SilalaTea adds Japanese treats and mochi donuts to bubble tea offerings | Food & Drink







Co-homeowners Jessica Silalahi and Stefan Makiya-Harry opened SilalaTea on March 1. They equally grew up in California, but heritage-sensible, she’s Indonesian and he’s Japanese, determining as Black-Okinawan. They search as youthful as they are: 22 and 23, respectively. They started out this bubble tea shop just after he was medically discharged from the Air Pressure. And it is a really fun place, decorated in portion with Japanime posters and heaps of Funko Pop dolls, with a mini arcade corner on a extend of fake grass. The (notably affordable) dazzling beverages and treats match all the lively shades on exhibit.

One particular facet that sets SilalaTea apart from the other boba spots is their default use of Lactaid (lactose-cost-free) milk foundation (unless of course soy or almond milk are requested), catering to the allergen crowd. On the other hand I see no variation in the taste of my beverages: a Murasaki milk tea and pandan grass jelly milk tea. The initial is a vibrant purple ube drink. Bear with me due to the fact this is baffling, but Murasaki is how you say purple in Japanese, and there is a Murasaki sweet potato (with pink pores and skin and a white core) and an Okinawan sweet potato (with beige pores and skin and a purple main), but ube are purple yams with a purple-toned gentle, white pores and skin and purplish-white inside, so not the exact detail. Anyhoo, this drink’s amazing with its nutty vanilla-ness and added sweetness from flan-like egg pudding jelly extra (as one particular of the 6 toppings the menu lists). The pandan leaf-flavored grass jelly tea retains an similarly vivid, light-weight inexperienced shade and preferences super sweet until eventually I suck bits of the darkish grass jelly via my straw, which tastes like a concentrated black tea, potent and tannic, to counter the floral sugariness. I like it, you might not.

Upon coming into SilalaTea you’ll discover on the countertop a colourful pastry scenario stuffed with mini mochi donuts — 3 for $5 or 6 for $8. I keep on theme with a plain ube, an ube coated with chocolate glaze and pretzel garnish and an ube lined with vanilla frosting and Oreo crumbles — both equally have a salted caramel drizzle. The rice-flour dough’s dense and spongy, enjoyable texturally and really starchy, not way too sweet on its possess on the simple donut. The icings aren’t way too sweet possibly, but insert respective chocolate or vanilla tones, however the pretzels on mine are extremely soft and stale, distracting from the joy the Oreo wins the day many thanks to the cookie flavor.

Two much more snack offerings could possibly be unique to town (as these bubble shops go): chia pudding cups and obanyaki. The initial are soy milk-dependent and come in 3 flavors I stick with ube around strawberry or brown sugar. I’m a fan of the soaked chia seeds that sweat their healthful goo into a swirl of deep purple ube base, but I really don’t care for the professional vanilla pudding topping, which has generally struck me as cloying and synthetic. (I could just go for a canned coconut milk topper.) The obanyaki are a small “wheel cake” (preferred as avenue food items or at festivals) that appear variety of like a fluffy hockey puck made from pancake batter, into which goes your selection of sweet filling I eventually crack my ube streak and go for the standard purple bean filling (although matcha’s damn tempting). Like ube in its very own way, to me, sweet purple bean has its have unique flavor that is a little difficult to describe but unmistakable and pleasant, not extremely sweet with a hint of savory starch.

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