The most popular Ji Dan Zai – North Point Egglet

利強記北角雞蛋仔 Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai (North Point Egglet)

English Address (Google Map): King’s Road, 492, Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 北角英皇道492號

Opening hour: Mon to Sun 10.00am to 11.00pm

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Egglet Ji Dan Zai (鷄蛋仔/鸡蛋仔)  is one of the most popular street snacks in Hong Kong that is mainly made from sugar batter made with egg, sugar, flour and evaporated milk. This batter is poured into a special two-sided pan and the batter is heated to crisp in the shape of mini egg. Egglet (Ji Dan Zai) literally means mini chicken egg as what the appearance suggest.

Having tried a couple of Egglets off the street, i decided to search for one that is popular among the locals. There are many stalls selling Egglet in Hong Kong and one of the more reputable one is the 利強記北角雞蛋仔, or people just simply calls it North Point Egglet (Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai).

It’s quite easy to miss but the smell of the egg fragrance helped me to locate this stall

They have a few branches (nine as per openrice), but i read that their Tsim Sha Tsui and the main branch at North Point are the better one. There is a short walking distance from the North Point MTR to this stall and the egg fragrance can be detected even before reaching the stall. If not for the queue, this Egglet stall is almost unnoticeable. If you look closely, you can see that the the whole wall outside the stall is decorated with newspaper articles on North Point Egglet, with some labelling this little stall for selling the best Egglet in Hong Kong.

Stall full of newspaper articles

The Egglet

Every piece of Egglets are freshly prepared and each piece is served piping hot from the pan. Their Egglet is exceptional crispy while the interior remains fluffy and soft.

Each and every piece of eggette is freshly made

One thing to note is it’s noticeably less sweet than a typical Egglet found in Hong Kong which one gets to savour the natural fragrance of the eggs. In fact, some people complained that the Egglet can be sweeter.

Fresh and hot

There are no fanciful flavour and everyone just simply state the quantity of Egglet when they order. I was actually really stuffed then and i told myself that I will not finish the whole thing but It’s so addicitve and before I know it, the paper bag is already empty. To me, the texture of the Egglet is more important than anything else and North Point Egglet hit that right on the spot.  It’s priced at a still-reasonable HK$15.

Top and bottom exterior is cripsy while the center is fluffy and soft. Some said that it can be sweeter though.

Conclusion

Although preparing an Egglet looks easy, the control of the timing and the temperature of the pan is much tougher than it looks. It simply takes too much effort and requires a lot of experience to do up a good Egglet. If i compare Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai to Singapore’s Eggette, none is even close.

One of the headers said it’s voted number one among 137,000 primary school kids of Hong Kong

My favourite Egglet was from a stall at Mongkok’s Garden Street. It’s not very well known but I thought their Egglet is the best I had so far. To be honest, the taste between that and North Point Egglet is actually comparable in term of texture and taste.

Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai was also reported on CNN, Shenzhen and Taiwan Media

Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai is slightly better in term of the egg fragrance and each piece is piping hot and freshly prepared only upon ordering, while the one i had was already pre-made and placed at their counter.

If you are at the Hong Kong Island area already, why not pop by this stall to have a shot of Hong Kong’s local taste.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Directions

The direction is very straight forward:

1. Exit from North Point Exit B3.

2. Walk straight against the traffic until you come to a cross junction

3. Do not cross the junction and turn to you right and you should see  Bei Jiao Ji Dan Zai (North Point Egglet)

Click to enlarge

 

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Capital Cafe and their Black Truffle Scrambled Egg Toast

Capital Cafe (Hua Xing Bing Shi 華星冰室)

English Address: Shop B1, G/F Kwong Sang Hong Building, 6 Heard Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 灣仔克街6號廣生行大廈地下B1號舖

Opening hours: Mon – Sun 7.00am to 11.00pm

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

The first thing you will notice about Capital Cafe is their walls are decorated with giant signed posters of various Hong Kong stars congratulating them on their opening. If you wonder why, Capital Cafe was opened by the ex-management of a Record Company, Capital Artists (華星唱片).

Capital Artists was in it’s prime from the 1970s to the early part of 1990s which Mega Hong Kong Pop Stars like Leslie Chueng, Anita Mui, Sammy Cheng, Andy Lau, Leon Lai, Tony Leung, Aaron Kwok and Eason Chan etc were signed under them. Due to poor sales, Capital Artists ceased music production in Year 2011.

