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HK style milk tea

ok, this is kinda specific, i doubt i'll get much response, but i'll still try my luck.

where's the best tea style restaurant that serve the best HK style milk tea in the GTA? I tried pretty much all the places downtown (around chinatown) and they all taste horrible! Some in Markham are decent, but not mindblowing........... i'm becoming addicted to the milk tea..............................

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  1. are you talking about the strong hot Lipton tea with condensed milk served in hk-style cafes? not taiwanese style bbtea right?

    there's a dinner restuarant at First Markham Place called Firefly that serves really good hk-style milk tea (the kind sweetened with condensed milk), although it's a hk-style cafe, not a tea-style restuarant like Ten Ren's.

    6 Replies
    1. re: yellopineapples

      The tea at Firefly is not all that 'smooth' since they do not use enough 'milk'. You should try Ming's hk style cafe. It's on Kennedy north of McNicol, but south of steeles.

      If you are going north on Kennedy, it will be on your right hand side, in one of the strip plazas.

      1. re: caitlink

        is that in the same plaza as the chiu chow boy?

        1. re: oohlala

          No, it is in the plaza a little further north of chiu chow boy.

          1. re: caitlink

            I'll look for it when i go next time, thanx!

            1. re: oohlala

              Finally got to try out the "milk tea" at Ming's. This thread plus a separate recommendation from a knowledgeable friend suggested that this place may have the best in the GTA. Well, it was quite good, but wondering if the CH community can suggest additional contenders.

              1. re: T Long

                After waiting for half a year, I finally stopped by Ming's and took a stab @ their milk tea. First sip almost resembles the vietnamese coffee (Cafe du Monde) I enjoy having. The hickory smoky flavour instantly reminded my experience in HK. It was GOOD! It's 11:30pm now and I'm still wired from the milk tea. Thank you, caitlink

    2. If you want the cold version, some Thai restaurants have a version very similar. I think they call it "cold sweet tea".

      1. I'm not a connaisseur, but I've heard of two places that have good reps:

        Richmond Court - two locations that I know of, one at Times Square and the other deep up in Markham
        Bakery near Dragon Center in Scarborough at Midland/Sheppard. In the HSBC plaza adjacent to Dragon Center, there is a small bakery that is known good HK style tea. They serve it unsweetened, unlike most places I've been to.

        1 Reply
        1. re: slantyyz

          Most places should serve it unsweetened, and people are "obligated" to sweeten it themselves. However, I did used to enjoy the milk tea at New City by Hwy 7 and Kennedy... although I haven't been there recently since the renovation.

        2. It's not a restaurant, or a tea shop, but I did see "Hong Kong Milk Tea" advertised at the Furama in FCP this morning.

          Not sure if other Furama locations have it, or if it's good (I've never had it, so have nothing to compare it to).

          12 Replies
          1. re: Olivia

            downtown location? if it was the downtown one you're talking about, it's crap~ the girl mixed in more water??!! so it'll fill the entire cup~

            maybe i'll give it another shot if it's prepared by another person

            1. re: oohlala

              Oohlala: Have you had a chance to try out Ming's yet....and have you found a good downtown location for milk tea?

              1. re: T Long

                Better "dai pai dong" places in Hong Kong making authentic HK-style milk tea use their own blend of black teas, definitely not Liptons. They over-extract the tea leaves using a filter bag shaped like a pantyhose-fishnet setup (thereby also colloquailly known as "pantyhose tea"). They use unsweetened condensed milk and you add in your sugar to taste.

                THe best ones are very tannic-ky but is rounded out by the condensed milk. The Cafe de Coral chain in HK makes a decent cup usually.

                In terms of finding a good cup here in Toronto, Richmond Court used to make a fairly decent one but I've found it really depends on the skill of the cashier pouring the tea as the proportion of milk to tea is crucial. It also depends on how long the tea has been sitting around percolating with the tea leaves.

                A good cup of HK milk tea is in a way a contradiction of good tea making principles, as you let the tea leaves sit in the hot water for an extended time and really over-extract the tea, making for a very strong dark drink.

