Our family went tomb sweeping today ahead of the upcoming holiday, and the few of us present in Taipei had a casual gathering over lunch afterwards. I wanted to try out Happy Hong Kong (港欣新潮茶餐廳), and the others kindly agreed to indulge me.
To be honest, I didn't have high expectations. I found out about this place through a TV program, and found out that they serve "creative" cha chaan teng (茶餐廳) food. While some of the fusion dishes looked interesting, I didn't like the fact that the owner - the son of an old-time celebrity - spent time showing us how much money he spent on decorations… and how the seeming small elements cost a ton of money because they were special and imported. For a casual meal that I would have in this place, food is much more important than the decor.
We were all very hungry, so we started ordering this and that - with a good mix between the more traditional and the creative/fusion dishes.
Overall I thought the food was OK. I can see a few things which have been copied from Tsui Wah (翠華) in Hong Kong, while the chefs - several of them have been poached from 5-star hotels around town - have tried to put forth their own creations. Maybe I'll come back another time and try some more cha chaan teng classics and see how they stack up to the real thing...