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.