The Lion House Club is café on the outskirts of Ho Sheung Heung, a rural village near Sheung Shui in the Northern New Territories of Hong Kong. It serves an innovative menu of mostly Japanese-inspired dishes. While the interior reflects a lion-dancing theme, the exterior is more like something out of the American West. There is both inside and outside seating. It is decidedly dog-friendly. And talk about photo opps!!!
The Back Story
The Lion House Café opened in early 2020. In fact, it is was just before COVID-19 started sweeping the world. As a result, business the first year was slow. While I often rode past on my bicycle, I was reluctant to go inside to give it a try. In fact, I was adhering strictly to an eat-at-home policy.
When the weather started to warm up, I decided to have a meal and consume it at one of the tables outside. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. Not only was it delicious. In addition, it was beautifully plated! So on days when the weather cooperated, the Lion House Café – as it was then known – became my go-to spot for lunch.
After about a year, the place suddenly closed. And it was totally without warning. Here today, gone tomorrow! Needless to say, I was heartbroken. If only I had known, I would have enjoyed one last meal there.
A few weeks passed. I can’t remember how many. But one day, as I was passing through the village on my bicycle, I noticed a sign indicating that it was reopening at a new location nearby. Moreover, there had been a slight name change. And it had been rechristened as the Lion House Club.
Opened by a lion-dancing troupe, the original café had an unmistakable lion-dancing theme. However, when I rode my bicycle over to its new location, I was in for a big surprise.
It looked more like something from a ghost town in the American west. For example, there were imitation cactus plants, wagon wheels, and a giant statue of a cowboy waving howdy!
Lion House Club is a quirky café with a split personality. While the interior adheres to its original lion-dancing theme, the exterior has assumed an unmistakable country and western vibe.
The menu is basically Japanese inspired. There is a chef’s special, an all-day breakfast, veggies, Japanese bento boxes, Japanese curries with rice, ramen, snacks – the list goes on.
My Favourite Dishes
Because I live nearby, this has become my go-to spot when I don’t feel like cooking. In fact, I haven’t tried anything I don’t like. But I like some dishes more than others. Here are my four favourites:
Japanese Curry with Rice
Lion House Club serves several Japanese style curries with rice. And I alternate between the Chicken burger with cheese and the smoked duck’s breast. While both are mouthwateringly delicious, I think the chicken burger with cheese has a slight edge.
So what makes it special? In fact, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the description on the menu. What on earth would be a chicken cheeseburger with curry and rice?
Well, curiosity got the better of me. And I decided to order it.
As it turned out, there were two small ground chicken paddies. And when I cut into one of them, melted cheese oozed out. OMG! It was absolutely delicious!!!
The chicken paddies and string beans are cooked dry. And the rice is drizzled with a thick, pungent, and slightly sweet Japanese style curry sauce. Plus a couple of pickled radishes on the side. YUMMY!!!
But I don’t want to give the smoked duck’s breast short shrift. In fact, it too is indescribably delicious. However, two times out of three, I find myself ordering the chicken cheeseburger.
Japanese Bento Boxes
If I’m hungrier, I opt for one of the Japanese bento boxes. To clarify, these are a slightly more substantial meal. As far as I can remember, there are pork, beef, and chicken. And they are all cooked in a delightful teriyaki sauce. Served with rice, condiments, and mung beans.
I love the silky texture of udon, which are thick noodles made of wheat. And I usually order these when the weather is chilly. They come with corn, seaweed, and I’m not sure what else. But they are satisfying on the dry and cool days of winter.
I was surprised when I saw Japanese tacos added to the menu. But I was no more surprised than when I saw chicken cheeseburgers with Japanese curry and rice. And once again, curiosity got the better of me.
There was a generous amount of meaty chicken cooked in that yummy teriyaki sauce together with some uncooked lettuce. Since I wasn’t sure what that delightfully crispy tortilla was made of, I asked. Turns out it was six grain flour.
The tacos are perfect for afternoon tea or a light snack.
There are several iced and hot drinks, including bottled drinks and teas. And my favourite is the iced cappuccino. What you won’t find are Coca-Cola, Sprite, or other popular canned drinks. Neither will you find beer or other alcoholic beverages.
Lion House Club – the Ambiance
This quirky eatery is a rare find in Hong Kong, where fast-food and chain restaurants dominate. It’s casual, it has a very innovative menu, and there are bucketloads of outdoor seating. And talk about photo opps!
Lion House Club is a decidedly dog-friendly Hong Kong restaurant. Not only are your furry friends welcome. In addition, the restaurant provides lots of props for canine photos – outdoors, of course.
Moreover, the restaurant has a “dog’s choice” page in its menu. Dishes include everything from crocodile meat donuts to meat and beetroot treats.
But you think you’d like to try crocodile meat, think again. As the menu clearly states, the canine treats are for dogs only!
Lion House Club – the Verdict
The Lion House Club was love at first bite. I only wish it stayed open a bit later so I could have dinner there. And be forewarned: it sometimes takes an unexpected day off. In addition, it sometimes closes early. So if you’re coming from a distance, you might want to call ahead to make sure it will be open.
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Lion House Club – Ho Sheung Heung Village, Sheung Shui, New Territories. Hong Kong. Telephone: (852) 9316 1443.
The café is located just off the bicycle path between Sheung Shui and Yuen Long. It is a five-minute walk from Ho Sheung Heung’s oh, so famous tofu factory. If you’re driving, there’s plenty of free parking. By minibus, take the 57F from the minibus terminal opposite the Sheung Shui MTR Station. And get off at the Hau Ku Shek Shek Ancestral Hall. From there it’s a five or 10 minute walk.