Chungking Confidential

In search of a secret African restaurant, intrepid food explorer Dorothy So set off on Operation Chungking Mansions.

“You’re wasting your time. The restaurant isn’t open to the public. They only serve people they know,” said the security guard behind the front desk at Chungking Mansions. We’d come all the way to Tsim Sha Tsui’s cultural labyrinth to find a particular African restaurant we’d heard about through the foodie grapevine (authentic African fare being quite the rarity in Hong Kong of course). But we couldn’t find it listed in the building directory and were getting nowhere with the tight-lipped security guard. We asked for a block and floor number anyway but he refused, adding, “there’s no point. They won’t open for you.” Undeterred (and actually even more intrigued by the secrecy surrounding the place), we resorted to a floor-by-floor exploration of the building’s various 17-storey blocks. We started with Block B– the rumored location of the African diner. The plan was to elevator all the way up and slowly walk our way along every floor—if the restaurant really did exist in Block B, there was no way we could miss it…or so we thought.

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