Ma Sa: My Favorite Diner in Sheung Wan and Maybe Even Hong Kong

Cha chaan teng, Sheung Wan

Hong Kong is full of tea restaurants, cha chaan teng or ice rooms with very similar menus serving both Cantonese and Western-inspired fare at affordable prices. Ma Sa stands out as one of the best that I’ve tried in the Sheung Wan / Central Area. Granted, I’ve only eaten a few things on the menu because I keep ordering them over and over again. But I can say for sure that set A is fantastic, set B is pretty good and set C is sort of ok. For 31 HKD or 27 HKD before noon you get a decent portion of spaghetti with satay beef, fried eggs or ham over some mildly spicy stir-fried spaghetti along with buttered toast and tea or coffee. Add one more dollar and they’ll give you some classic Hong Kong style iced milk tea.

Here are the main lunch sets: ($27 before 12:00 / $31 after 12:00)
Set A: 1. Toast 2. Satay beef with spaghetti 3. Coffee or tea
Set B: 1. Toast 2. Choice of pickled mustard greens & meat, lunchmeat or ham with rice noodles 3. Coffee or tea
Set C: 1. Toast 2. Ham, spam or diced meat in macaroni soup 3. Coffee or tea


Set A: Satay Beef with Spaghetti

Ma Sa also has an extensive main menu where you can find usual tea restaurant fare  like tofu pork rice (豆腐火腩飯), tomato beef stir-fry (鮮茄牛肉飯), and fried beef noodles (乾炒牛河). The only problem is that they’re usually sold out of all the good dishes by the time the lunch-rush is over. That means you probably want to arrive before 12:30 or else you’ll end up getting Set A every single time.


Tofu Pork Rice

English Menu: Available, but you have to ask.

Average Price Per Person: Under $50

Recommendations: You really can’t go wrong with the satay beef noodles or tofu pork belly rice.

Here’s where to find it: