Location in this post: Meet Fresh
A continuation of when [redacted name] adopted me for their team lunch.
We stopped by Meet Fresh in the same plaza as Little Ting's Dumplings. We got:
- Signature Icy Grass Jelly
- Hot Taro Ball #4
- Mung bean cake
- Q Mochi
- Fresh milk bubble tea
Signature Icy Grass Jelly
There's a lot of unpack here if you don't know what this stuff is. I think I'll go through the components one by one.
Grass jelly is made from the mesona leaf. The mesona leaf is mainly used to make grass jelly. The leaf is dried and boiled. When boiled for long enough, the liquid extracted from the leaf makes the tea look black. Starch is then added to the liquid to make it have a jelly-like consistency. It tastes herbal, smoky, sweet with vague undertones of bitterness.
Grass jelly is really popular in south eastern China and in Taiwan. It's often times seen in Taiwanese desserts and in Bubble tea shops. You can also get these things in cans from any Asian grocery store but those aren't really good. They are usually really sweet without much flavor.
Taro / Sweet Potato Balls
These balls are more cylinderical rolls than balls but details. They are chewy and mochi-like but they are not mochi. Mochi is made from rice while these balls are made out from starch, usually potato starch.
You cook either taro or sweet potato, mash it up and mix in the starch. These can be made sweet or not sweet. Once everything is well mixed, knead until dough-like and make them into ropes and cut them into small pieces. After you boil them, you can freeze them for a few months. To serve, you can just boil them again.
Tapioca Balls / Bubbles
These are the black things you see in the bottom of bubble tea. It is made out of tapioca and manufactured into balls you boil. If you want the bubbles to be sweet, you can soak them in simple syrup.
This one is pretty self explanatory. You get ice, and then you shave it with an ice shaver.
This was the first time I had all these things together. Was pretty good. You can clearly taste the flavor in the grass jelly. The entire thing wasn't too sweet, which I really appreciate from dessert.
Hot Taro Ball #4
Full disclosure, didn't do enough research to know what Hot Taro Ball 1 through 3 is.
This one had the taro / sweet potato balls, red beans and a large chunk of taro. It was pretty good. The soup wasn't too sweet. Overall very pleasant, I would even get it again to be honest.
Mung bean cake
Very soft and delicious. Again, not too sweet. Tasted very delicate and full of mung bean flavor. Would also get again.
My problem with this thing has nothing to do with this actual dish. My problem is the fact the letter Q is an adjective in the Chinese language... The first time my mom said "this is very Q", my reaction was "wtf did you just say?"
Q is a way to describe something as bouncy and chewy... almost rubbery but in a good way, a springy rubber. It's the texture of tapioca balls ... the texture of mochi ... a less chewy gummy worm.
I'm pretty sure this word came from Taiwan and all of China has adopted it as an adjective. It's just kind of weird to me that a new word was created that is just a letter. Maybe I'm reacting the same way as people did when 'twerk' or 'srsly' was introduced to the Oxford dictionary.
The actual mochi was pretty good. Pretty Q. Could've been more Q. Nothing too memorable.
Fresh Milk Tea
I don't really drink bubble tea anymore. They're usually grossly sweet which I'm not about. When I took my first sip from this drink, I was not about. Holy shit was it sweet. About 5 minutes later, after I ate some of the other stuff, I decided to give it another go. I remembered the bottom was probably really sweet because of the tapioca syrup. This time I stirred it up and it was better than last time. I then tasted the milk tea without the bubbles and it was not sweet at all. So this time, I went HAM with the stirring and it turned out really good.
So definitely go HAM stirring it or flip it a few times before you stab the top with a straw.
Overall pleasantly surprised. It was all pretty good. A few hit and misses but even the misses weren't too off.
7/10 might come back but probably not. Definitely not opposed to coming back.