Breakfast in Hong Kong is the one meal that you should not skip. And a visit to a typical local Hong Kong ‘cha chan teng’ (tea-house) is an absolute must if you are starting the day in the fragrant harbour.
Out of all the local Hong Kong breakfast places, the two most popular (think queues of people starting as early as 7am) are the Hokkaido Dairy Milk Restaurant and the Australian Dairy Company. There is nothing remotely Japanese or Aussie about the menus at either of these eateries. The only connection to Japan and Australia (and I am guessing here) is probably the fact that these cafes started business – serving milk for breakfast that was either made in Hokkaido, Japan or Australia (both famous for the creamy texture, freshness and quality) of their product.
Well, if product is the testimony than neither business is short of fans. The more remote but popular of the two is the Australia Dairy Company as there is only one cafe in Hong Kong serving the same all-day menu whereas the Hokkaido Dairy Milk Restaurant has since expanded into a chain with a menu that has also expanded from just brekkie into different dishes for lunch, tea and dinner.
The Australian Dairy Company
Is located in Jordan, Kowloon. This place is famous for its fluffy omelette eggs, white bread, plain macaroni soup drizzled with sliced ham and its milk pudding dessert (available hot and cold).
The downside, its queues. Proving the theory that crowd attracts crowd, this one restaurant has a constant flow of customers even though the set menu is the same all day, every day.
We started off ordered a bowl of the cold milk dessert – light and refreshing, It tasted like a cross between almond and soya, coming together the way custard does in your mouth, only lighter and milkier. The restaurant also serves cold and hot bottled milk if you must start your day with dairy.
The best sellers are framed on the wall, in a lit light box above our table.
The kitchen in the background of this picture is tiny but the restaurant runs a roaring business. Forget your own private table – here caring is sharing!
The House Specials are the simple toasted bread sandwiched with butter and peanut nut butter, two slices of ham and scrambled eggs. We ordered the latter because here you want the scrambled eggs – warm to the palette, well-whipped and scrambled with what tastes like a touch of corn starch and milk. This dish is totally gourmet as far as a Hong Kong breakfast goes and we are told quite impossible to achieve in your own kitchen. They also serve eggs sunny side up or half-boiled but seriously, if thats what you are after – keep that for a day out at Yakun’s in Singapore.
The bread comes with macaroni (below) and are part of one set for less than S$6! And portions here are more than amply generous. There is pepper, salt and toothpicks on the table but forget about asking for ketchup (as tomato sauce is known here) and anything more fancy. You also have about 15 minutes tops to eat and run. This is not one of those coffee shops where you can trade updates and exchange woes. One hundred percent an eat-and-run joint and if you fail to get the point, the bill is quickly and efficiently presented to you.
The Macaroni looks bland but looks are deceiving. It gets more addictive after the first slurp. The soup is just the right consistency of salt, water used to boil the macaroni in with a bit of a chicken-stock flavour and the macaroni comes topped with two more slices of what looks like shoulder ham.
WHERE: The Australian Dairy Company, GF, 47 to 49 Parkes Street, Jordan. Tel: +852 2730 1356. There is no website for this restaurant but you can look up THIS LINK for more details on what to order and for more info.
The Hokkaido Dairy Milk Restaurant
This restaurant started off solo and expanded in the last 5 years to a restaurant chain with 14 outlets. Their all-day breakfast staples are the extraordinarily thick 3.6 Hokkaido Milk scrambled egg sandwich and their Barbecue pork served with rice or macaroni, both of which go perfectly together with a cup of velvety milk tea, freshly brewed coffee or Yuan Yang (milk tea mixed with coffee).
The star ingredient is no doubt their 3.6 Hokkaido Milk – the highest quality milk and the essential ingredient used to make their flavorful, creamy dishes.
Since then, the chain has branched out to offer lunch, dinner and tea specials that offer a variety of delights.
WHERE: See outlet listings HERE.