On the left wall, lots of signed giant posters are hang up including stars from the “Young and Dangerous”

Capital Cafe started their business back in 2010 and is popular since then. Many praised Capital for it’s good service and it was said that Capital Cafe is one of Eason Chan’s favourite hangout.

Capital Cafe’s success came from mimicking the operating model of a very successful Cafe, Australia Dairy Company (Click to see review). They admitted that they are copying Australia Company openly and envisioned to be like them – to sell quality food at an affordable price.

Click on menu to enlarge

Black Truffle Scrambled Egg Toast

Capital Cafe even manage to mimic the signature Scrambled Egg Toast of Australia Dairy Company and topping up with black truffle. I was a bit sceptical initially but realised that the taste is indeed comparable with Australia Dairy Company. The texture is really good and almost exactly the same but there is a slight difference in taste. Capital’s scrambled egg is not as rich in flavour but i consider this as a very good alternative. A Scrambled Egg Toast cost HK$15 (S$2.50) at Australia Dairy Company while it costs HK$20 (S$3.30) at Capital Cafe.

However, Capital Cafe up their ante by dishing out a black truffle version. But the price don’t come cheap as it cost a HK$38 (S$6.30) for egg and toast. I find satisfaction in savoring this smooth creamy scrambled egg that is infused by the slightly pungent (in a good way) black truffle. This is definitely something worth trying in Hong Kong.

The Devil’s Pork Chop Bun

Apart from the traditional dishes of a Hong Kong Style cafe, Capital offers new fusion dishes that seems to target and appeal to youngsters. The black truffle scrambled egg is one and the Devil’s Pork Chop Bun is another. Instead of the ordinary mayonnaise, they added wasabe into their mayonnaise to make it more more interesting and giving it more “punch”.

I thought it taste very proper. Not awful, not fantastic. Their pork chop is lightly breaded and it goes very well with the wasabe mayonnaise.

Principal Toast

Capital Cafe also offers another interesting dish known as the principal toast (校长多士). They pledge that the price will remain at HK$25 every year. The story behind this toast is actually a tribute to a Hong Kong Star Alan Tam (谭咏麟) whose nick name is Principal Tam (譚校長). Alan Tam always cheekily says that he is forever 25 years old and this toast that forever cost $25 is a tribute to him.

Piglet Bun with Condense Milk and Butter (奶油豬仔包)

Capital Cafe actually label it as “Toasted French Bun” in their menu. Piglet Bun is actually a short version of French Loaf and it got this name due to the shape of the bun. I like the generous amount of butter spread on the loaf and toasted to crisp. Moreover what can go wrong with applying condense milk onto a toast?

Conclusion

I happen to come across Capital Cafe from an article of DanielFoodDiary and decided to pay a visit. Wan Chai is only two stops away from my hotel and Capital Cafe opens really early so naturally it became my ideal breakfast place. Note that it’s a short walk from Wan Chai Station.

I visited Capital twice in the morning at about 8 and 9 am and there is no monstrous queue like Australia Dairy Company and in fact, I got a table immediately. I didn’t encounter the fantastic service that people talked about (it’s just normal) but I favour the food rather much, only the price is slightly more expensive than Australia Dairy.

I feel that it is a good alternative of Australia Dairy when you don’t feel like queuing for an extended period of time for a meal. To end this, I am quoting from Eason Chan’s Weibo – “来香港,沒去过华星冰室,就等同白來”. It translates to “It is a wasted trip to Hong Kong if you never been to Capital Cafe”.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Directions

1. Come out from Wan Chai Station A4

2. Walk against the traffic and walk along Henessy Road

3. Keep walking for about 5 to 8 minutes

4. Keep a look out for a petrol station on your right. It’s about time to turn.

5. You should be able to see Heard Street. Turn in to the right and walk for about 30 seconds and it’s on your left.

Fook Yuen – Best Glutinous Rice Ball at Fortress Hill

Fook Yuen Glutinous Rice Ball (福元湯圓) – An Ordinary Dish with an Extraordinary Taste

English Address: Shop I-1, G/F, Lei Do Building, 7 Fuk Yuen Street North Point

Chinese Address: 北角炮台山福元街7號利都樓地下I-1舖

Opening hours: 2.00pm to 1.00am Mon to Sun

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

I am writing this post in excitement and the reason? Glutinous rice ball dessert. Normally I don’t normally associate glutinous rice ball with the word exciting but Fook Yuen’s (Fu Yuan Tang Yuan) does.

