• Jenni Lien

[Closed] Review of common room & co. cafe: A weekend escape to Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

As an introvert that loves people, coffee shops have long been an ideal middle ground where I can spend hours alone and yet still enjoy the buzz of others around me. When I first moved to Singapore, I spent my first few weekends checking out a new coffee shop every Saturday and Sunday. But I stopped on the third week when I found The Plain (RIP). It was bright and airy, had awesome coffee and sandwiches, and a large communal table at the back. But more than that it oozed Aussie hospitality, and the owner and staff checked in on me from time to time but otherwise just left me and my stack of books alone. Total bliss.

Since I live on Hong Kong Island now, the thought of finding a coffee shop where I could spend countless hours reading seems like a dream. They’re usually very busy and not very big. More like brunch with friends and catch up places, than pseudo public libraries.

Enter common room & co. in Sham Shui Po.

It’s the first place I’ve found in Hong Kong that reminded me of The Plain. It too is bright and airy with a big communal table. The staff are friendly but leave you alone. And there are plenty of other readers and worker bees keeping to themselves.

As a bonus, common room & co. also has a variety of local publications (I picked up a beautiful magazine called “daughter” by A for Antalis) for purchase and an event space (often turned into a gallery or pop up shop).

And the sustenance? Well my flat white was a little bubbly, but my friend really enjoyed her cherry coffee cold press. And the vegan yuzu cake was a little dry, but I’m still thinking about the wonderful creaminess of the matcha banana cheesecake.

Wandering Sham Shui Po that day felt like a mini vacation. The vibe is so different from being on the Island. I’d love to go back to common room & co. the next time I want to disconnect, refocus, and get re-energized.

198 Tai Nan St, Tong Mi, 2865 6880

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