One of my favorite places to go for afternoon tea is Starbucks. Not only because I'm from Seattle, but mostly because they are pretty snazzy to hang out in. One of the most fun to visit is the Starbucks down in Mong Kok (1st and 2nd Floors of Wai Kee House, 91 Sai Yee Street).
When it first opened up, I remember having my pick of seats, but now it's pretty busy at all times of the day. This is one of those themed Starbuck Cafes, which is very Hong Kong-centric. You'll see what I mean as you take a walk around with me and my camera...
Things I love about this Starbucks:
1. This is relatively one of the faster serviced ones. It's not stealth fast, but I can see the hustle when they do have a lot of customers lining up. It is Mong Kok after all! And believe me, I've been to hundreds of cafes around Hong Kong that have the service of a snail. But, still, not as fast as back in Seattle!
2. I love all the artwork around this place. I especially appreciate the giant chalkboard that periodically changes throughout the year.
3. This probably won't surprise anyone, but I absolutely love the tiling on the floor. It reminds me of the old Hong Kong canteens that are still dotted around the city. It adds to that Old Hong Kong vibe of this cafe.
4. This places feels like the happening place to be. There are always people at the Sai Yee Street Starbucks. And whenever I visit, I always do the Hong Kong thing and ask a lone stranger, "Hi, is this seat taken?" I love how it's so normal to sit at a table with a stranger for half an hour or so. I've been living in this City for so long that I can't even remember if we did this back in Seattle. I think, perhaps, not. I mean, because personal space is so limited in Hong Kong...hmmm...enlighten me if I am wrong!
5. If there are no seats on the 1st or 2nd floor, there is always the outdoor sitting area. But, I think this is mostly the smoking area. On a good day, it's a great place to just sit out and people watch down onto the street.
7. The best part of visiting this cafe is the huge mahjong piece of artwork that greets you at the front door.