I only planned to visit Fook Yuen for the sake of eating a variety of food. I thought it may be a good idea to look for some Chinese-style dessert in Hong Kong. Though Fook Yuen enjoyed some good reputation online, i am paying a visit with little expectation. But in the end, I returned to this eatery for consecutive nights.

I’m sitting at one of the four indoor tables in the small eatery.

Fook Yuen is a very small dessert eatery near Fortress Hill station (炮台山). There are only four tables with a very limited seating capacity. They sell many kinds of dessert but when asked what is their signature and best seller, the boss is proud to declare – their Glutinous Rice Ball. There are many kinds of base (almond milk, sesame paste, sweet potato, papaya fungus, walnut paste, peanut mix etc) and top up HK$7 to add three rice balls.

Menu as of 26 Apr 14. Click to enlarge

Glutinous Rice Ball in Almond Paste

The texture of the glutinous rice ball is rather different from Singapore’s. The skin is super thin, but doesn’t break easily. It’s super soft, chewy and very Q and it’s as if i am eating a piece of sticky muah chee (mochi). As the thin skin tears off, the overflowing sweet grainy black sesame oozes out from the Glutinous Rice Ball.

Upon the first seep, the fragrance of the hot black sesame literally gushed upon my nose and mouth. Every subsequent mouthful of the chewy glutinous rice ball with it’s rich and flavourful filling is an enjoyment. Although the filling is slightly sweeter than our Singapore Ah Balling, the less sweet almond milk balance it up.

Unlike our Singapore version where they serve Glutinous Rice Ball in Almond Paste, the thick and gluey paste is fighting for attention with the Glutinous Rice Ball. Fook Yuen’s almond milk adds on the fragrance of almond to the overall taste with only a tinge of sweetness and compliment the rice ball really well.

Comparing to what we found in Singapore, Fook Yuen’s skin is much thinner and the fillings are much fuller. This is the best Glutinous Rice ball that i ever had.

I also had their Peanut Rice Ball in Sesame Paste. My choice is still the Almond Milk version.

Dry Peanut Glutinous Rice Ball (HK$20 for 5 rice balls)

Apart from the soupy Glutinous Rice Ball, Fook Yuen also offers the dry version at HK$20 that is known as 汤圆糖不甩. 糖不甩 means “can’t shake off the sugar (the topping)”. I know it sounds a little funny but it actually means that the topping can’t be separated once it’s mixed with the rice ball.

汤圆糖不甩 with a packet of peanut mix (Sugar, Coarse and Fine Peanut and Coconut Shavings)

The rice ball is the same, the only difference is they will throw in a packet of pre-packed peanut mix. Their grinded peanut has both fine and coarse texture with very fine sugar. The unique thing is they added coconut shavings to enhance the fragrance. I asked for three peanut and two sesame rice balls and i totally enjoyed the peanut fillings as much as the sesame.

Looks a little unglam but that’s the best i can do =/

I also tried their sea coconut dessert as i thought “they can’t be only good in the Glutinous Rice Ball right?”. And base on just this dish, yeap, they are.

Conclusion

When I visit Hong Kong, i have a list of fixed things to eat and list of a new eateries. At the end of the day, some new eateries will be stroke off and some will be “promoted” and Fook Yuen just got “promoted” into my to-return list. How can i not return to the stall that sells the best glutinous rice ball that i ever had.

The make-shift outdoor sitting area just under the overhead bridge that links directly to Fortress Hill MTR station

The location is really accessible, there’s always enough stomach space for dessert and taste is good so I can’t really find a reason to not love Fook Yuen. I can never guess that such a simple dish can be that satisfying.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Directions

Although on the map, Fook Yuen seems to be a short distance away from the MTR exit but it’s really near. It’s like just directly opposite the MTR exit of Fortress Hill 1. Come out from Exit B of Fortress Hill 2. Look for an overhead bridge 3. Cross the bridge to the opposite side 4. Fook Yuen is directly below the bridge, on the right, as shown in the photo at the conclusion section.

