ABC Bakery & Cafe is a Hong Kong style cafe, or 茶餐廳. I used to come here every Sunday with my parents when I was little. It was opened early enough (7:30 am) that we could have breakfast together before I had to go to my Mandarin classes at the Chinese Cultural Centre.
I like ABC the best out of all the other 茶餐廳 in Chinatown because I think they make the best milk tea (港式奶茶). The other places’, like Calgary Court Restaurant, milk tea often leave like a sticky texture in your mouth after you drink it. It’s not as smooth (香滑). I know for a fact that Calgary Court Restaurant uses a machine to make their milk tea rather than doing it the traditional way (through a silk stocking) like ABC does. Also, I believe that ABC is the cheapest for 茶餐廳 style breakfast in Chinatown.
Now, they recently switched owners. The old 老闆 is retiring, and they sold it to someone else. The new management started April 1, they had shut down for a couple of weeks before that for renovations. I believe the old 老闆 will be staying around for a month to help the new owners get adjusted. I’m pretty sure the waitresses are staying there.
The renovations look nice, they moved the booths closer to the bakery wall, so that little hallway to the cashier to pay for you baked goods is narrower now. Also, they switched the directions of the tables, I don’t really think it adds that much more space, but it looks a wee bit classier than the old place – which I don’t think is the point to a 茶餐廳, but to each his own.
They also printed new breakfast menus, the food items stayed the same (and so did the prices, thank god!), but the format they have the menu now is…odd. Maybe it’s just a matter of getting used to it, but the old menu had pictures of each breakfast combo, and it was really easy to read. Now, it’s just lines and lines of text and it’s harder to read, and harder to figure out what you’re actually ordering.
Anyways, I’ll save my last complaint for the end of the post, how about some food pictures now?
Ok, one more complaint for right now. The new owners downsized the cup used for milk tea!! You get much less now, and it feels all thin and wobbly, like it might spill over any minute. I like the good ‘ol cup on a saucer with a spoon business. AND NO SPOON!! How the heck am I suppose to stir my sugar in?!
Now that I’ve got that out of my system, onto the food!
This is COMBO A ($4.20 including tax. Cheap! Cheap!) – it comes with the classic macaroni in soup (more on this later), 2 eggs done your way & a hot beverage of your choice. I think cold drinks is like a dollar extra or something.
There are different meat choices you can have on your macaroni if you order Combo A: ham (shown above), bacon, hot dog wiener & spam. Now, everyone that I know (that’s not Chinese) think that macaroni in soup is sooo weird. When I first told the bf that macaroni soup is (one of the many things that we eat for) breakfast, he was totally weirded out and made fun of me all the time for it. I guess it wasn’t even because it was for breakfast, but the fact that we eat it in soup at all. The way I see it, it’s exactly like instant noodles or ramen noodles, those are essentially the same carby pastas in broth!! So what’s so odd about that?
Anyways, now it’s my turn to make fun of him, because he loooves this stuff now. He orders it everytime (the picture is of his order), and he even craves it from time to time. So the lesson to this story is: Try it before you dismiss it!
ABC also serves more traditional Chinese breakfasts. They have congee sets that are usually a bit more expensive. The only down side to these congee sets is that you don’t get a drink with these combos.
The set comes with a bowl of congee (I don’t like the congee here, I usually get the fish congee, and they use fish fillets here instead of fish slices like U&Me), fried bread sticks (油炸鬼 – literal translation: oil fired devil – hilarious), and your choice of chow mein (炒面) or turnip cake (蘿蔔糕), and there’s a third choice…I can’t remember it right now though.
I got the sandwich combo, I think it was ~$3.00…it comes with a sandwich and a drink.
Good luck trying to get whole wheat bread at a 茶餐廳, I’ve never tried, but I’d imagine they’d just give you a dirty look. White bread is about as much a staple as the macaroni in soup. I had wanted a spam & egg sandwich (yeah, yeah, most of you probably think that spam is grooosss, but that’s a discussion for a different time) but I ordered bacon and egg by accident. Soooo, I pawned this one off to my mother dearest and ordered a second sandwich (with the right fillings this time):
Now the last complaint is that I have reason to believe that the portion size has gotten smaller. My dad has eaten there numerous time since they switched owners, and he has to now get two combos (one macaroni, and one bun) in order to be full. Before, he would only have to get the macaroni combo. Also, it looks like they took the lunch special board off of the wall. Is that only for breakfast or for lunch as well? Anyone know if they still offer good lunch combos? Let me know!
ABC BAKERY & CAFE
112 3 Avenue Southeast