Last Thursday, I went out to give something to a friend and after the short trip, rode back the MRT to North Avenue station. Having eaten only a light lunch throughout the day, my stomach was already rumbling. So instead of going straight home, I walked to SM The Block to grab something to eat -- there I chanced upon Bubble Tea.
Before the rise of Taiwanese Milk Tea stores and stalls in the country, there were only restaurants, fast food chains and cafés like Bubble Tea offering milk tea beverages along with their food items. So upon seeing its inviting storefront, I immediately went inside.
There were only a few people dining at Bubble Tea during that late afternoon. However, there were a lot of yuppies coming in to order beverages for takeaway. Seeing that their drinks are their bestsellers, I asked first for a large Royal Milk Tea (P125) while still browsing their food selection.
The staff served my Royal Milk Tea just a few minutes after ordering it. It was really good! I have heard quite a few raves on this drink from fellow GirlTalkers, and now I understand why. The drink has a strong tea flavor, yet still sweet. For someone who loves tea, this will definitely be an instant favorite. But it might be too overpowering of a tea flavor for someone who only likes milk teas for their sweetness. However, although Bubble Tea's Royal Milk Tea was great, it just sits at #2 on my list following Gong Cha's Milk Wintermelon Tea.
Although my drink was served really quickly, it took quite a while before my food orders came. Good thing though the interior was interesting enough to stall me. Pastel hues of green, yellow and peach were the prominent colors inside the café. They also had their place decorated with spiders, webs and jack-o-lanterns in time for Halloween.
After about 15 minutes of stalling, my first order was finally served -- Takoyaki Balls (P175).
Bubble Tea's Takoyaki comes with a salad (lettuce, carrots and corn with thousand island dressing) on the side. And even if I'm not really a big fan of Takoyaki, I enjoyed this order very much.
The Takoyaki balls were soft but not mushy, and has octopus (or is it just squid?) inside, topped with dried bonito flakes, nori strips and mayonnaise, and sits on a bed of Worcestershire-tasting Takoyaki sauce. I loved it and finished all the 8 big pieces of Takoyaki!
After feeling really stuffed from devouring all the Takoyaki balls, my Roasted Garlic Mushroom Cream Pasta (P255) was served.
And although this pasta dish looked appetizing, the taste proved otherwise. The pasta was cooked al dente, but the sauce did not taste really good to me. I was even surprised that the base sauce they used was cream combined with wasabi. It was really unexpected, but it wasn't that bad either. If I had to choose a favorite thing in this pasta dish, it would be the mushroom.
After paying the bill, they gave a LoyalTea Card where one is entitled to a free drink after collecting 10 stamps -- 1 stamp per P250 spent.
My solo dinner experience at Bubble Tea was a mix of good and just-okay. I loved the Royal Milk Tea and the Takoyaki, but found the Roasted Garlic Mushroom Cream Pasta so-so in taste, small in serving and a little overpriced. Good thing though, the ambiance is relaxing and youthful, the servers were courteous (despite being a little slow), and the internet connection via SM's Wi-Fi was fast.
However, although I will probably be coming back to this café soon, I think I would just order snacks and their beverages.
Ambiance - 4.5/5
Service - 3/5
Price - 3/5
Overall Value - 3.5/5
Bubble Tea, SM The Block
G/F SM North The Block, EDSA cor. North Ave.
Quezon City, Metro Manila