When she found out I was going to Hong Kong on holiday, my friend Bergman (not her real name) made me promise to eat at the Australia Dairy Co. Why? Because all over the Interwebs were glowing reviews of ADC’s scrambled eggs, which, when she tried it out, she found to be not as amazing as she expected.
“I can make better eggs than that at home!” she said.
“Maybe the cook was just having an off day,” I said, trying to be helpful.
“Try it and tell me I’m wrong,” she said.
It turns out the place was just a couple of blocks away from where my friends and I would be staying — a nice, tiny apartment overlooking the Temple Street Night Market. Sidebar about the apartment: the AirBnB reviews were positive, and three pages down, a helpful reviewer mentioned there was “prostitution” down on the street but it was generally safe.
(I wasn’t worried. Prostitution in Hong Kong is legal so long as the, uh, professional is working freelance, and not with a pimp or organization.)
So anyway, on the first morning of our trip, we went in search of ADC. I was warned there would be a long queue for breakfast, and indeed there was.
However, after a minute in line, a staff came out asking if there are any parties of two. There weren’t any, but we said there were three of us, so they let us go in next.
The place was packed! And I mean there was hardly any place to move around. This was definitely not the place for a leisurely brunch. Look at the “table” they gave us.
We ordered a breakfast set each, which consisted of scrambled eggs, toast, noodle soup and coffee.
First, the coffee. It was good. A word of warning, though: it comes with milk and sugar already in it. This is how I usually take my coffee (unless it’s really good pour-over coffee and it’s after 2pm, in which case I take it black). But if you prefer yours black, I guess you could try and ask them not to put milk and sugar.
Next, the scrambled eggs. It was good, too, don’t get me wrong. But as Bergman said, it’s not really deserving of all the praises that’s been heaped all over it. And yes, I can do better eggs at home with no other ingredients but butter and some salt. (Tip: Mix the eggs gently, don’t beat them. Use real butter, not the thing that looks like butter but that says “margarine” on the label. Remove eggs from pan while still soft and a little undercooked.)
The noodle soup was meh. But hot soup is just good in the morning, especially with toast and eggs. I would have preferred a lomi or congee. (They may have had congee on the menu, I didn’t check.)
The toast, however, was wonderful. I mean, it’s not worth queueing for at eight in the morning, but it was damn good toast. The bread was toasted just right, and served to you already generously buttered. And it was good butter, too.
However, I’m the kind of person who likes to enjoy my breakfast in a relaxing environment (and not-cramped space), where patrons and staff don’t bump into my chair every two minutes. If I was getting really amazing eggs, I could maybe — on occasion — tolerate the queueing and the tiny space and tiny tables. But these were not the eggs I was looking for. As for ADC’s popularity — was there no other place in Hong Kong that served decent eggs and toast for breakfast at such cheap prices? I dunno. It still doesn’t explain why so many tourists rave about the eggs so much.
ADC was not a complete waste of time. You ought to give it a try, if you’re in the area and are craving decent eggs and toast. And if you don’t mind queueing for a bit and eating in a really cramped space.
We did, though. So for the next few mornings, we had breakfast at the Toast Box a block away. The coffee and toast was good, and we didn’t have to queue or rush through our meal.
And if you’re wondering, yes, we did run into some sex professionals on the street below. They seemed nice.