By Sherwani Synon and Lake Argent
There’s no missing Colombo’s newest, possibly ‘coolest’ spot in town; as you stroll or drive by Colombo 04 along Galle Road, its white picket fence and loud red and white sign announce the arrival of Bubble Queen, a sleek and modern Taiwanese snack bar complete with a friendly and helpful Taiwanese staff that eagerly serve customers with wide smiles and colorful bowls of yummy treats.
Step inside and apart from the friendly and cheerful staff, you’ll be greeted with stark white walls and steel furniture which give it an air of spaciousness, making it different from most eateries in the area.
Bubble Queen serves a variety of fresh juices, flavored teas and snow ice in addition to their main item ‘bubble tea’.
Set up about a month ago by a Taiwanese family, with the help of a Sri Lankan business partner, the main goal of Bubble Queen is to introduce Taiwanese snacks to Sri Lanka but for the time being, they focus lies in serving up a Taiwanese favorite called ‘bubble tea’. Unlike traditional Sri Lankan milk tea, bubble tea is served with bubbles or in layman’s term, tapioca pearls.
A tapioca pearl is the end result of mixing black sugar and sweet potato powder, which surprisingly enough tastes a bit like freshly made gummy bears.
We started off with ‘fresh mango snow ice,’ - this interesting dish was filled with crushed ice, chunks of fresh mango, a drizzling of mango syrup and topped off with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Sounds heavenly? That’s exactly how it tasted. The first spoonful of crushed ice, mango and ice cream gives you instant and momentary brain freeze, also surprisingly nice while our pallets savored every ingredient in silent awe.
After gobbling up this dish, the main item of Bubble Queen was served. A large glass of milk tea with what looks like gigantic black pearls was placed before our rather enthusiastic faces. That first taste of bubble tea was like… drinking milk tea with an addition of chewy pearls. Although it does take a while to appreciate the unique taste, once you like it, it becomes quite addictive, and interesting when you have to chew the pearls while drinking the tea.
Next on the menu was ‘kiwi snow ice,’ which is a combination of crushed ice, preserved kiwi and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Preserved kiwi wasn’t as exciting as fresh mango but none the less it was quite good. We also tried ‘passion fruit snow ice’ which seemed more like a popsicle as the passion fruit essence soaked up the crushed ice.
The last item of our review is probably the most unusual dish we’ve both come across. The ‘tea egg,’ is an egg boiled in tea infused with a variety of spices. In addition to all the spices, they have also added a splash of chili, taking into considering the Sri Lankan palette.
The ‘tea egg’ has a faint, brown marbled coloring due to the immersion in tea, while the spice was subtle in flavor and the addition of chili was not too over powering; it was by far our favorite.
Megan, who’s in charge of managing the tea shop, said that initially the shop was set up to satisfy a longing of her home town cuisine, but that the rather keen response has inspired her to share more of her favorite Taiwanese snacks with Sri Lankan’s. She also explained that all food products used at the tea shop are sourced from Taiwan and are always kept in check with the best of quality control so that customers have the freshest food available to them at all times.
Bubble Queen do deliver, but only for orders of ten items or above in Colombo city limits. A points system will soon be introduced where customers are given a point card with your first purchase, thereafter every time you make a purchase you are given one point, and once you’ve collected ten points you are entitled to a free Bubble Tea!
All in all, Bubble Queen is a lovely family oriented eatery, with a friendly staff and a good clean atmosphere. Menu items may seem a bit bazaar but hey, never judge an egg by its color!
Pics by Nisal Baduge