Botan Bubble Tea and Cafe is the newest entry into the highly competitive milk tea craze in the metro. Eschewing the highly visible and mostly take out setup of most stores, Botan instead aims to transport customers to Taipei thru the atmosphere the place exudes. A small sign heralds the stairway leading down to Botan’s basement space, the entryway instantly reminds me of spaces in unusual places likein Taipei and Hong Kong.Quirky decor in predominantly red motif with flower accents gives the space a feel of being in another place and this even extends to the foreign language magazines, I actually spotted a few cook books sprinkled in, this time in English.
There’s cute cutlery sets for the kiddos
We started with a few drinks, by few I actually meant a lot, so much that I was not able to try everything.
A big pot of tea with a number of cut up fruits inside, this really reminded me of a drink we had we visited Taipei. The pot even has its own burner to keep it hot. Its big enough to share.
Still big enough to share, this time ice is added, you can still see the fruits inside. I skipped the hot one and had a taste of this, light and refreshing.
Lauren picked the Strawberry Ole (P130) thinking it would be similar to a Strawberry milkshake. She did not like it, and pushed it over to me to taste after a sip or two. Its nothing special, you’ll be better off ordering something else.
Some of their popular drinks, concocted by a Taiwanese consultant, are the Tapioca Pearl Milk Tea (P100), Sea Foam Winter Melon Tea (P95) and Taro Smoothie(P130). The tapioca or black pearls are just the right size, chewy and tasty, some of the best I’ve had in Manila. The sea foam winter melon is somewhat similar to cream topping of Gong Cha but with more of a salty taste. The taro smoothie was also good for me, tasting very similar to the Taro milk tea from ChaTime.
Another drink I had high hopes of was the Calamansi Green tea with Plum(Kiamoy) (P85). I was expecting it to be similar to my favorite Taiwan Plum Iced tea fromChaTime. There was a few pieces of preserved plum, the taste of which was overpowered by the strong calamansi flavor. Despite the strong calamansi taste, taken on its own, its a nice drink to cleanse the palate.
For non tea drinkers, Botan has some coffee options like the Coffee Latte (P120), complete with latte art and a couple of biscuits. The Cafe Americano, served in a do it yourself tray, is also another option. A glass of ice is served together with milk, syrup and the hot espresso, you can just mix and match away to your liking.
Enough of the drinks, lets move on to the grub starting with appetizers, Mix Adobo Platter (P160). The decidedly Taiwanese appetizer plate with adobo eggs, beef kenchi, tokwa and a triangle made of rice. Each part of the plate was very good but what surprised me despite its not so visually appealing look was the black rice triangle.
They’ve also got sandwiches like this one, although it was not yet on the menu when we ate there.
Chicken Leg Adobo (P230), was one of the dishes on their menu that day. The menu is still in flux so they have daily specials. The adobo like chicken was topped interestingly with stewed pork, seemingly creating a chicken and pork adobo combination. A large cup of rice as well as vegetable sidings are served with it. Get a drink to partner with your meal by just adding P60.
If you prefer dessert, there’s Season Fruits Waffle (P220). One large waffle cut up into quarters served with different fruit on the side. I love playing around with waffles before eating them, filling the cavities alternately with syrup.
Like a light dessert, then toasts are for you. Thick Cut Toast (P70) in Strawberry. Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Butter Biscuit. My favorite among these was the Butter biscuit and Strawberry.
I got a nice little surprise, when I was served this plate together with a song by the staff.
Botan Bubble Tea offers a different experience to enjoy your tea or coffee. It’s cozy and chic that is very different from what we normally see here. There’s a nice mix of good drinks and food but it would be much better once they complete the menu.
Botan Bubble Tea & Cafe
Basement 1, West of Ayala
No. 252 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave,
(Entrance is along Urban Ave.)
M to Sat 1030 to 10PM
Closed on Sundays