If it’s meant as a marketing ploy it sure is effective. Bo Tan Bubble Tea and Cafe can be found in the basement of West of Ayala building, that alone is a bait for the curious. You wonder what you would find below, before you knew it you’re already making the descent. That’s what happened with me and my friend few days ago when we passed by the area.
It was a delightful discovery. The place is cute, the wooden floor by the entrance reminiscent of a spa, there are red chairs and white tables, a bar that circled the corner of the room, and a bookshelf on the wall. I expected a small place and found instead an ample space.
The Taiwanese-owned cafe can be found along Urban Ave. in Makati (might explain why most of the patrons are Chinese). They serve sandwich, milktea, coffee, noodles, and rice meals. Among the food and drinks that I tried are the following:
Minced Adobe Noodle Soup (PHP 150) is my absolute favorite. The noodles are thick and just as the name implies, it has minced pork adobo topping.
The Triple Delight Milktea (PHP 100) has three ingredients: nata de coco, pudding, and tapioca. It’s good if you don’t mind drinking something that also involves eating, if you know what I mean.
In my opinion, the Red Bean Milktea (PHP 100) tastes better, but maybe I am being partial because I love red beans. It is sweet and smooth and the tea flavor is subdued by the red beans. I just love it.
The Coffee Latte (PHP 120) — that’s not a typo, they really call it coffee latte, not cafe latte — is served in a unique looking cup on a little ceramic tray. For this alone I already find it interesting. There is nothing notable about the taste though, meaning it’s just your regular latte, foamy, milky, sweet, and not too bitter.
I spotted this transparent teapot on another table that has pieces of assorted fruits. It got me curious that I just had to try it. It’s called Hot Fresh Fruits Tea, also available in cold but I recommend you go for the hot version because the presentation is more dramatic. I will go as far as saying that this is the best tasting tea I’ve ever had in my life, probably has to do with the fact that it is filled with those fruits. A shot of honey is provided but even without adding it, the tea already tastes good.
But the most interesting thing about this experience, is the Coffee Ole (PHP 140). It’s presented on a rectangular wooden tray, the coffee, syrup, and milk served separately. The glass filled with ice looks just like a fish bowl. You get to prepare the drink yourself.
It’s a charming place with a cute bathroom and a fast, free WiFi connection. Who would have thought there is a wonderful place such as this down that basement.
Bo Tan Bubble Tea & Cafe
Basement 1 252 Sen Gil Puyat Ave
San Antonio, Makati
Telephone no.: (02) 823-6888