I first visited Candy Cafe nearly 1.5 years ago. But it is only until recently that I decided to write about it. Why? Because there is a new place called Bubbleology soon to open near it. As its name suggests, its selling point is bubble tea , which is also served at Candy Cafe (in fact, 33 different types of them!) What the latter does not have is the former’s big budget in marketing and branding. I feel that I should say something about this humble 1st floor cafe, located at Macclesfield Street in Chinatown.
What is bubble tea? Bubble tea or pearl tea (as called in Hong Kong), is a sweetly flavored tea drink originally from Taiwan. Most bubble teas contain a tea base mixed with fruit (or fruit syrup) and/or milk. Ice blended versions of the drink are also available, usually in fruit flavors. Bubble teas usually contain small pearls of tapioca or sago called “boba”. These teas are shaken to mix the ingredients, creating a foam on the top of some varieties, hence the name.
Candy Cafe serves a diversed range of desserts that are popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Bubble tea is just one of them. For example, you can have the classic tofu fa (a dessert made from soya beans), grass jelly or sago pudding. You can also add a range of ingredients like mango, melon, strawberries, taro and red beans etc.
I did not have bubble tea last time I went as I was looking for a more substantial dessert. For me, bubble tea is a drink I have when I am on the move. I chose Matcha Azuki (top photo, Matcha ice-cream with agar jelly, rice dumplings, red beans and matcha shaved ice). It is a popular Japanese dessert. The red beans complemented the matcha ice-cream. I particular like the rice dumplings. I wish there were more!
Another friend tried the Loving Dark (photo above, wheat grass shaved ice with grass jelly, aloe vera and lychee). Despite its cheesy name. It was actually lovely. The herbal grass jelly and lychee was a good pair and the syrup was light and refreshing.
Candy Cafe also served hot snacks like Japanese crepes with ice-cream and fruits, or Hong Kong cafe style French toast, iced red bean drink with milk and hot dumplings with black seasame and peanuts,etc.
It provides free WIFI and internet access (2 computers available for customers). We went at around 10:30pm on Friday and the cafe was packed with people in their early 20s. (We felt a little old!) By the way, students get 10% discount bewteen 12pm – 5pm Monday to Friday.
Candy Cafe is a cheap and cheerful place for desserts. It is no frills but it has its own charm.
Dessert for 3: £12.50, no service charge
3 Macclesfield St, First Floor, London, W1D 6AU