Kam Wah Cafe that serves the Best Polo Bun in Hong Kong

Reputation for the Best Polo Bun in Hong Kong – Kam Wah Cafe

English Address (Google Map): G/F, 47 Bute Street, Prince Edward

Chinese Address: 太子弼街47號地下

Opening hours: 6.30am to 12.00am

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Hong Kong is very well known for two kinds of pastries – Egg tart and Polo Bun (Pineapple Bun 菠蘿包). According to online sources,  you can get the best of both worlds at Kam Wah Cafe. They are very famous for their freshly baked Polo Bun and Traditional Egg Tart. People vouched that they serve the best Polo Bun in the whole of Hong Kong.

Kam Wah Cafe (金華冰廳/金华冰厅) operates from morning to midnight and the peak hour is in the morning. It’s always crowded with a hectic atmosphere. They serve their meal at truly amazing speed. I shared a table with an old couple.  Their order arrived within 30 seconds upon placing their order and the couple jokingly told the waiter in Cantonese “Is there a need for such speed?”

As I am rushing to Australia Dairy Company for breakfast round two, I just ordered their signature dishes – their award winning Butter Polo Bun and Egg Tart, and one additional french toast. Oh yes, Kam Wah also has a minimum order of one beverage per customer.

Menu of their best sellers – Click to enlarge

Their extensive menu – Click to enlarge

Butter Polo Bun (HK$8)

Polo Bun (which means pineapple bun), has no pineapple content in it. It was named as such because of the appearance resembles a pineapple (although i am quite sure Kam Wah’s don’t look like a pineapple at all).  The top of the bun is made of dough that is in similar nature of a sugar cookie.

Kam Wah’s Polo Bun is served fresh from the oven once every 10 minutes in the morning. That’s how fast and furious it’s selling. Apart from dining in, many people just order their Polo Bun as takeaway. Morning is also the best time to catch their most fresh and piping-hot Polo Bun.

I ordered their Butter Polo Bun (S$1.40) with a thick slice of butter sandwiched in between the bun. I instantly smell the fresh-from-the-oven fragrance of egg and bread when the bun is served. But my usual ritual  (photo taking) stopped me from taking a bite instantly.

Despite that, the almost-a-centimeter top crust is still downright crispy. The crust layer is also not overly sweet. The melted butter compliments the warm fluffy center and introduce a savory taste that further enhances the flavor. It also has a tinge of lemon/orange peel fragrance. i give this bun a thumbs up!

Their french toast is not bad, and the middle is spread with peanut butter. But i had better one, which i will write on later.

Egg Tart (HK$4)

I wasn’t too impress with their egg tart filling though, as I have my own preference of how an egg tart should taste. Most importantly the custard must be bursting with egg fragrance and the custard should also be really smooth and soft. Kum Wah’s version lack in this two aspect.

Their milk tea is quite good. Smooth and fragrant, and most importantly, they are in the old school Dairy Milk Cow Tea Cup.

Kam Wah’s version is the more traditional Hong Kong style egg tart. The texture of the custard is not as soft and i thought it taste a little artificial. However, the tart crust is a totally different story. The crust literally crumbles in my mouth and I really love it’s texture. The crust doesn’t taste sweet, which rightfully should compliment the custard very well. If not for it’s custard, I would really recommend this egg tart. It’s also rather value-for-money at less than S$0.70 each.

Conclusion

I encountered something not very pleasurable at Kam Wah. The cafe is really crowded and I carry a rather bulky camera bag with me (i was slinging it in front) while I was going into the cafe. One service staff was rushing to attend to her customer and I think my camera bag was in her way and she just pushed and shoved my camera bag to the side using her hand without batting an eye.

I think this is one kind of service that you will get in Hong Kong cafe so just don’t be alarmed when it happens. For Hong Kong first-timer, you may want to read up my “Eight must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture“.

Crowded cafe in the morning

That aside, this is my second visit to Kam Wah. I didn’t order their Polo Bun the first time and I thought there is nothing fantastic about this cafe. But then it’s another story after trying it. So my opinion is, the Polo Bun is worth the calories for sure and be sure to pop by for it, even as takeaway. However, I will leave it to you to decide if you would like to have a full meal at Kam Wah.

