Monday, October 6, 2014

Australia Dairy Company: Jordan, Hong Kong

One of the most famous and interesting cha chaan teng in Hong Kong, regardless of the name, has nothing to do with Australia and totally and absolutely Chinese...they don't even have an English menu.

The queue at about 9:30am on a Friday morning. The queue snakes all the way round the block. But clearing about 50 pax in front of me in the queue took all of 15minutes.

The interest in this cha chaan teng springs not only from the simple but exquisite cuisine served within, but also in the ruthless efficiency in which the crowd and queues (and boy what a long queue) are managed, how the food delivery is managed and how the high quality is maintained throughout. The restaurant is a study of efficiency on how to feed thousands in as short a time as possible, without compromising quality. Amazing.

As one enters, the waiter "orders" one to sit where he directs...he did not seem to leave an option...and I guess everybody obeys. Sharing of tables is not a courtesy, but mandatory. Nobody asks you if you mind sharing, the waiter directs you to share, you just sit. He is back to take your order in all of 15 seconds. Most guide books/blogs recommend ordering the sets. Most of these guides also say that the waiters do not speak English...I had an English speaking waiter...though I had practiced the art of just pointing to the third item on the set menu...he understood me, and repeated Scrambled Eggs. It is important to get that right, because the eggs can also be served sunny side up, but scrambled was what they are famous for.

If you had ordered Set 1: the macaroni and ham in a soup would be unceremoniously plonked on your table within 20 seconds from ordering. But I ordered Set 3, which was eggs with toast, tea. I also added a dessert - their famous steamed milk custard.

The iced milk tea was unexeptional. Though fresh milk was used instead of condensed milk, it was unremarkable. There are many better milk teas in Hong Kong. But having said that, it is rather better than almost all we get here in Singapore. So be thankful.

Almost immediately, the scrambled eggs and the buttered toast was served

Some claim this is the best scrambled eggs on the planet. I am not so sure, but it was rather impressive. The eggs were just a tad from being runny, and yet a tad from being solid. The texture was smooth, creamy as it caresses the mouth and tongue. The unique texture and taste is attributed by some to the use of fresh Hokkaido milk and yet others to canned soup. Indeed as one gaze into the kitchen, which is open by the way, one can see cans of Campbell soup tucked on a shelf behind the cooks. 

The buttered toast was also just right. Crisp outside, still moist within, and the butter melted just so, lingering on the inside. 

While I find the taste to be excellent, even more intriguing was their ability to delivery this level consistency. This is almost an art form. Nay, the entire restaurant is like an organism. Efficient, consistent, high quality. 

I come to the steamed milk custard...this was unlike any I have eaten anywhere else

The custard was superbly smooth, and the more than tinge of taste and wonderful aroma of fresh milk was apparent. Sweetened, this is served as a dessert. The taste is rather mild...subtle, perhaps sublime. The smoothness was superb. Our tau huey (soy bean custard) is no where in the same universe in terms of smoothness and texture. 

Highly recommended, not only for the superb food, but also as an observation of the efficiency of a top end cha chaan teng in Hong Kong. 

Australia Dairy Company 澳洲牛奶公司 (Hongkong)
47-49 Parkes Street Jordan (near Jordan MTR)
Tel: (852) 2730 1356
Opening Hours: Daily 730am to 11pm'
Facebook (not official fb)
How to get there: Exit C2 Jordon's MTR Station and walk towards Parkes Street

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