A Picture Essay of The Flying Pan, Hong Kong's Beloved Former Breakfast Spot
February 24, 2022
Flying Pan stood once as Hong Kongers’ most trustworthy Western breakfast diner, selling early morning eggs with an assortment of colourful ingredients at any time of the day, any day of the week.
Launching in April 2005 on Central’s Old Bailey Street, under the guide of food and beverage veteran Tammy Greenspon, the Flying Pan reached the hungry mouths of late-night partygoers in Central, businessmen in Wan Chai, and family brunches in Discovery Bay.
The Beat Asia travelled through the ages and archives to unearth the pictures and memories of the diner long gone but not forgotten, from the birth of the Flying Pan on Old Bailey, the flavours of their food and design, their move into Hong Kong’s red-light Wan Chai district, and downfall from the effects of 2019 protests and COVID-19.
The menu and taste of the Flying Pan chain took inspiration from Tammy’s youth and memories of West Coast American breakfast dining. “[The Flying Pan menu] was a mash-up of some of my favourite southern California breakfast places,” Tammy described.
The Classic Flying Pan Menu
The original menu, which contained over 140 items on it, took three months to design and create. After several years of fine-tuning, the complete version of the menu had over 200 items, with more than 2,000 permutations of different ingredients able to form new recipes.
The original 2003 menu.
Central Old Baily diner
The Flying Pan’s Old Bailey location was its first, a nouveau-retro diner-style relating to Tammy’s West Coast youth and background. It was a cosy venue with soft orange lighting that shone on matching wooden chairs and airy couches that sat above the famous brown and white checkerboard floors.
Wan Chai location
Flying Pan Wan Chai drew a constant daytime crowd of white-collar workers hungry for a salty plate of eggs, beans, and toast; and a night-time hustle of revelling, drunk Wan Chai party-goers eager for a refuel before a night out on the town or a finale to a good night.
Flashy Breakfast Graphics
The Flying Pan brand was always known for its jumpy advertising and bold graphics designed to entice you to feast on a plate of breakfast any time of the day.
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