For myself, I just try what i think is deserving and i visited Australia Dairy right after this.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

The takeaway counter that sells pastries and their signature Polo Bun

Map and Directions

Kam Wah is actually in between Prince Edward and Mongkok station but i went from Mongkok station.

1. Come out from Mongkok Station Exit B3

2. You will see an escalator leading up to a bridge. Go up the escalator.

3. As shown on my map, you are walking along Mong Kok Road, on a pedestrian bridge above Mong Kok Road.

4. Turn to the left and goes down that escalator to reach ground floor.

5. Walk straight until you come to a T junction.

6. Kam Wah Cafe is on your left.

 

Australia Dairy Company and it’s Legendary Scrambled Egg

Australia Dairy Company (澳洲牛奶公司)

English Address: 47-49 Parkes St, Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 佐敦白加士街47-49號地下

Operating hours: 07.30am to 11:00pm Closed on Thu

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Australia Dairy Company (澳洲牛奶公司) is voted (by public) as the top eatery in Hong Kong at OpenRice Hong Kong, defeating all 5-star Hotels and 3-stars Michelin restaurants. They are famous for two things, their variations of egg custard pudding and their scrambled egg.

When I first visited Australia Dairy at Jordon 6 years ago, I don’t remembered there was such a monstrous queue. It was crowded, but not THAT crowded. But despite the long queue, the waiting time is only 20 minutes due to the mega quick turnover. I bet they won’t take more than 5 minutes to serve your food.

Click to enlarge – Menu in Chinese (as of 26 Apr 14)

And Australia Dairy has basically nothing to do with the country Australia and it’s a 100% Hong Kong style cafe. It was said that this name came from the boss of Australia Dairy, who once worked in Australian farm in the 1940s.

The queue is really long, but the waiting time is only 20 minutes.

Scrambled Egg Toast 炒蛋多士

When i visit this place, i always go for their scrambled egg toast. So far it’s the best scrambled egg that I had in term of both texture and taste (despite so many brunch places that sell scrambled egg in Singapore). Remember, a trip to Australia Dairy Company without ordering their scrambled egg toast is a wasted trip.

I thought what makes this scramble egg so popular, even to the extend of legendary, is for it’s non-runny but yet milky moist texture. No additional seasoning is required as it’s already bursting with flavours. Comparing with western style scrambled egg, it is slightly saltier and richer.

They had maintained a good standard for the past few years without fail. One portion of scrambled cost HK$15 (S$2.50). Be sure not to mistakenly order their sunny side up toast instead. Look for 炒蛋多士 in the menu.

Almond Steamed Egg Custard (杏仁炖蛋奶)

For first-timer, you may want to try their custard Amond Steamed Egg Custard. This taste very similar to the custard of egg tart with a tinge of almond but the texture is much softer. At first bite, you can taste the aromatic eggy taste, then the sweet milk, and then the almond. This dish is market as one of their signatures with their Steamed Egg White Milk Custard.

I love it’s texture, not-so-sweet taste and it’s egg fragrance edges other similar custard puddings found in Singapore. I like this dish, but not to the extent that i need to order it for every visit. It’s a worth-the-try dish.

Other dishes

I tried their macaroni and instant noodle breakfast set before and the taste is forgettable. If you do not have enough stomach space, just order their scrambled egg toast, and I always accompany it with a hot glass of fresh milk. Nothing warms heart like a glass of hot fresh milk in the morning.

Conclusion

Of the service, speed and quality triangle, i can say that Australia Dairy Company excel in both aspects of speed and quality. I simply love the quality of their scrambled egg and at a rather affordable price. That is the reason why Australia Dairy is always on the top of my to-return list in Hong Kong and will always remain as one of my favourite cafes in Hong Kong.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

The interior

Maps and Directions

It’s rather easy to navigate to Australian Dairy. I forgot the Exit is C1 or C2 (One of them is not reflected on the google map). Just bear in mind that you should not see the main road (Nathan Road) when you come out from the exit. If it’s facing the main road, then go back down and come up from the other exit C.

The rest is pretty easy. After you exit, just walk straight and turn right and walk for 20 seconds and you will see Australia Dairy Company.