Friday, June 22, 2012

Bite-Size Review: Australia Dairy Company, Kowloon

Finally made it to the "other side" of the harbour one fine weekend afternoon only to dutifully take my place in the ubiquitous queue in front of the famed Australia Dairy Company among the loyal faithful and the gawky tourists (I count myself somewhere in between the two camps.)  The wait wasn't as fearsome as I'd thought, as I snagged a seat even before I'd even finished checking my Facebook updates. Of course, the catch is that for the entire course of your meal you get to rub elbows and avoid eye contact with the perfect strangers sharing your table.  Not a bad price to pay for the quick wait and the yummy goodness this cha chaan teng serves.
To say this place is popular is mega understatement.  It was packed from wall to wall, and that was during the neither-here-nor-there time of three o'clock in the afternoon.  Service was brisk and perfunctory; turnover was as high as James Franco hosting the Oscars.  This was definitely not the place for analyzing horse racing stats or dawdling over your yin-yang (that curious local combo beverage of coffee and tea.)
Yin-Yang on the rocks
Now I'd thought the main thing to order was the steamed egg white and milk pudding  (you'd think so too, right? With a name like Australia Dairy Company?) but it turned out I was kinda mistaken.  No matter, I love this confection anyway, especially when served cold.  Pity it didn't come with a fine dusting of cocoa powder like they do at other similar dairy eateries (Yee Shun Milk Company at Causeway Bay comes to mind.) There's a scalding hot version too, but that's way less fun to slurp down and not that welcome to my palate on a hot summer afternoon.
My order of the cold steamed egg white and milk pudding.  Lovely, firm texture.
It turns out the most popular dish in the house deals with another dairy item: eggs.  Everywhere I looked, there were plates of canary yellow scrambled eggs on each table, topped with thin slices of ham and equally skinny portions of tomatoes, and served with slices of toast. 
My scrambled eggs with ham and tomatoes, plus white bread on the side.
This seemingly basic but oh-so-tasty breakfast dish is served all day and all evening long (the eggs may also be ordered sunny side up,) and more often than not, is part of a set that includes that other highly sought-after culinary wonder - macaroni soup garnished with bits of ham.  I didn't order that though - I'm not so local yet as to crave instant noodles and macaroni in a restaurant, but I'm getting there....slowly but very, very surely - so I just surreptitiously snapped a picture of a fellow table mate's dish instead.
My clandestine photo of some stranger's macaroni soup with ham.
So my advice (which I have every intention of following faithfully myself) to anyone who wants to head over to this restaurant?  Get in, order a set, eat fast, get out, come back again.  And soon.

Australia Dairy Company - 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan, Kowloon, HK. Telephone +852 2730 1356
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