Infusing Traditional Chinese Medicine Into Café Fares: Even during the most challenging time, the city is never short of new cafés. The traditional herbal tea house Wing Sang Tong joins the scene with South Herbal Lab, infusing the century-old teachings of Chinese medicine into coffees and small bites.
Look & Feel: The cozy South Herbal Lab sits in between old tong-lau (唐樓) and motor services in the Cheung Sha Wan neighborhood. The interior is dominated by wood-toned rattan furniture and touched up with brass coffee tables, representing the café’s mix of Chinese heritage and modern influences.
On The Menu: Listed as one of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage, Chinese herbal tea, also known as leung cha (涼茶), is an infusion of herbs originating from China’s Guangdong province, believed to contain medicinal properties to maintain a healthy inner body harmony. If you are holding back because you can’t stand the bitterness of traditional herbal teas, South Herbal Lab’s offerings could be your first step into exploring the traditional culture.
Try Plumeria Elderflower Coffee Tonic or the Chrysanthemum Cold Brew Coffee for a regular sip of coffee, but with a stronger floral fragrance. Topping off your regular summer drinks with plumeria, used in ancient times to “cool down” your body, anti-flu remedy elderflower, and chrysanthemum that balanced the “heat” of your body, the café’s unique twist on coffee tonic, cold brew and other of its herbal-coffee specialities serve as a great introduction to the traditional leung cha that can also be found in the house.
Light meals are also served in South Herbal Lab. Besides popular café fares such as croffles and tamagoyaki (Japanese egg rolls), the house also offers its special Yam and Barley Pearl Tofu Ice cream. The two popular ingredients in Cantonese medicinal cuisine are believed to hold dietary effects that help with enterogastric peristalsis.
Great For: Coffee catch-ups, light meals or something to cool yourself down during summertime.
FYI: Please seek professional help from a licensed doctor or physician with any questions regarding your health or medical condition.
This writeup is a news piece and was not based on a restaurant visit. The Loop HK will update this post once we’ve visited in person.