Tam Jai & Tam Jai Mixian Noodles Story in Hong Kong
You can start a conversation or a fight by merely talking about this noodles with Hong Kong people
Tam Jai Mixian is the most popular noodles restaurant chains among Hong Kong people in recent years. Since there are so many fans, you can easily start a conversation with them by talking about the restaurant.
The history of Tam Jai itself is already entertaining like a Hong Kong TV Drama. An immigrant family from Yunnan with surname “Tam” started their first restaurant in late 1990s. They combined “Mala” spicy soup base from Szechuan and Mixian noodles from Yunnan with the concept of Cart noodles which customers can choose different toppings. Operated by the four hardworking founders who are brothers and sister from the Tams family, Tam Jai started to grow. After a few years, it was told that two of the brothers could not reach a consensus about the company’s development. They decided to split the company and became Tam Jai SamGor and Tam Jai (SamGor means the third brother in Cantonese).
Because of the similarities between the names of the brands, the menus and the interior designs of the shop, as well as the story behind, they gave an impression to people that the two brands were always competing against each other. However in 2017, a Japanese corporation announced that they have bought the two brands with over 2 billion Hong Kong dollars that wowed everyone in Hong Kong, ending the “fight” between the two brands. Today Tam Jai is still very popular among Hong Kong people.
Because of its popularity, most of the Hong Kong people have tried their Mixian, and everyone has their own favourite combinations of toppings and soup base. Another fun part of eating there is to choose the spiciness of the soup base. Customers can choose the level of spiciness for their noodle dishes, ranging from non-spicy to extremely spicy. People like to ask each other how hot you can take, and people like to laugh at each other about how “weak” they are (kind of like the culture of talking about how many bottles of soju people can drink among Koreans).
Tam Jai Mixian has become a local culture among Hong Kong people that you can easily start a conversation by asking “what is your favourite toppings and soup base of Tam Jai?”. However if the conversation becomes “my combination of toppings is the best choice because…”, that’s the moment when it is about start a fight… LOL
By the way, what is your favourite toppings and soup base of Tam Jai? How hot you can take? Please comment below.
There are over 100 chain stores in Hong Kong, just google the nearest store around you.