Coral and I came here one late afternoon in search for something cold and refreshing. Bubbles Café is a little store tucked away in beside C B Drive Inn, on the corner of 14th Street and Northmount. The unusual thing was that although my friends and I love bubble tea neither Coral nor I had ever heard of this location, so we were already very intrigued.
The interior was cool, semi-trendy and semi-homey, which was nice, and a very welcome change from the hot sun outside. Tables were a nice touch; paintjob, retro lamps (mostly in the back) and wall decorations made the place feel comfortable but not overwhelming. Would this be a good experience? Perhaps, just perhaps, we had stumbled upon one of those rare hole-in-the-wall surprises?
Coral ordered a large papaya milk tea (4) and I ordered a large raspberry lychee slush (4). According to the in-store menu all ingredients were fresh, and you could mix and match flavours to your heart’s content. To clarify I asked the girl if all ingredients were fresh and she confirmed this. This is, I realize, slightly contrary to the menu photos currently on Urbanspoon, but there you go.
While waiting for the drinks to come, we noticed that although there were quite a handful of customers who stopped by in the midday for a drink, there were absolutely no Asians in the place. Call me biased, but I do worry when I cannot find an Asian around a bubble tea place. Our drinks came and my worries were for a while relieved. The drinks were exactly what Coral and I needed on such a hot day, and they were delicious.
We drove out for a bit and then, because we were seeing friends afterward, we came back to order another round of drinks to bring to our buddies. Being super hungry, Coral and I then ordered a grilled cheese sandwich (4) to share. I know, I could’ve made my own… but it was right there. And it came with a handful of snack mix, which was a happy surprise (we were ravenous).
I realize that’s not the most flattering picture ever but again, there you go. ‘Twas tasty enough to sate our hunger for a bit, but it wasn’t amazing. Our real problem, or rather, my real beef was that we had ordered a mango lime slush (4) and a taro slush (4), and when the drinks came, the taro was… purple. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t take a picture of this, but just so you folks know, fresh taro slush should be white, not purple. Purple is from powdered. Bubbles Café does not serve all-fresh bubble tea, and as an enjoyer of bubble tea, this was rather sad to hear.
783 Northmount Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2L 0L6
Pros: Service was friendly and drinks were relatively cheaper than other bubble tea stores.
Cons: Unfortunately the service was also slow. Expect to wait a bit even if you are the only customer in the store. The menu and the employee should not have advertised all-fresh ingredients. As refreshing as the drinks were, this is not cool.
I’m sure some of their drinks are made with fresh fruit and whatnot, but I wouldn’t count on it. I’ll come again if I’m in the area and dying of thirst (maybe) but I don’t think this is a place that merits a special trip. Sorry, Bubbles.