Shatin Inn, Tai Po Road
Here’s one I found purely by accident. Walking up the hill past Tai Wai New Village, I noticed what looked like a small 1 storey ramshackle building with a corrugated iron roof. It’s tucked neatly away in the shadow of the new Tai Po Road trunk system and looks fairly innocuous, but interesting enough for me to go and have a sneaky peak to see what it was.It turns out that I had stumbled on some of Hong Kong’s rich gastronomic heritage. The small ramshackle building turned out to be the Shatin Inn – a locally famous Indonesian satay restaurant with a reasonably long history (for HK at least) in this part of the New Territories.
I’ve done a bit of googling on this place and have found references to it back in the 1960′s. But why at this particular spot in Tai Wai?
Well, this is where the historical side kicks in because it sits on what used to the main thoroughfare from Kowloon down into this part of the NT. The thoroughfare I refer to is, of course, the Tai Po Road. The Tai Po Road winds a course from the north end of Kowloon, through the Kowloon hills and down into the Shatin Valley. Once here it skirts what used to be the old seashore before heading back up into the hills on its way into Tai Po and beyond.
The seashore has seen extensive reclamation as Shatin became a burgeoning “New Town” to house HK’s equally burgeoning population, and part of the reclaimed land was used to build the Tolo Highway.
In its heyday, the Shatin Inn was a popular stopping point along a very long road and was also helped a great deal with visits from the clientele of the long disappeared Shatin Heights Hotel (more on that some other time). With the opening of the Tolo Highway in 1985, this part of the Tai Po Rd saw a big drop in traffic and as such the Shatin Inn saw a big drop in customers.
Despite this it has a well established and loyal customer base who have been going back to the place time and time again – maybe attracted by the tasty, but simple, menu, and perhaps largely for nostalgic reasons. It could also be because it featured in a 1990 Chow Yun Fat film called “All About Ah-Long“.
The attraction for me? Well, other than its historical significance, it’s a very simple place, no-frills-but-friendly atmosphere run by friendly people serving some very tasty Indonesian morsels. Despite the fact that its location is now somewhat ‘hidden’ it still has a large area to park your car if you fancy driving there and there is a pleasant verandha in the front to sit and enjoy the breeze on a hot day – sheltered by some nice big green trees.
In case you fancy trying it out, here is the address:
新界, 沙田, G/F 7.5 milestone, Tai Po Road
電話號碼: 852 26911425
(I haven’t looked for or found the 7.5 milstone yet, but next time I am in that area I’ll have a look for it).
Here are the GoogleEarth coordinates as well in case it’s useful: