Thanks to Raymond for confirming the address was 3, Hankow Rd. Would that have been on the South-West corner of the junction with Middle Rd - where the N.E. corner of the YMCA building stands today?
Several other people added notes.
Russian restaurants. IDJ wrote:
The mention of Tkachenko’s cake shop reminded me that there used to be a number of Russian cake shops, some with restaurants attached. The only one with a Russian name that I can now recall was Cherikoff’s that until the late 1970s still had a branch on Nathan Road next to Hillwood Road/St Andrews Church in a block when I last looked housed a MacDonald’s in about the same position.
There used to be a large contingent of White Russian refugees displaced from Shanghai and Manchuria living in buildings set back around inner courtyards on Chatham Road near the Park Hotel area. Most were eventually accepted by Australia.
The nearest to a Russian cake shop/restaurant these days that I am aware of is the Queen’s Café that has been resurrected as a restaurant in Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong, on the top floor above the ice rink. This establishment used to be in Lee Garden Road, Causeway Bay, with Russian origins. Passing through the unprepossessing frontage of a cake shop you reached a canteen type dining area, but the menu presented was a thick book and within in its contents were listed dishes from virtually every continent, although Russian and Middle European dishes tended to predominate. The standard large bowl of Borsch Soup was a cheap meal in itself containing more solids than liquid soup.
After accidentally finding the Queen’s Café establishment in Festival Walk about five years ago I had dinner there and was surprised to find that the menu presented was more or less the same as that I remembered from the 1960s. No cakes though.
The headwaiter certainly knew the Lee Garden Road shop and the family that owned it as we reminisced about old times.
No doubt Maxims and the other present day cake shops originate from the Russian cake shop era.
There is still at least one Cherikof cake shop in Mongkok just a few steps away by the right from Mongkok MTR exit B2. There are quite a few Queen's Cafe around. A new one was opened very recently in North Point in NSK Square (港 運 城 )。 Their Cake shops could be found in various districts. I'll try to update when I could confirm.
it's funny, I met up with a US buddy a couple of weeks ago. He also remembers the TST Cherikoff's from a trip in 1978 and says it was on the site the Macdonalds now occupies (as IDJ mentioned earlier). He is a happy bunny for finding the Mongkok shop and being able to buy some nice cookies. I've still not had much luck identifying where Tkachenko's was though :-(
On Tkachencko's. MrB wrote:
The only mention I can find in the Internet is of a Tkachenko Bakery, Cafe & Restaurant in Shanghai in 1938. I guess there's a good chance the owners of that would have moved to Hong Kong in the 1940's or 50's, and opened the shop that Booth visited.
In the book, with reference to Russian emigres fleeing the Bolshevik revolution: "...most came east, through Siberia to Manchuria and on to Shanghai...finally [settling] here in Hong Kong."
The implication is that there is a potential link - either the owners, or their relatives, fleeing the communists (again).
I can't find an exact location (maybe there is one I missed?), it merely states "the streets behind the Pen". Perhaps Booth couldn't remember either.
In 1958, I and a few Service pals treated ourselves to what were reputed to be the biggest T bone steaks available in Hong Kong. This feast was in Tkachenko's restaurant which was upstairs in a building on one of the back streets behind the YMCA. I believe that it was Hankow Road or, just possibly, Peking Road. I have always thought that the spelling was 'Tchenko's' - but a fifty year old memory ... In 1981 I had a walk round those streets and I have a vague recollection that the retaurant was still there but, again, I might be wrong. However, it must have been located quite close to the shop where Mrs Booth bought her jewellery, and she would have been very familiar with those shopping streets.
Its address was 3,Hankow Road,Kowloon.The restaurant reopened after the war.
I think the restaurant is given a mention in this book:
The "Chantecler" restaurants, of which there were at least two branches, one in Ashley Road TST, one in Mong Kok, were also Russian, they lasted until the 1980s.
As I recall, the Cherikoff rerstaurant/cake shop was bought out by a local conglomerate, and survives largely as a brand name.
The White Russian community in HK has a fascinating, very sparsely documented, history. Some were still active in the horse racing business into the mid 70s.
Most moved on eventually to Europe or Australia. The most senior one left in HK, Gene Yurieff, businessman and former policeman, pased away a few years back.
There are many well-kept graves with coptic crosses in the Colonial Cemetery
I believe ace racing tipster Peter Metrevelli may still be active under a Chinese name, but I may be out of date.
Re: Chantecler Restaurant
In the late 1950s, one of the Chantecler Restaurants was located at 172-176 Nathan Road. As it is coming up to Christmas, here is an advert from the 1950s showing its Christmas fare and famous cockerel logo.
Re: Chantecler Restaurant
I remember my old man took the family to this restaurant in TST back in the late 1960's when I was a kid. That was an eye opener to me. I have never seen so many knives, forks, spoons and plates of all sizes on the table...... Now looking back, it appeared they lay out the utinsals, fine dinning style. And these days school do not generally teach table manners (Western or Local) anymore..........
chantecler prince edward road
in the 60s/70s there was a chantecler bakery on prince edward road (which used to be known as the shoe shop road) next to our grocer, yuen chong. as well as freshly baked crusty rolls they made brilliant jam donuts and egg tarts. the upstairs restaurant was largely frequented by students from nearby schools as they had an inexpensive set lunch menu- i never had a meal up there but frequented cherikoff for knife and fork stuff for years - great times:)
Tkachenko's in 1962
I just received a HK restaurant guide from 1962 that I ordered on eBay. Tkachenko's is mentioned! Beside's Martin Booth's book, it's also in Janice YK Lee's novel, "The Piano Teacher", which takes place in 1952. I would be happy to post a scan of the listing in the brochure and will try to do so in the next couple of days.
chantecler lunch menu 1966 / tkachenko's menu
chantecler set lunch menu 1966 - $5
full menu from tkachenko's - 1960s
I have been reading Facebook site HK in the 60s thread on Russian restaurants. Searching I found this thread. Thought I would add that I remember going to a Chantecler in early 60s. As you go up Hankow Road from Middle Road it was on left hand side of Hankow near the junction with Haiphong Road Restaurant stairs were at the back of the bakery, quite dark inside. We often went there and always had the set meal with cold cuts for starter, 'zakouska'? The last time I went there was 1965/6 when my brother was a v. young baby. Would not stop crying the whole meal so we left hurriedly, I was very embarrassed.
I well remember Tkachenko's in the 1960's. It was behind the YMCA in Hangkow Road. On the mezzanine or first floor. There was a somewhat rickety enclosed wooden staircase leading up to it and one of their cheaper specialities was Russian Borsch - a kind of cabbage soup.
My '65 "Tourist News" list
My '65 "Tourist News" list the Chantecler at 39 Hankow Road.
Nice view of Ho Tung Mansions and Tkachenko's from Picture This
I remember this place very well and ate here frequently in the evening beween 1958 and 1964. Was very disappioned whn it had to close and so bought a couple of their their glass carafes with stoppers as mementos.......still have them and use them for liquers!
Opening date 1937
Earliest mention is in the 1937 licensing session ( April 1937) for liquors. The following was notified:
Name of Applicants
Description of License
Sign of House
Situation of House
Whether the applicant has held a license to sell liquor in the Colony and, if so, for how long
Andrew Peter Tkachenko
restaurant keeper's adjunct license
3, Hankow Road, ground floor