Central’s famous Lin Heung Tea House is set to close its doors at the end of February after its landlord failed to renew the lease.

The 22-year-old tea house is frequently listed in global travel guides’ top attractions and is part of one of the city’s oldest Cantonese restaurant businesses, set up by the Ngan family. The family emigrated from the southeastern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Lin Heung Tea House
Lin Heung Tea House, Central. Photo: Wikicommons.

The two-storey branch on Wellington Street was relocated from Queen’s Road in 1996, and is the only remaining outlet out of three opened in 1918. Lin Heung Tea House is known for its traditional homemade dim sum or “yum cha” dishes, which include siu mai (pork dumpling), cha siu bao (barbecue pork buns), and har gow (steamed shrimp dumplings), served every day from 6am to 10pm.

But the building’s landlord, CSI Properties, has not renewed the restaurant’s lease, which is set to expire in the second quarter between April and June this year. It remains unclear as to whether CSI Properties wants to redevelop the site.

Lin Heung Tea Hous
Lin Heung Tea House, Central. Photo: Jonathan Lin/Flickr.

CSI Properties have bought more than 90 per cent of the 47-year-old property, having acquired the ground floor and the first floor of the Tsang Chiu Ho Building in 2015 where the restaurant is located.

If a company owns more than 80 per cent of the units in a property it can force the sale of the remaining units in order to redevelop the site.

Lin Heung Tea House
Lin Heung Tea House, Central. Photo: Jonathan Lin/Flickr.

The restaurant had its final staff dinner last Monday and will continue business until the end of the month, according to local media outlets.

Hong Kong has one of the most expensive property markets in the world, ranking the least affordable in the world ahead of Sydney and London in 2018, according to Demographia’s annual International Housing Affordability Survey.

HKFP has contacted CSI Properties for comment.

jennifer creery

Jennifer Creery

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.