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Jun 14, 2009 04:07 AM

Candy Cafe, Chinatown, London

Good bubble tea - solid tea flavour, nice froth, well made tapioca pearls - nicely chewy, with a slightly denser core.

Kaya butter toast is merely ok. The toast is well made, pleasant whole wheat, with a lovley slightly drippy varnish of butter. But the kaya needs more flavour. Not even close to the rendition at Sedap. I suppose it's the different between the stuff in a jar vs made from scratch.

A pleasant place with some dessert options that might warrant further investigation. Need to try the other flavours of bubble tea (unknown if they use powder or fresh ingredients for flavouring). And the mango et al puddings look decent. Will also be back to try their Ipoh style white coffee.

Free internet access and wifi.

Upstairs from Leong's Legends on Macclesfield street.

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  1. Stopped by Candy Cafe tonight on my way home. I got a jasmine green tea with tapioca. Tea was spot on - perfect sugar level, nicely brewed. Tapioca were pretty good, but not perfect - some were perfectly chewy, but some had slightly too dense a core.

    I got my drink to-go, and it was in a medium sized cup.

    My main complaint is that it is EXPENSIVE. £3.20 for a medium sized bubble tea seems ridiculous, especially considering prices of nearby things (my pho at Nam, up the road, was a full meal for only £1 more....and a wrap at Mooli is only £3.95). But apparently this is the price for bubble tea in London - the place closer to Leicester Square tube charges £3.60 for a bubble tea!

    With the current exchange rate, the bubble tea I had is about 3 times more expensive than the equivalent drink in San Francisco. I can understand charging this much for fresh-fruit smoothies, but tea and tapioca are not significantly more expensive here than they are in the USA, and while rent and taxes might be higher in London, £3.20 seems too high for a tea-based drink. I think it's too bad prices are so high, since it means I will buy bubble tea much less frequently.

    If I could have the same drink at Candy Cafe for £1.75 I would probably go there at least once per week.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dave MP

      I couldn't agree more about pricing. It's daylight robbery what they charge. I think it would be perfectly reasonable to say £1.50 in and £1 out. They'd probably sell hundreds a day to go if they did and make plenty of profit.

      It's not comparable but I used to pay 5 mao for my bubble tea in China (which at the time was about 3p). I've always though of it as a fun little time passer, not something to splash cash on. More than £3 is silly when you consider what great value there is around Chinatown if you know where.