                The majority of places in Toronto claiming to have "authentic" HK-style milk tea serves grossly diluted dish liquid which is pretty much undrinkable and disapointing each time.

                I think it also has to do with the water source, as I've never tasted one here that comes close to a generic cup from any Dai Pai Dong in HK.

                I haven't been to all of the above mentioned places, but look for that pantyhose-fishnet contraption with a cheap aluminum tea flask. If it ain't there, it ain't authentic.

                1. re: doctorandchef

                  Actually, the name "pantyhose tea" comes from the fact that the filter is coloured like a pantyhose, due to staining by the tea. And some people actually think they use pantyhose for filtering!

                2. re: T Long

                  i still haven't had a chance to venture to Ming's yet. I've been trying out a lot of places around First Markham Place though, Dai-Pai dong, food court, regular HK-style restaurants, but yet to find one that truly stands up (as mentioned by doctorandchef). When my internal fobbiness springs out, I will stop by Pacific mall and swing by Ming's for some milk tea.

                  I always try to look for the cheap aluminum kettle with grandma's stocking inside. I've found a few places that still use that approach. Surprisingly, I found pretty decent milk tea at Metro square (Steeles and Warden) at two places. One was a HK-style tea restaurant (forget the name) and there's another stall that specializes in selling drinks INSIDE the mall. If my memory serves me right, both places use the kettle.

                  1. re: oohlala

                    At Metro Square? There's Ten Ren's/Assimea, and Taste of Taiwan used to be there but no longer. Ten Ren's usually has solid BBT, unlike other places (168, Destiny -- bleh! powdery, and once my friend found a feather in her Destiny drink) but haven't tried plain milk tea. The new-ish Ten Ren's at Hwy7/Leslie is pretty good -- you can actually taste the different teas, but the prices are a bit higher than other locations. I'm sure you've tried Go For Tea as well, which is pretty decent.

                    I know I've had some pretty decent HK-style milk tea (you mean "dong lai chai" right?) where you sweeten to taste with syrup provided in separate little metal urns, but it's so ubiquitous that I can't remember specific places as being particularly good.

                    Downtown I usually have it at HK Harbour Restaurant on Dundas (just east of Spadina). Can't recall it being really good, but it's not bad.

                    1. re: jinxed

                      i'm not talking about the taiwanese bbt. There's a HK-style tea restaurant facing steeles.

                      1. re: oohlala

                        The restaurant is called Metro Square Cafe or Metro Square Restaurant or similar. It has a red sign and is I believe the westernmost store on that south section of Metro Square, facing Steeles, as oohlala pointed out. I agree that their HK-style milk tea is pretty good. The food itself is pretty unexciting HK-style tea restaurant stuff and the place feels like it is out of a TVB set.

                        1. re: timc

                          I'm a T.O. hound currently in HKG. Can anyone tell me where to find the best version of this here at the source? There doesn't seem to be much info on the Asia board.

                          1. re: koknia

                            Perhaps you missed it, but DoctorandChef mentions HK in his excellent post here.

                            1. re: koknia

                              I checked on openrice.com which is like chowhound.com for HK only, mostly in Cantonese. Lan Fong Yuen has some good comments about their milk tea. They're at 4A-6 Gage Street in the Central district.

                              This is a comment of this resto in English
                              http://openrice.com/big5/commentdetai...

                              1. re: Teep

                                Thanks, I missed that post. I'll be off to check it out for lunch tomorrow.

              2. Haven't had any in years, but this thread makes me want a cup right now. Gonna try to find a good place in downtown Chinatown ASAP! ;)

                1 Reply
                1. re: YummyYummy

                  Postscript. I ended up hitting Lan Fong Yuen a few times in Sept for their "Famous Milky Tea". I usually had their "Signature Pork Chop Sandwich" and/or the "Chicken Steak with Prestige Onion Sauce". Like anywhere decent in HKG, avoid at lunch.