After my first bubble tea experience at Pearl Castle, someone suggested I try a taro milk tea, saying it’s a determining factor in the overall quality of a bubble tea house. Well, I tried out Me Cafe for the first time and must say, I wasn’t terribly thrilled with purple drink I received.
Just a few doors down from New Town Bakery and across from Bob’s Subs, Me Cafe is dark and stylish, decorated with butterfly-inspired wall-hangings and filled with teenagers and early 20-somethings. In rounding the corner to the area with the tables, I was surprised to see the space turn into a kind of library, filled with neatly-stacked rows of comics for customers to read while they’re there.
The large group next to me had their textbooks out to study, which I think was also the case with the people in the private rooms in the back, which can be reserved. Clearly, it’s a place to come for quiet.
The service wasn’t overly-friendly or quick, but I eventually ordered the taro milk tea ($4.75) and cold Japanese soba noodles ($7.95). The milk tea arrived in a beer stein, which I haven’t seen before, and was violet-coloured and frothy.
Upon first sip I knew I wouldn’t’ be able to drink much more, as it was SO over-sweetened, probably artificially so. A few tastes were all I could handle.
My cold soba noodles came with a side of broth and wasabi, a marinated hard-boiled egg, seaweed salad, and another kind of thick, marinated seaweed that had been tied in little bows.
Even with the broth, the noodles were very plain, and while I enjoyed the salads at first, they also eventually started to taste sweet, as if they too had been artificially sweetened.
I don’t know if it was just the lingering flavour of the milk tea (my tastebuds are very sensitive to anything like aspartame or Splenda), but it all just became unpleasant.
If I was to go back to Me Cafe, I would skip the milk tea altogether and get one of their fresh, healthy-looking fruit juices, like carrot and apple, or perhaps one of their daily cakes displayed in the case near the front door. Really though, I think Me Cafe has a very specific clientele, mainly young students, and the space serves them well. I personally didn’t feel all that well-fed or relaxed, but not every place is for everybody.
Specific suggestions for fantastic taro teas welcome! I think I shall seek out Bubble Queen next….
Vegetarian options available