Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tai Hing: chain cha chan teng...any good?

Milk tea is a speciality in many cha chan tengs in Hong Kong. For some reason, the tea dust they use in Hong Kong creates a special flavour to the tea...a bit astringent, tannic, but divinely and intricately intertwined with the rich, creamy milk. Very special. Tai Hing is one such chain stores which serve up a delicious concoction.

Served cold with the ice on the outside, so as not to dilute the tea. Superb. Even the hot version...shown behind the ice cold version is superb.

Though a chain store, each branch is totally different. I am not sure if its a franchise, but I tried two seperate Tai reputed to be the original store in Causeway Bay, and another in Mongkok. The food and the tea seemed to be the same to me in each of the stores. But the decor is totally different.

The Causeway Bay outlet is kind of old...more like a coffee shop, as seen above. The Mongkok one is totally fresh, new look...more like a swank cafe.

We ate the mixed roast meats:

Quite tasty. The goose had crisp, light skin while its meat was flavourful...nice and tender. The roast pork too came with a very nice light crisp skin. Pork in Hong Kong is more flavourful than the ones we get here in Singapore. Perhaps because its freshly slaughtered, perhaps its the feed used for their pigs. But the pork is distinctly different. Singapore's pork is more bland while the Hong Kong's pork is much more flavourful, and tasty.

And the same with the vegetables.

I blame it on the fact that we have to import our fresh food from afar. Most of our vegetables in Singapore come from Malaysia or Indonesia or even China. While for Hong Kong, I guess vegetables come mainly from China, so nearer to source. The Kale (kai lan) is all the more less fibrous, and tender than any we get here in Singapore.

And the piece de resistance for me in a Cha Chan Teng...the french toast:

Thick toast, sliced open and generously spread with a creamy peanut butter. Then dipped in egg and fried. The outside is crisp. The bread remained nice, light, fluffy inside. A piece of semi-melted butter accompanies, and a small pitcher of maple syrup completes the dish. Quite divine.

Overall, worthy to seek out one near you. The savoury meals are good. But their milk tea and french toast is excellent.

Tai Hing
many locations throughout Hong Kong and Kowloon
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