Saturday, December 20, 2014

Qup Cafe

Qup Cafe ( is a fairly new bubble tea establishment tucked away on 109th Street in the Garneau neighbourhood. It is within walking distance from the University, and since CJ and I were already there, I knew I wanted to check it out. Like a lot of the food places I've been to, I first heard about Qup Cafe on Instagram (@qupcafe). 

The interior.
Monopoly Wall.

To get into Qup Cafe, you have to open a small door on the street facing side of the building, which will then lead you up a narrow set of stairs. This place really takes "hidden gem" to the next level! The inside is on the smaller end, but it is quite cozy. There isn't a lot of decor except for the Monopoly Wall that adds a colourful and cute touch to the interior. 

The menu.

Along with bubble tea, Qup Cafe offers a variety of hot and cold Asian drinks, desserts, and a few savoury snacks. The food here is similar to the kind you would find at Dream Tea House. I knew I wanted to try their bubble tea along with a dessert. The servers were very friendly and we didn't have to wait too long for our food and drinks. 

Our food.

I was excited to get our huge bubble tea drinks, along with the food we had ordered! Time to dig in!

Make a Wish.

The first drink to come out was CJ's choice: the Make a Wish ($5.50), one of their Special Bubble Teas consisting of strawberry and peach. I thought the bright peachy pink colour was gorgeous, and I was of course impressed by the amount of bubble tea we got as well! After having a few sips of the drink, I could tell CJ didn't like it. He said it lacked a lot of sweetness, and that it was more on the icy side instead of milky. I tried some of this bubble tea, and I definitely agreed with him. 

Lovers and Friends.

The Special Bubble Tea I ordered was Lovers and Friends ($5.50), which has strawberry and banana. Let me just take a moment to say that the names of these bubble teas are really cute! Hehe. Compared to CJ's drink, Lovers and Friends was significantly better! The strawberry and banana were perfectly blended together, and the drink had just the right amount of creaminess and milkiness. I'm glad that I was able to add lychee pieces instead of tapioca balls to my drink as well. 

Green Onion Cake.

The first snack we tried was their Green Onion Cake ($5). CJ and I were immediately unimpressed when we saw this dish: it was essentially one thin piece of green onion cake cut into 8 tiny wedges. The portion of the food and the price did not match up with this snack at all. So overpriced for something so small! Later on, CJ told me that the pictures used on their menu was very deceptive. He thought that the green onion cake would be much larger based on the picture, so he felt that $5 was worth it. We found out that this certainly was not the case. You could buy larger pieces of green onion cakes at the grocery store or at any other restaurant and that would cost a lot less compared to what we had at Qup Cafe.

Egg Waffles.

For our sweet snack, I decided to get their Hong Kong Egg Waffles ($4.50). We got ours topped with icing sugar, cinnamon, and brown sugar. You could also add fruit for an extra $1.75, or chocolate or caramel drizzle for $1. I've seen a couple pictures of egg waffles all over Instagram, so I thought now would be a perfect time to try them for myself! I really enjoyed the light and simple taste of the waffle, and the toppings added a hint of sweetness. I personally felt I would have enjoyed this dessert more if we got some fruit or chocolate sauce with it though. 

Overall, Qup Cafe is a decent place to go to if you're having bubble tea cravings in the University area. This place is great for relaxing with friends after classes! They even have a variety of board games to play as well. Recently, they've added a couple of bubble tea flavours that sound delicious and are perfect for the holidays, so that's something I would be interested in trying next. Unfortunately, it's hard for me to get CJ to return here. He's not as forgiving of food places as I am, especially whenever he has a particularly negative experience. Since he didn't like his drink or the green onion cake, I definitely understand his reasoning to not come back. I also like didn't how overpriced the food was, so I'll probably just stick to bubble tea if I ever come back. However, I still believe Qup Cafe is worth a try if you're a bubble tea lover and want to hit up all of Edmonton's bubble tea spots! They are open everyday except on Tuesdays, so check them out!

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