Chai Talk - Hong Kong

Tuesday, March 7

Location: MIX (IFC location, Central HK), Uncle Russ Coffee (Discovery Bay, Lantau Island)
Rating: 0/5, ***/5

Stepping off the plane in Hong Kong and riding the comfortable bus out to Discovery Bay was a little like falling down the rabbit hole, hitting my head and then having a seizure. The first thing I noticed was it was freezing, 8c the day I got there and I swear the humidity felt like -8c. Right away I was astounded, the bus came on time, no one even attempted to steal anything from me or carry it and the bus ride cost more than I would pay for a hotel room in India.

Over the next few days of hanging with my nephews, meeting my sister in laws friends and enjoying the city I began to notice a few things.

1. I'm pretty sure I went at least 50 years into the future on that plane to Hong Kong
2. Modern architecture is really cool and shiny
3. Some places in the world are clean?
4. Things actually cost money, lots of money!
5. No one can make chai like India

I had two chai samplings while in Hong Kong both thanks to my brother which was nice since they cost the same as about 50 chais in India. The first was from Uncle Russ Coffee in Discovery Bay. It was a typical coffee shop chai made from a mix that is combined with hot milk. The flavor is nice but lacks the ginger and cardamom of an India chai while focusing on nutmeg and cinnamon for strength. With a heavy frothy texture it's more of a meal than a refreshing drink but nonetheless it was tastey in it's own right but not what I would call an Indian Chai. The egg tart and pineapple bun from the chinese bakery near the coffee shop were great even though I got the wrong bun and it was filled with sweet red bean paste. Somehow my western tastebuds have trouble with sweet beans? The creamy warm chai was perfect for a cold rainy day looking out towards Disney Land and then wathcing my nephews soccer practice.

The second chai was from MIX, a health food chain in Hong Kong. I hit up the IFC building location (International Finance Center). The chai, like the thai chicken wrap I had, lacked flavor. Maybe it's because it's a health food place but there was no sugar and it was basically milk with nutmeg. Knowing that my bad review might break their business I tried to chalk it up to a mistake and asked them to fix it. The second attempt was hotter but no better. I've never rated a chai at zero before but MIX earned it. The saving grace was the location. The IFC building which was under construction when I lived in Hong Kong is now a massive and beautiful building filled with expensive stores and attached to the anime like sky walkways that run all over central and up the elevators to Soho and also to Central station of the MTR (underground metro).

Hong Kong was a great stop on the way back from India though the beer from Lan Kwai Fung and hot and sour soup from Causeway Bay left my stomach going, "where am I?". I love the city and thanks Todd, Karla, Jericho, Brayden and Christopher for the good times enroute to Canada and trying to 'save' me. Maybe one day.
nicholas, 10:50 PM

2 Comments: bean paste.

When I got off the plane in Taipei, it was cold and rainy as well. Naturally, I checked my winter jacket, so it wasn't available.

Ever seen a crazy Canadian walking around in a t-shirt during a taipei winter? The parking attendants sure hadn't.

I've perfected the chai, so make sure you stop by for some (whereever you end up when you get back here).
Blogger kent, at 8:59 AM  
Congrats On Time Travel! :P
Blogger 30.45 N,76.48 E, at 2:32 AM  

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