Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Remember a couple years ago, when suddenly out of nowhere there was this huge donut craze?

Big Apples and J.Co donuts (and later Krispy Kreme) were popping up everywhere, accompanying each new branch was always a long queue of customers eager to get a taste of fluffy pastry with a hole in the middle, it was quite a phenomena, well, at least until we got tired of it and the whole thing sort of tapered down.

The same thing is happening all over again, but this time around it is them Bubble Tea.

drinking Chatime
Chatime, only took a photo, wasn’t too impressed

Bubble tea is of course, nothing new in this country. The difference in these new establishments are not revolutionary, but they seemed to inject a breath of freshness in this old product.

Places like Chatime, Gongcha, and Ochado has one thing in common – they use updated ordering system and allows you to customize each drinks with different sugar and ice level as well as extra ingredients should you choose to add (pearl, grass jelly, etc). The tea are also brewed each day (or every few hours), no powdered form is used.

A fancy plastic seal is used to seal the drinks, only to be popped open by the oversize straw 2 seconds later.

map to SS Two mall

Price wise, they are somewhere in between your average cup of Old Town drinks and Starbucks coffee, which means from around RM 5.90 to RM 7.90 or so, depending on the type of tea, additional pearl/jelly/milk froth, etc.

As of writing, Chatime has the most branches in Malaysia with a total of 15, you can find them as far as Melaka and Penang (check the listing here). I tried their milk tea with pearl and frankly, wasn’t too impressed. The tea tasted alright, it wasn’t too sweet, but at the same time didn’t give me any ummph I was hoping for. I wouldn’t line up for 20 mins to get a cup of Chatime bubble tea, but if I’m thirsty and there isn’t a line, I’ll probably still grab one.

G-K9, SSTwo Mall,

No. 40 Jalan SS2/72,
47400 Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.12093, 101.62727
Website: Chatime at facebook

Gongcha at SS 15
Gong Cha at SS 15, one of Haze’s favs

Then there’s Gong Cha at SS 15 and Mid Valley, just like Chatime, it is another Taiwanese chain that was started in the mid of last decade and recently arrived in Malaysia. Gong Cha is not nearly as prolific as Chatime, but I find their drinks quite a bit better in quality, especially those with perforated milk.

map to gongcha  at Subang Jaya ss15

Their grass jelly and one particular winter melon tea were quite lovely. Lucky SS 15 is some distance from where I stay and they only open till 10 pm, otherwise I’d spend too much calorie quota at this place I think.

The white pearl (extra RM 1.50) at Gong Cha has a nice texture to it, but I couldn’t distinguised their standard black pearl (RM 1) with those from pasar malam, so no more black pearl for me.

Gong Cha
No 3, Jalan SS15/7,

47500 Subang Jaya
GPS:  3.07629, 101.59040
Tel: 03-5638 3328

Ochado at Pavilion Tokyo Street
Ochado at Pavilion Tokyo Street is good, Suanie & Cheesie agrees!

My favorite of the lot though, is Ochado at Pavilion’s newest 6th floor section – Tokyo Street (that also house the popular ramen place – Hokkaido Santouka.

Ochado isn’t Taiwanese bubble tea, but Japanese instead (though this brand actually started from Singapore last year). To me the tea actually tasted a bit better, and so does their grass jelly. I’ve also tried their coffee with a type of “coffee pearl” that was simply marvelous.

When Cheesie tested it, she went “OMG IT HAS IKURA!“. The coffee pearl pops in your  mouth and release concentrated flavors in small doses, I love it.

map to Pavilion KL

However, being in Pavilion also means that Ochado is slightly more expensive than the other two brands, but not more than extra RM 1 or 2 for similar drinks.

6.33.00 & 6.34.00, Level 6, Pavilion
Jln Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.148872, 101.713368
Website: Ochado at Pavilion KL 

For those who likes bubble tea, this is a good development. However, just like the donut craze, the Old  Town & other modern kopitiam craze before, and the HK cha chan teng craze before that, eventually the bubble tea craze will come down and settle on a plateau. I’ll give it 1-2 years.

Discuss : Bubble Tea round up: Chatime, Gongcha, and Ochado

  1. yah the ochado is quite good. i’ll get it when i’m at pavilion next

  2. No more of those coffee pearls though.

  3. havent tried ochado before.. but between chatime and gongcha, i prefer the latter 🙂

  4. Michelle chin

    i never drank bubble tea before *blushes*

  5. Bravo to bubble tea.. more and more to come…

  6. Imo, Ochado’s milk is richer….yep pop eggs are no more (confirmed yesterday) as they r seasonal… but they have d coffee crystals…love their Okinawa Milk Tea with a lovely taste of brown sugar 🙂

    Chatime’s pearls are bigger and chewier. Do try their Tea Lattes: Jap Matcha n TieGuanYin…they taste better than d normal milk teas 😉

    Have not tried Gong Cha yet…as they aren’t near my normal haunts 😕

  7. Gong Cha is genuinely delicious, Chatime is so meh – I’ll try Ochado next time I’m at Pavillion.

    And get a spell-checker plugin 😛

  8. Oh oh! Must try Ochado! Got tired of Chatime though/

  9. Prefer Gong Cha! Better than Chatime which has nothing to shout about. 😛

  10. you should try Chatime Pavillion branch totally different from SS2

  11. I REALLY like Gong Cha over Chatime … they have this roasted melon tea that’s omg so freaking good ..

  12. Haven’t had a time to drop by Pavilion even since they have the Tokyo street up….time to pay it a visit to try Ochado. Loving Gong Cha at the moment….

  13. gong cha’s milk thing is really really good! but after a few sips i had an aha moment 💡 ! the milk is actually evaporated milk which is not very healthy but still tasty as heck!

  14. tried gongcha in hong kong and loved it, was really excited that they finally open here. yes, the winter melon was awesome! though i must say, the variety here is less than in hk. and hk is also crazy about bubble tea.

    chatime was meh….tried it a few times, never managed to make me crave for it.

    gongcha ftw!

    • howzan: yah, we’re a few years behind HK & Taiwan when it comes to bubble tea for sure.

  15. i still haven’t tried chatime and gong cha, but i lurrrrrrve ochado! it wasn’t as sugary as i feared it might be, heh 😀

  16. Yes…Pavilion Chatime is d best…just got my 180th cup there 🙂

    Ochado’s far behind with 20 :p

  17. Any reviews about KOI in Sg? (understood that Singapore is not as near as KL, PJ or Subang, but who knows)

  18. augustdiners

    Woohoo my favourite topic, bubble tea!! I liked chatime earlier n had never tried gongcha but ochado juz blew my mind away 🙂

  19. i dont like any bubble tea 🙁 #wetblanket

  20. wah so nice.. i also want!!

  21. Unexpected review from you hahaha. Tried Chatime’s new yam flavour the other day and it was surprisingly nice, nothing like those cheap yam ice-cream flavour stuff. Kicking myself for not trying Ochado the other day!

  22. You can find the very same explosive coffee pearls aka coffee ikura, lol. at Joseph’s Cafe (sp.) at Bangsar LRT station 🙂 Just as lovely!!

  23. nothing beats Yoyo bubble tea @ Kota Kinabalu!!

  24. i wanna fill up my Chatime loyalty card!! >< hahaha.. got 7 more cups to go. lol I thought Ochado was just ordinary though.. There's something about Chatime's Roasted Milk Tea with grass jelly that hits the spot. Well, mine at least.

  25. KOI is just so-so… prefer gong cha… ochado pop eggs milk tea only available 50 cups per day in pavillion…it’s too little..

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