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Lai Yuen: from fun park to restaurant

Amusement park Lai Yuen has launched a Hong Kong-style tea restaurant (cha chaan teng) under its own name in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Celebrating Lai Yuen’s 68th anniversary, Lai Yuen Restaurant has its grand opening tomorrow, and opens its doors to the public on Friday.

Seating 73 guests, the 2280 sqft (212 sqm) restaurant includes a private VIP dining area. It has a contemporary design with oak touches, and features a carousel chandelier that echoes its amusement park connection.

Lai Yuen Restaurant Rendering (2)

Lai Yuen’s tiger cub mascot, styled in glistening white fabric glass, welcomes guests at the restaurant entrance.

A retro menu with a modern twist revives classic foods served at the park in the past, including chicken drumsticks, Fried Noodles in Supreme Soy Sauce with Chicken Leg, Roasted Whole Chicken with Glutinous Rice inspired by the chef’s childhood memories, and Hong Kong-style curries.

Established at Lai Chi Kok in 1949, Lai Yuen was once the largest amusement park in Hong Kong. The late entertainment tycoon Deacon Chiu Te-ken bought the park in 1962 as part of an entertainment empire that included cinemas. Closed in 1997, the park was revived at AsiaWorld-Expo last year.

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