Australian Dairy Company has to be Hong Kong’s most masochistic restaurant

23rd October 2018 / Hong Kong

Sorry for the hiatus. I’ve still be doing a lot of soul searching on how to continue with this blog. There have been thoughts to shut it down, thoughts on changing my tone, reflections on society, on the whole influencer culture going on now and how it pleases and at the same time, sickens me to be a part of it. Ever since leaving Shanghai, perhaps I’ve felt I’ve lost my voice, and I’m searching for it. That has to be the reason why I haven’t posted nor felt the urge to post, even though I’ve been eating out and also documenting my experiences on my Instagram.

Consider this somewhat of a rebirth.

Anyway, today’s post/rant brings us to a place I’ve known for years but have always put off my list, because seriously, who in their right mind will queue for scrambled eggs between two pieces of steamed white bread?

But during my last visit to Hong Kong in August 2018, my aunt and uncle (I’m half hongkie) highly recommended me to try the egg sandwich at Australian Dairy Company, that it was leagues above egg sandwiches served anywhere else! That I simply have to try to believe it!

Ok, ok. So I went.

I’ve already heard of the nonchalant service at Australian Dairy Company (henceforth referred to  as ADC) and the blistering queues, so I was mentally prepared.

All day breakfast with a side of all day lines.

I arrived at 9:30am, and there was already a line that stretched to the end of the block. No joke.

Mixed crowd in the queue, locals and tourists of all ages.

I went to queue, and got in 15mins later, which wasn’t so bad.

The guys at ADC adopt a strict no bullshit attitude from top to bottom.

The interior is like any other old school Hong Kong cafe-eatery, but it is quite a large space that sits probably 100 persons, tightly packed together. Tables are naturally shared, and no other way about it. Service so far was ok for me, not rude, just efficiently led to my seat.

There were only 3 sets available for breakfast, and I picked the one with the egg sandwich and macaroni. I speak fluent cantonese, so there was nothing lost in translation, order given, order accepted and order served. Hey, not so scary after all!

Pretty runny center, though the egg only resides in the middle of the bread.

The piece de resistance of ADC. Their famous scrambled egg sandwich.

You know what, it’s a good sandwich, with a very decently done scrambled eggs that was creamy and moist. The bread was soft and pillowy… very soft.

Why isn’t the sandwich prepared so that every bite has some egg?

But I don’t know, maybe because being a chef too, I know how to make/achieve this same consistency of the scrambled eggs and texture of the bread. I really didn’t feel it was worth queuing and hyping about. That said, the price point is decent by local standards at HKD$32

My takeaway and memory of this: salty.

The macaroni was standard run of the mill Hong Kong style breakfast macaroni cooked in processed chicken soup. Same as what I had daily at Tsui Wah back in Shanghai for breakfast the last few years. I’d really wish they would elevate this comfort dish a bit.

Surprisingly, perhaps because I was mentally prepared to literally take a beating, I thought the service was not bad, as in literally, not, bad.

However, I did see other patrons, tourists and locals alike, being treated quite harshly. Watch my video which I secretly took (Another server forbid me to take videos fo the restaurant).

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Watch Australian Dairy Company has to be Hong Kong’s most masochistic restaurant on Youtube

My server was telling another patron at my table to hurry up with his order, to speak quickly and then responding condescendingly that he (the server) couldn’t hear the order .

In another instance, I witnessed another server literally shooing customers out of the restaurant.

While the service towards me wasn’t bad, the entire experience of eating there from start to finish was stressful as fuck, as you could imagine. Throughout the meal, I felt my obligation was to hurry up, finish my meal and leave asap.

The couple you see in my video taking the order (and getting slammed) were actually the second persons to join me at the table. The first Chinese couple who ordered the same time as I did, had a sandwich and a dessert, left quickly in a mix of horror and disgust after I consoled them, telling them that this is the way this restaurant operates and not to take it personally.

Sure this restaurants has had decades of success, but surely this is not the ideal way to operate an eatery, a place of hospitality and service. Why not change to counter based self service ordering like Cafe de Coral then, I think people would be happier to not face the brigade of angsty impatient servers.

Should you go to Australian Dairy Company? If you want to experience first hand the ridicule of the service attitude, sure! If you want to see how great the egg sandwich and double boiled milk pudding tastes? No. You can go to Yi Shun Milk Company which has several outlets across Hong Kong, and serve an equally competent menu of the same offerings.

 

Author: Fred Lin

Fred "The Shanghai Kid" Lin was born in Singapore, and grew up in a family of foodies and home-cooks. He moved to Shanghai in 2007 and fell in love with the city, eventually carving a self-made career out of digital media design and development. He founded The Shanghai Kid food blog in 2013, and opened an award-winning Singaporean restaurant in 2014, which won CityWeekend's Outstanding Southeast Asian restaurant of the year in 2016. In 2017, he decided to reboot, and shut down all his businesses in Shanghai before moving back to Singapore with his wife. Fred plans to immigrate to Melbourne in the near future.

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