Easy Drink Easy Go (Yonge St.)
Easy Drink Easy Go is proof in the value of double-takes. While you may at first glance not see this bubble tea spot when walking on Yonge Street after a food crawl around the gustatory delights of Northtown Way , it is definitely in your best interest to take a second look and sample the beverages on offer here, as this tiny place packs a mighty punch. The good kind.
Another contestant in the recent onslaught of international bubble tea franchises opening up Toronto locations, Easy Drink Easy Go is yet another Taiwanese-based company, with a seemingly strong market presence in Malaysia. Being familiar with South East Asia's penchant for strong-tasting food and beverages, I was admittedly quite excited to try out the store's offerings.
The store, which has rather limited seating, is simple but comfortable. Granted, you won't be able to fit an entire baseball team in here, but as a takeout place it works just fine. The place feels surprisingly spacious, even on a weekend with steady traffic in and out of the store.
I opted for some of Easy Drink Easy Go's unique offerings. First up was their signature Hokkaido Milk Tea ($5.20), which the store sign proudly proclaimed "The Best Milk Tea in Toronto." Being a sucker for hyperbole, it took me all of two nanoseconds to point out to the friendly staff that this was the one I wanted to try. I discovered that the beverage had a rich taste, even as the tea flavour itself was not overpowering. The creaminess that envelops your tastebuds is certainly worth the admission price. The sweetness comes from the smooth pudding (seriously!) topping that accompanies the tea. And as you are able to tailor the level of sugar in your drink, this resulted in a complex yet pleasant tasting beverage that didn't feel was overly sweet.
The second drink I tried was the Matcha Milk Tea with Snow Cap ($5.20). This was by far the most interesting of the bunch and is well worth a try for those who are a bit adventurous. The smooth taste of the cold beverage mixes very well with the slightly bitter matcha flavours. The interesting kicker though, is the salty cream-like topping you get in the beverage. Its rather pronounced jolt of savoury flavour definitely hit me a little unexpectedly, and at first I wasn't sure what to think about it. Interestingly enough, the more I had it the more I liked it. The saltiness co-mingled very well with the sweet and bitter tastes already present in the drink. The result is another complex flavoured beverage that was surprisingly satisfying. As a little bonus, I was assured that despite its name, the drink is non-dairy, which makes it perfect for those with lactose intolerance.
Something else which makes the store stand out amongst its competitors is its interesting food offering. For $4, you can get a small but flavourful South East Asian-style curry beef rice, which is also available in a combo with a regular bubble milk tea or a lemon lychee drink for $6. And with beef this tender, it's a welcome surprise.
It's easy to overlook Easy Drink Easy Go in the rather crowded landscape of bubble tea shops of Koreatown North, what with giants Chatime just up the street. But if you're looking for something a little more off the beaten path, take it easy (har har) and give Easy Drink Easy Go's offerings a try.
Photos by Irina No