This photo of me in front of Australia Dairy Company, one of Hong Kong's most famous cha chaan tengs, is the result of five years of longing punched in the face by a roll-down security gate and a sign saying the restaurant would be closed the entire week due to Chinese New Year (aka the whole week I was there).
[cue wailing] NOOOOOOOOOO.
But a nearby location of the cha chaan teng chain Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant came to the rescue. And thus my longing for Australia Dairy Company was partially squashed by this beautiful example of egg sandwich construction:
That's their 3" fried eggs with Hokkaido 3.6 milk sandwich (HK$22), as described on the menu. Two thick, crust-less slices of toasted, squishy-soft white bread contained what looked like a giant omelette that had been neatly folded into a hulking patty of fluffy, juicy egg—egg enhanced with 3.6 percent fat milk (a common percentage of whole milk in Japan) from Hokkaido. Three inches sounds about right for the sandwich's full height, but I wish its name also included the number of eggs in the sandwich (I called to ask, but I couldn't get an answer). My guess is at least three eggs to a buttload.
This is my ideal breakfast sandwich. Fluffy eggs. White toast. No frills. No crust.
But breakfast isn't done yet. Not when there's peanut butter-stuffed French toast ($28) topped with a pat of butter and all the maltose you can drizzle.
Like fluffy egg sandwiches, peanut butter-stuffed French toast is a common dish at cha chaan tengs. It's a beautiful thing. Because how do you improve a peanut butter sandwich? Coat it in an egg batter and fry it. Yes.
Toast with condensed milk and peanut butter ($15) is also a beautiful, and less intense, thing. A slice of thick toast gets spread with a hefty amount of peanut butter and drizzled with condensed milk to balance things out (because, indeed, sugary milk goo totally balances out sugary peanut goo). Back at home in New York, I'm used to being let down by skimpy toppings, but here the toppings-to-bread ratio was spot on.
I washed it all down with a hot cup of coffee and milk tea mix (HK$16), or yuanyang. It didn't taste much like tea, more like a very milky coffee—perfect for a person like me who doesn't like straight-up coffee but likes coffee-flavored sweets. After I added three packs of sugar, it was just right for my tastes. (Yes, I have the tastes of a five-year-old.)
I don't know how Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant compares to Australia Dairy Company, but I was pretty damn happy with my meal. If I lived near a Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant, I'd be as happy as this dude:
Thanks to Rachel Balota for helping me eat all this food in the name of research. Did you think I ate all this by myself? HAHAHA no.