Location: Near City Cinema, Shatti Al Qurum
After having driven passed Chatime a couple of times, my bestie and I finally made it to this new Tea joint in town. Today, I completely understand how my non-food adventure seeking Hubster feels when I push, pull, tug and drag him for a food experiment. This feeling of being completely unaware of what I got myself into engulfed me. First off, my brain refused to accept the concept of cold milk tea (I am Indian, I drink piping hot tea ONLY), secondly, exotic (borderline scary) sounding ingredients that I have never heard of, third they had no FOOD in this joint (no food, really?). But before I make you think this is going to be a negative review, let me tell you that I enjoyed this curiosiTEA filled experience at the newest Taiwanese Tea place in town.
Chatime has a unique Tea concept dedicated to make Tea a healthier, refreshing and fun alternative to Coffee. This trendsetter from Taiwan has close to 1000 outlets in 80 cities across four continents.(info courtesy a quick google search)
For a change, it was my girlfriend who asked about the food and not me. But the concept of this tea place is such that each drink is a mini snack in itself. You can pick your choice of tea, hot / cold or smoothie and add to it the toppings of your choice. By toppings I mean really bizarre but delicious stuff. If you are anything like me, you will be curiously confused at first. But I have done the homework for you. Look at the menu at the counter. They have marked it out. Look for the yellow stars, which are the best sellers (that’s how I decided what I wanted). The ‘Cold Drinks’, ‘Stronger Tea’ and ‘Upcoming Drinks’ are also marked out.
They also have non-tea based juices and smoothies and those are really good. I think the guy behind the counter sensed my curious and confused expression and gave me a shot of their grape apple smoothie. We raised a smoothie toast, post which, I was confident enough to place my order.
I called for a Pearl Milk Tea Smoothie. The pearls are squishy, black tapioca balls and I also asked for an extra topping of Coconut Jelly. (RO 2.3). I loved the squishy balls and the coconut jelly [though its called toppings, it sinks to the bottom 😉 ]. I did not however get the distinct tea taste. But I enjoyed the drink.
My friend, who has this fetish for flower based tea, and for some crazy reasons pays a bomb for it every time, stuck to her strategy and ordered ‘Chrysantemum Pu Erh Tea’ (yeah you find it hard to read, just think how hard it was to type) from Chatime’s Oriental Pop Tea Section (RO 2.4). She loved it and said it’s the perfect drink for summer. And she is right. Chatime is the perfect way to beat the onslaught of this heat wave that’s so stubbornly embracing us here in Muscat.
No offence to my favourite Mocha Hazelnut Frappuccino at Starbucks, but this place has some really healthier yet tasty options. You get to control the amount of sugar that goes into your drink and there are plenty of non-milk based drinks as well.
Do give it a try and let me know what you think. (my brother thinks that I only write about the positives, so help me prove him wrong)