In an area that's saturated with quick service eateries, questionable nail salons, and more industrial organizations than hip hangout spots, I hadn't expected to find decent bubble tea parlour within the 15-kilometre radius.
Wait time was minimal at the cashier; it was, in fact, my demands for further clarification of the menu that was time-consuming. Choices were vast, though decision-making was difficult for the menu had been arranged in a somewhat confusing manner.
A set of ten signature drinks were shown on a folded takeout sheet, but displayed underneath them was no more than an internal item code. One would need to dart back and forth between the complete menu and condensed takeout menu to match beverage images with names.
Similar to One Zo, Chat One offered a rotating selection of tapioca - all supposedly crafted in-house. I couldn't perceive distinct differences between the individual flavours of the starchy pearls, but the texture was undeniably enjoyable.
A Taro Milk Tea was also ordered on this visit. I was informed that it did not exhibit the overly powdery characteristics of other establishments.
- C11 Dazzling Matcha Milk Tea
- Taro Milk Tea
- A9 Cactus Rose Oolong Tea (swap Sakura Tapioca)
- C7 Crystal Spring Tea (swap Green Tea Jelly)
- C10 "Dirty" Milk Tea (Large)
- B1 Passion Fruit Green Tea (Large) >
"Nope!" came the response.
Truthfully, there was no bitterness within the first 90 minutes of sipping. It wasn't until I had reached the bottom of the cup that astringency became apparent.
Rather than the opaque, olive green blocks I had been anticipating, Green Tea Jelly had taken the form of small, translucent pearls. Its taste was, once again, unmistakably floral. "Green Tea" hadn't meant matcha after all. The entire composition veered too far into the botanic spectrum.
Chat One's price points are slightly lower than that of One Zo, although the tapioca prices are consistent. I originally believed drinks from the former to be more cost-effective and better-tasting (on a general note), but my third, and possibly final, visit proved me wrong.
"Dirty" Milk Tea actually tasted like dirt. Not a single shred of tea was apparent, and the black sesame mix was ridiculously synthetic. A request for "half sugar" equated to insufficient simple syrup content, while "less ice" meant no ice at all (read: just cooler than lukewarm).
A single stall bathroom is located at the foot of a steep staircase. Although maintained decently, it was odd to observe the absence of a toilet paper holder.