Sunday, July 7, 2013

[香港 HONG KONG] 丹麥餅店 Danish Bakery - Nothing Danish about it, but full of Hong Kong flavor

For those who lived in Hong Kong during the 1970s to 1980s, may have visited this part of Causeway Bay, perhaps watched a soccer game in the area further up the hill, or perhaps took some extra curricular activities at Nam Wah Sports Club. Let's not forgot the locals who attended school in the area, and must have at least dropped by Danish Bakery one way or another.

From an outsider's perspective, there is nothing glamorous or marvelous about this place. In fact you will not find any authentic Danish pastries in here. But what this place holds dear, are the collective fond memories treasured by many eating the offerings of Danish Bakery growing up, the affordability of Hong Kong style fast food and its take on classics from hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, to the marinated fried chicken drumstick. Yes, Hong Kong people can be very sentimental when it comes to food, even if it doesn't mean anything to foreign visitors, or has low nutritional value for that matter, but it is a kind of food many of us grew up with.

Make no mistake about it, it's purely "fast food". Some of the menu items are a mixture of what you might find at Café de Corral, or even McDonald's, but what continues to amaze people are the low prices, value, and unbeatable taste that has stood the test of time. Fish burgers, hot dogs, pork chops, sandwiches, hot and cold drinks (the kind that most street cafes and tea restaurants serve)...and oh...baked pastries and goods.

Most of these bites and snacks, would probably be considered the equivalent of American ballpark food.

On a dreary overcast morning in January 2013, I stopped by for a quick breakfast bite. Students were already on their way to, or in school, so the crowds were mostly people on their way to work, needing a quick bite before they head to the offices in Causeway Bay, or taking public transportation.

Just like the streets of Taipei in the morning, whether bakeries or places where you can get Taiwanese style breakfast, the western style triangle breakfast sandwich, is an inevitable and easy choice when it comes to convenience and portability. And Danish Bakery proves no exception for the Hong Kong el cheapo breakfast market. The ones pictured here are all egg based.

But I didn't come here for that.

A hot dog (or a fried chicken leg) for breakfast in the morning? Well why not? I was visiting, I could eat like a pig and not worry about it now (or pay for it later haha).

Sure the sausage is not from some artisanal butcher shop, and obviously this is not healthy by any means. I would be surprised if the sausage was organic, had no nitrates, and wasn't rotating on its fat and salt and juices for hours upon hours. But surely I would rather have this, than a hot dog at 7-Eleven in the USA.

The hot dog bun is toasty, hot, fluffy yet soft on the inside.

But the major wow factor is the ridiculously tasty and zesty mayo like magic sauce (even better than Mayo or Kewpie). Sure, this sauce is probably not as magical as Wing Lok Yuen in Central, but it tastes exactly like the hot dog of my youth, whether you get it from some random park, or the track and field courses for those inter school or inter house races (e.g. Wanchai).

Most recently, I read that the landlord wanted to increase the bakery's rent 2 to 3 fold....and that almost forced the bakery to shut down (or relocate). They do have a 2nd location in Tsim Sa Tsui, but fans will always stay true and loyal to the original location here on Leighton Road in Causeway Bay.

New York may have Coney Island Nathan's hot dogs, but for Hong Kong it will probably be Wing Lok Yuen, and Danish Bakery.

丹麥餅店 Danish Bakery
G/F, Leishun Court, 106 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay                                          

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