

Please take note of the signs in the temple.

If you’d like to visit, get yourself to Wan Chai market and walk up Stone Nullah Street past the Blue House. You will only see it when you get to the end of the road.

Map to Pak Tai Temple

For families, grab a bite at Stone Nullah Tavern (western food) or drink at the 7Eleven on the way to the Temple. There’s a small sitting area next to the temple that you can sit and rest a while. Just check that the temple furnace isn’t going at full tilt… It exhausts out into the sitting area. 

Note: there are about 8 steps up to the temple so you’ll have to carry your stroller up. Best to leave it outside as there are steps and exposed traditionally wooden door frames which you’ll need to step over. These perform the all important function of keeping the hopping ghosts and vampires out.