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tung po kitchen
Photograph: Calvin Sit

Hong Kong's legendary Tung Po Kitchen closes after 30 years

The local dai pai dong was given notice to close up shop by this week

Jenny Leung
Cherry Chan
Written by
Jenny Leung
&
Cherry Chan
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Following the recent closures of some of Hong Kong's most iconic restaurants, including the historic Lin Heung Tea House and Mido Cafe, it looks as though we have to bid farewell to yet another famous eatery – Tung Po Kitchen. A somewhat rite of passage for tourists and new arrivals in Hong Kong, Tung Po sits on the upper floors of the Java Road Market and Cooked Food Centre in North Point, and has been entertaining crowds for 30 years with their down-to-earth customer service (which often involves singing, dancing, and popping beer bottles with chopsticks), Cantonese classics fresh out of the wok, a random but always booming and belt-worthy playlist, and of course, the famous tradition of drinking beer from their signature porcelain 'fighter bowls'. You know, like a true soldier would.  

According to local news outlet Mingpao, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) issued a letter to Tung Po Kitchen on August 26, stating that the local eatery violated the terms of their tenancy agreements and that Tung Po Kitchen's licensee was not present when it was operating. The dai pai dong has been given until September 2 to clear out their venue. In the letter, the FEHD alleges that Tung Po Kitchen violated the terms of their lease and issued a Notice of Proposed Termination of the Lease to the restaurant on August 3. Following this, representatives from Tung Po Kitchen provided a written explanation, but the FEHD did not accept their explanation and decided to terminate Tung Po Kitchen's lease on September 2. The FEHD has also stated that if Tung Po Kitchen's licensees are not satisfied with the tenancy agreement, they can issue a letter and appeal to the Municipal Services Appeal Board within 30 days from the date of issue of the notice. 

A representative from the dai pai dong's management stated that the notice from the FEHD was given on short notice and that Tung Po Kitchen was not given a month's notice before having to close their business, describing the FEHD's behaviour as "unreasonable".

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