Downtown Toronto's newest bubble tea shop tops its drinks with mochi balls
Mochi balls, the Japanese sweets made from sticky rice, are typically eaten alone.
But as of late, these these glutinous desserts have been making their way into other foods as hybrid desserts, like mochi donuts and, most recently, bubble tea.
A new brand called Encounter Tea arrived in Toronto this summer, and it brings a menu of boba with skewers of pounded rice balls.
The first Canadian location landed in Pacific Mall this summer, followed by a store at 439 Spadina Ave.
Not many changes have been made to the interior of the shop, so Chinatown's Encounter store looks pretty much identical to Answer Tea, the bubble tea shop it replaced.
There's an addition of a market area specializing in goods from Pop Mart, a collectibles brand of toys and action figures.
Unlike the Pacific Mall location, which has a slightly more extensive menu, the Chinatown location is still under the works for what it can offer.
But you will find its selection of bubble tea smoothies with cheese foam, a coffee series, traditional brown sugar milk teas, and the highlight: mochi.
The signature drink here is definitely the Maruo Bean Milk Tea ($6.99).
It's a soy pudding milk tea that comes with a skewer of four kinako-sprinkled, mochi balls. You dip the mochi balls into the drink for a milk tea coating on the gooey mochi.
Mochi also comes in a macchiato form.
The mango mochi macchiato ($7.59) delivers its rice elment in a texture akin to cheese foam, made from a mochi powder mixed with water.
If melty mochi balls aren't to your taste, there are also a handful of fruity smoothies, including a decadent layered grape drink with cheese foam.
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