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Montreal Bubble Tea recommendations please?

  • p
  • Petit May 28, 2007 08:11 PM

I am interested in stopping by a Pearl Milk Tea/Boba/Bubble Tea/ Tapioca joint during my stay in Montreal and would appreciate any advice on the location of the best Bubble Tea joints. Thank you in advance. :D

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  1. I like Magic Idea on La Gauchetiere and Clark in Chinatown, Cactus on Mackay north of Sainte-Catherine and Tapioca The on Maisonneuve east of Saint-Mathieu.

    The bubble tea places in town are all pretty much interchangeable. They are pretty inconsistent and the food is just so-so.

    My favourite is Magic Idea. They are slightly more consistent and the food is ok. I like the ambiance there, too.

    I would avoid L2. The place smells like B.O.

    3 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy

      I was at MagicIdea recently& had the bubble tea (coconut green tea) which was great. Someone behind me ordered food & it smelled really good. SnackHappy: what dishes do you recommend there?

      1. re: morebubbles

        Oh, nothing in particular. I haven't eaten there in a while. All I remember is that the food was decent.

      2. re: SnackHappy

        I tried Magic Idea yesterday and it was very disappointing. Maybe it was better five years ago, but the place is extremely dirty (I actually had to hold my breath in the bathroom) and the Bubble Tea was nothing to write home about. For $3.65 I got some kind of flavour powder with water, milk, ice, and of course the tapioca balls. I thought it was a really bad idea that they put the ice in it (without asking) because it made it hard at the end to get at the tapioca balls. Also, because of the dilapidated state of the restaurant, I was concerned about the safety of chewing the ice.

      3. I second
        the
        motion
        re:MagicIdea
        Also
        like
        their
        new
        location
        ondeMaisonneuve@StMathieu
        though
        the
        music
        can
        get
        LOUD

        1. My Girlfriend recently turned me onto Bubble Tea. She's asian (and opinionated) and so I bow down to her expertise. She likes the Peach Green tea from the store on De Maissonneuve near Fort . I think it's called Tapioca. Then there's the Bubble Tease franchise in the Eaton center where we go when we're down town.

          Our favourite place, by far, is the Pho Bac at 5473 Victoria Ave in CDN. Be careful there are a bunch of Pho Bacs in Montreal but only that one sells Bubble Tea. We drive out of our way to go to this one. Pleasant staff and great food to boot.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jrudland

            The one on De Maisonneuve is called Tapioca Thé, as Snackhappy pointed out. I like their blended slushy bubble teas.

            I find that most of the teas and flavours are the same, no matter where you go, but some places have better bubbles than others.

            1. re: jrudland

              I only tried Bubble Tease once, and I thought their hot bubble tea thing was interesting, but got a regular one... and I thought it was horrible. It was just like any other boxed juice kids have in their lunchboxes, or worse.

              I usually go to Magic Idea - I like Cactus better, but it doesn't exist anymore.

              1. re: nonpareils

                There's a Cactus on Mackay between Ste-Catherine and de Maisonneuve, on the east side. It's the same owners as the old cactus in China Town.

                1. re: mainsqueeze

                  thanks!

            2. Also Pho Tay Ho on St Denis (6414 I think at Beaubien) has decent bubble tea plus great food
              The original bubble tea-sers at the Faubourg are still going strong and their drinks are okay, food so-so.
              Plus two new bubble tea spots ( the size of a closet) in the building housing Andy and Dobe and Kam Fung on St. Urbain in Chinatown....will try to get there for a sample ....

              3 Replies
              1. re: chilipepper

                was there at that tea spot in the building on st. urbain. I found the sample & also the tea I ordered to be way over sweet...

                1. re: morebubbles

                  I ask for my bubble tea with "half sugar", because I find it too sweet no matter where I go.

                  1. re: mainsqueeze

                    I agree...sugar overload. I also ask for less sugar or in the case of flavours like red bean, no sugar, and it tastes just as good

              2. I just wanted to report my latest bubble tea finding: I just had a fantastic fresh avocado bubble tea from Juicy Tezzz Tea Shop, a really small place on the first floor at 1111 St. Urbain (the building where Maison Kam Fung is). It's avocado, a bit of milk, mango "bubbles" - really delicious and not too sweet, not need to ask for the lady to cut down on the sugar on this one.

                 
                1. I tried the Patisserie Harmonie's sesame bubble tea twice, and while I really liked the flavor I found a little bit too sweet for my taste. Second time I ordered I asked with half sugar, but ironically it was as sweet as before. Still, it was milky, strongly flavored with sesame (unlike some watery bubble teas I tried) and just hit the spot. I just need to find a way to order it less sweet.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: emerilcantcook

                    I don't know what to do about that either, other than to say you don't want any sugar at all. I think the bubbles are cooked in some sort of syrup, so that definitely contributes to the sweetness.

                    At Cactus they usually take my half-sugar request seriously.

                    I love the Hong Kong milk tea at Harmonie. You can get it unsweetened if you like. Maybe they will even put bubbles in it.

                    I wish there were decent Thai iced tea in this town.

                    1. re: mainsqueeze

                      You'll have to pardon my apparent ignorance on the subject, but this bubble tea craze has me dumbfounded. Could someone please explain how it differs from the Vietnamese che I've been consuming for the past 20 years?

                      1. re: bomobob

                        I don't know, chè and bubble seem awfully different to me. Bubble tea is much more of a drink. you don't need a spoon to eat it. The ingredients are different. Bubble tea is a lot less "natural" than chè. The tapioca bubbles are actually made with potato starch. The flavours are much more pronounced and often artificial tasting (not always a bad thing BTW). If i were to draw a parallel, I'd say that chè is to fruit as bubble tea is to fruit roll-ups.

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_Mi...

                        1. re: SnackHappy

                          The avocado drink I had is quite natural, I saw the lady at the store make it, it starts with a real avocado (cut before my eyes), then she added 2 tbls. milk, a bit of water and a bit of sugar. That's it. It's good, thick & creamy. The bubbles did taste like they were flavored with artificial mango powder or something, but that's ok. I guess it was more of an avocado smoothie rather than the usual bubble tea.

                      2. re: mainsqueeze

                        I am with you 100% on the thai iced tea; everything I have tried here is mediocre with a strong ashy after-taste.