Chatime Opens Shop in the Annex!

Last Friday, Mary from Mary’s Happy Belly was kind enough to invite me to join her at Chatime Annex’s media launch. We not only got to tour the newest location—which is stellar given its close proximity to UT, residential buildings, and offices—but we also got to learn a little bit more about the company and its philosophy.

At the heart of it, it’s about making good tea (one part of their slogan of “Good Tea, Good Time”). At all the locations, they brew each kind of tea according to unique times and temperatures, and the tea leaves are imported from Taiwan. The toppings, like pudding and grass jelly, are also made fresh in-house!

One of the things I have always liked Chatime is the customization aspect of their drinks. Matt and I like ours with less ice, 50% sweet, and it’s awesome that they do that for their customers.

Chatime AnnexGood Tea Good Time

During our visit, we sampled their most popular drinks, as well as some of their more unique offerings!

Most Popular Drinks
  • Chatime Milk Tea with Tapioca
  • Taro Milk Tea with Pudding
  • Roasted Milk Tea with Grass Jelly

The Roasted Milk Tea with Grass Jelly is actually my favourite drink from Chatime, and ever since Matt got me hooked on it, I crave it all the time. The Chatime owners also explained something that I had lamented about in an earlier post: I thought that the taro milk tea seemed powdery. It’s actually because they use real taro, which has that grainy texture, whereas I had mistaken it for powder! It’s good to know that it was because it was fresh taro!

Unique Offerings

chatime

  • Chatime Red Bean Milk Tea
  • Hazelnut Chocolate Milk Tea
  • Brown Rice Green Milk Tea
  • Japanese Sakura Sencha
  • Chocolate Mousse
  • Wintermelon Mousse
  • Taiwan Alishan JinShyuan Tea

*The adorable bubbletea cake in the middle is a chocolate cake with green tea mousse from Kelly’s Baked Goods!

They were all very good, but for me, the most interesting were the wintermelon mousse (kind of savoury-sweet) and the Japanese Sakura Sencha (very refreshing!) I also enjoyed the red bean milk tea, which you can’t go wrong with!

Two of Chatime Ontario's Owners, Kenton and Thomas

Two of Chatime Ontario’s Owners, Kenton and Thomas

Overall, it’s cool to see that Chatime has done so well in Ontario and in Canada, which is truly a job well done on the part of owners Kenton, Vincent, and Thomas. I think I value predictability and stability too much to ever be an entrepreneur, but it’s fascinating to hear the stories behind those who are!

Chatime Annex on Urbanspoon

Where We Ate: Zen Japanese Restaurant, Cha Time, The Fuzz Box (Toronto)

This weekend was definitely a food-filled one, starting from Friday dinner all the way through to our nephew’s 1st birthday party on Sunday, where there were a lot of good eats! That’s maybe while I’m feeling a bit sluggish and lazy today, so I apologize for babbling (more than usual) in this post 😉

Zen Japanese Restaurant

Matt had seen positive reviews for Zen Japanese Restaurant, but we weren’t able to make reservations the two prior times we tried. We didn’t really think about it again until we saw a photo of delicious-looking sashimi on my close friend J’s Instagram account, which piqued our interest to go again!

So on Friday, we headed to Scarborough with our good friends D and K to give it a try. The place is incredibly small, but all the best places seem to be! Matt and I shared the grilled ika, omakase sashimi, and Tokujyo Zushi, all of which were really fresh and very yummy. The fresh scallops were definitely the winner!

ika-sashimi-sushi

We also had their homemade mandarin pie, which was surprisingly light and delicious. I am also a sucker for Asahi Black, so whenever it’s available, it’s on my must-order list!

Mandarin Pie

Asahi BlackKirin

Zen Japanese on Urbanspoon

Cha Time

One of my coworkers mentioned bubble tea that day, which got me craving taro milk tea. So after Zen, we headed to the Cha Time at Yonge and Finch, where the line was out the door! Luckily, the wait wasn’t too long, and we managed to get a table. It was pretty insane that there was a steady stream of customers while we were there… at $5 a pop on average, they’re probably earning a killing! Interestingly, they have a bunch of locations around the world, and a few locations have popped up in Toronto/the GTA.

Cha Time

Matt ordered the roasted milk tea with grass jelly, while I had the taro milk tea with tapioca. Matt’s was good, but I wish I could say the same for mine! The powder wasn’t mixed in well, so it just tasted really powdery. It was also way too sweet! They do give you a lot of options (more or less ice, % of sweetness, etc.), so if I ever do give it a second chance, I may opt for a less-sweet, tapioca-less version of what I had.

Chatime North York on Urbanspoon

The Fuzz Box

As I mentioned in this post, there are a few places in Toronto that sell Halifax-style donairs. The Fuzz Box is one of them, so Matt and I went to go try with a big group of our friends. In terms of how it compared to Hopgood’s Foodliner, I think that you get a lot more bang for your buck at The Fuzz Box (which, in case you’re wondering, is inspired by the name of the owner’s band), and I could see people going there after a night of drinking or for a quick inexpensive meal. Although the ones at Hopgood’s were smaller and more expensive, I personally liked them better. I found them less greasy and not as oversauced, but I definitely still think that the donairs from both places were good in their own ways. I would go back to both!

The Fuzz Box on Urbanspoon