Bing sutt (Chinese: 冰室; Jyutping: bing1 sat1; literally: "ice room") is a type of traditional cold drinking house started in Canton (Guangzhou) and refreshed in Hong Kong. These bing sutts are commonly founded between 1950s and 1960s. They are characterized by old furniture and settings such as the small tiled floors, hanging fans, folding chairs and so on. A bing sutt provides light meals and drinks and is neighbourhood-oriented. It is believed to be the predecessor of the cha chaan teng.
There were several bing sutts in Canton from 1970 to 1990s. However, most of them has closed now.
Since World War II, the dietetic culture of Hong Kong became westernized. That was also the time when bing sutts started to become popular and created localized western menus to keep Hong Kong-style restaurants alive.
Traditional bing sutts only provide drinks and localized western snacks. Although serving western menus, they keep the price low and thus become popular among people from various social status. Yet along with the development of cha chaan tengs, chained fast food shops and coffee shops, which sell a larger variety of food, bing sutts became less competitive. In the 1980s, many had no choice but to refine the traditional menus by adding rice and noodles so as to increase their competitiveness.
Only a few dozen traditional bing sutts are still operating now, with some others opened by the younger generation fascinated by the nostalgic atmosphere of the Hong Kong style restaurant. Realizing consumers’ desire to take a glimpse of past memories, quite a number of fast food chains set up and adorn their unique experimental concept stores like bing sutts to attract customers. These newly established bing sutts are usually decorated with characterized furniture and settings such as the small tile floors, hanging fans, folding chairs and so on, all that remind people of the old days. Some of them have become iconic tourist attractions as well.
Foods and drinks
- Red bean ice (a drink mixed with red beans, light rock sugar syrup and evaporated milk)
- Yuanyang (a mixture of coffee and tea)
- Coffee (either instant or powder form)
- Fruit punch
- Hong Kong-style milk tea (black tea mixed with evaporated milk or condensed milk)
- Hong Kong style swiss roll (standard cake layer with whipped cream)
- Paper wrapped cake (chiffon cake baked in a paper cup)
- Fruit tart
- Pineapple bun with butter
- Egg tart
Toast and sandwiches
- Toast with butter
- French toast (called “Western Toast” in Chinese, transliteration of French toast)
- Shrimp French toast
- Macaroni in broth with fried egg and sausage
- Swiss sauce chicken wings
- Instant noodles
- Rice served in dishes (served with sauce)
Bing sutts have been facing difficulties in remaining in this modern city. The reason why the bing sutt is diminishing is changes in society, be it the change in tastes of consumers or the rise of the cha chaan teng. Most of the bing sutts encounter keen competition among cha chaan tengs with heavy rent. The popularity of cha chaan tengs has taken away lots of customers from bing sutts, leading to many traditional ones being eliminated from the market and leaving behind no more than twenty bing sutts in Hong Kong.
- Hong kong-style cafés revived. (2010, 8 9). China Daily. Retrieved from  http://www.urbanphoto.net/blog/2010/08/09/hong-kong-style-cafes-revived/
- Christopher, D. (2010). Hong kong's best bing sutt: Guide to old-school diners. Retrieved from  http://travel.cnn.com/hong-kong/none/bing-sutt-588428
- Julie, M. (2009, 8 14). A Hong Kong Starbucks goes time-traveling. The New York Times. Retrieved from  http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/14/a-hong-kong-starbucks-goes-time-traveling/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1
- Wing Hang, P. (2007, 5 9). [Web log message]. Retrieved from  http://moliuology.mysinablog.com/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=571660
- Tai, S. K. (n.d.). Combination of modern and traditions bing sutts in hong kong are never dying. Retrieved from  http://sanpoyan.journalism.hkbu.edu.hk/?p=857