Homemade Vietnamese Coffee

I love eating Vietnamese cuisine, and one of my favourite drinks that is special and unique would be Vietnamese Coffee, which I found out it wasn’t hard to make at all!

1 to 2 tbsp condensed milk
1 or 1.5 tsp ground coffee (courser grind works best)
boiling water

First, I put the condensed milk in the bottom of my cup. I love my coffee’s sweet when I drink coffee.

Then, I place the coffee grinds into the little contraction which is the French Filter (cà phê phin) – which is the coffee filter. It’s nice to use dark roast to get the strong flavour and the course so it doesn’t fall through the filter. Put the top on the filter and screw it tight. The tighter you screw the top on, the darker and stronger the coffee will be. This will take a longer time for your coffee to brew. Alternatively, you don’t have to tighten it to the max where the coffee won’t be as dark, and you’ll get your drink faster too! It’s up to you! The coffee they typically use is the brand Trung Nguyen

When the coffee has finished dripping through the filter, you’re ready to stir it up to dissolve the condensed milk and enjoy. If you like an iced version (ca phe da), fill a glass full of ice and enjoy!

Homemade Hong Kong Style Nai Cha – 港式奶茶

Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Recipe

I recently been craving a lot of childhood goodies, and one of the things I really like is Nai Cha which literally translates to “milk tea“. It’s also known as “Pantyhose Milk Tea – 絲襪奶茶” as historically, they used pantyhose as a filter to make this tea smooth. I really enjoy the Hong Kong style Nai Cha which is quite dark and strong, so I’ve been playing around with ways to make my own version at home.

4 cups of boiling water
6 Black Tea Bags
2-3 Tablespoons of Condensed Milk

First, in a pot, I add about 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil with the tea bags (with the bags in the water and the string sitting on the handle). I like to use Lipton Yellow Label Tea, but you can use whatever black tea you like.

Once the water boils with the tea bags, the water starts getting quite dark, and since I really like my Nai Cha strong, I reduce the heat a leave it at a simmer for awhile. I’ve been boiling it slowly for an hour.

Then, I let it cool a bit, put some condensed milk in the bottom of my cup and pour the tea on top.

Once I do that, the best part is next – stir and enjoy! These drinks are normally served with light meals or breakfast! But, I like this Nai Cha wherever and whenever!

Another alternative to this is the more traditional cafe style where you can replace the Condensed Milk with Evaporated Milk and sugar. Be sure to add the sugar before the evaporated milk if you choose to go that route! Both milks are wonderful in milk tea! If you’re craving iced milk tea, make the nai cha with either sugar and evaporated milk or condensed milk and allow it to cool for a bit. Then, in a tall glass, fill it with ice and pour the nai cha over the ice – stir and enjoy!

Great Taste Chinese Restaurant

It was New Years Eve, and we wanted to grab a bite to eat to kill some time – and we found ourselves walking by what use to be one of our favourite Chinese places to eat… and noticed the place had changed names. So, out of curiosity, we went into what is now called Great Taste Chinese Restaurant

Since this wasn’t a meal, and we were looking for snack, we ordered really random snacks – which we really LOVED! Something I’ve always ate if I found, it would be Shanghai Style Sticky Rice (Savoury). These sticky rice are only availability on weekends only – so I was really happy it was a weekend when we popped in! We can pick from sweet or salty sticky rice, but I do prefer the salty ones.

Dumplings will also always be a great snack for me! It’s never too early or too late to eat dumplings, and here, they have Pan Fried Shanghai Style Pork Dumplings which we always remembered them as being like wor-tip (potstickers) pan fried to a nice crisp. I believe they make these dumplings themselves as it doesn’t look uniform – so I like to think it’s made of good quality pork dumpling filling. This filling is very flavourful and is perfect alone or with the vinegar dip they provide you with.

The last snack we had to order is Deep Fried Sweet Buns which is an Asian style bun made with either Hong Kong or Korean rice flour as it adds much more “bounce” in the dough. This bun is made with “threads” of the dough and then steamed. In this case, it is deep fried to a wonderful golden brown such that you get a crispy shell with a soft bun inside that shreds into strands/threads. This wonderful bun is then dipped to one of my all time favourite condiments – condensed milk. It’s a great vehicle to move condensed milk to my mouth – and when paired, it’s a great combination! The hot crisp of the exterior of the bun, the soft gooey strand inside of the bun with the sweet condensed milk sure make it a treat!

I’ve been trying to not use too many pictures in my blogs lately, but i have to post a picture of the “silver thread buns” interior as well! Even though this bun is cut into 3 pieces, it’s a great bun and I think the picture kind of shows it!

This was such a great place for simple Shanghai style snacks that I’m sure I’ll be back to eat here! I loved it before the new owners and I’m still loving it! I assume the owners changed, as the concept of the restaurant has changed – but the food is still really good.

Great Taste Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Great Taste Chinese Restaurant

123 2nd Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 0B2

ABC Bakery & Cafe

I’ve been getting up really early in the mornings and heading to the airport to take pictures of airplanes as they take off. I like the early morning take off pictures as they’re quite different. However, afterwards I’m starving… so instead of popping into a chain restaurant, I went back to an old favourite, ABC Bakery & Cafe. I must say, the last time I was there was probably 4 years ago… and before that, I was there weekly!! Usually for dinner though, I’d go straight there after work. I guess I’ve left a job that allows me to pass by for about 4 years now! 🙂

Anyway, we got to ABC for breakfast around 8AM and I was happy I wasn’t the only table trying to find breakfast! There were a lot of their regular customers there – which is great!! The nice thing about these cafes is of course their price! It’s so easy, cheap and convenient to pop in through the day and order food! But, breakfast is always the best. I miss places like this. Calgary just doesn’t have a lot of them, and it’s a bummer.

We sat down and ordered our breakfast specials, and so we ordered Crispy Bun with Condensed Milk with Hong Kong Style Milk Tea. I like to drink either milk tea, or lemon tea with honey, but I wanted milk tea this time! 🙂 SOO GOOD! They always make it really good!! The crispy bun was toasted nicely, and the sesame seeds on the top of the bun add a really nice taste with the condensed milk. When I make it at home, I like to make a mess and put probably twice as much condensed milk in… it’s normally dripping! But, this was really good I didn’t make it or I’d get a sugar high at 8AM.

We also ordered the Pork Chop with 2 Eggs + Toast and with this breakfast, we also had the milk tea. It was pretty funny as the pork chop came out deep fried in dark oil. Clearly, they didn’t change the oil over night, but thats what Chinese places are all about! 🙂 It tasted good – and that’s what is most important!

This place has always been one of my favourite places to go eat. Cheap and delicious! Nothing to like!

ABC Bakery & Cafe

112 3 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 266-2888