Kowloon Cafe arrives in Burwood complete with a Hong Kong mini-bus bar

Kowloon Cafe is like a slice of Hong Kong in Burwood, right down to the bus, which functions as a bar.
Kowloon Cafe is like a slice of Hong Kong in Burwood, right down to the bus, which functions as a bar. Photo: Kera Wong Photography

Howin Chui concedes he might have overstepped with his nod to the food and accessories of the Hong Kong cafe scene at Kowloon Cafe, which opened last week in Burwood.

The cafe's co-owner went out and bought one of the buses that service the smaller suburbs of Hong Kong without properly considering its size: "We had to cut it up into six pieces to get it in here then put it back together."

"I really wanted that dirty street look; public transport is a big thing in Hong Kong," he says. 

The Hong Kong bus that serves as Kowloon Cafe's bar had to be cut into six pieces and reassembled on site.
The Hong Kong bus that serves as Kowloon Cafe's bar had to be cut into six pieces and reassembled on site. Photo: Kera Wong Photography

The bus doubles as a bar at the second Kowloon Cafe. The first opened in Sydney's Chinatown on the eve of the pandemic.

The Burwood cafe continues the exploration of HK's cafe staples, including French toast served with a selection of condensed milk, honey and maple syrup and pineapple buns.

"There isn't any pineapple in them, they just look like a pineapple. They're sweet and savoury," Chui says.

Braised beef brisket noodle.
Braised beef brisket noodle. Photo: Kera Wong Photography

"Hong Kong has outside influences from the British and Europeans; there's even a spaghetti bolognese that's sweeter." 

The Burwood branch also has a minced beef dish with egg rice on its opening menu.

"We do it a little differently from what you'd find [in Hong Kong]. The way we plate it and cover all the rice with the minced beef, it's comfort food."

The plan is to open Kowloon Cafes elsewhere, with Melbourne and Brisbane on the restaurateurs' wishlist.

Open daily 11.30am-9.30pm.

Lot 11A, 27 Belmore Street, Burwood, kowlooncafe.com.au