[Osaka] Bubble tea are a thing as well in Japan, though they seem to be more patronised by the Asian tourists.
It made me curious enough to try the Jay Chou endorsed (or owned) 麥吉Machi Machi which has stores in Osaka (Osaka Station and Tennoji), Tokyo (Harajuku), Nara and Kyoto.
It was not reported if Jay Chou himself is an owner of the brand, but Machi Machi is apparently named after his wife Hannah Quinlivan’s pet Pomeranian.
I visited the store at Osaka Station, though it was slightly hard to find as there was no clear website or addresses around. The kiosk can be found at an inconspicuous side of the first level of Hankyu Grand Building.
There was a reasonable line of about 4 to 5 customers (groups of female or girlfriends dragging their boyfriends along), all of whom would take countless photos (mostly selfies) after getting their drinks.
The recommended drinks are the Iron Buddha Oolong Cheese Tea (480 Yen), Premium Cheese Milk Tea (580 Yen), Strawberry Milk Panna Cotta (630 Yen), and Milk Tea Panna Cotta (630 Yen). The winter menu special is a Black Sugar Cheese Milk Tea (680 Yen).
Mini taro balls instead of the usual boba pearls can be added for an additional 100 Yen.
Not the cheapest around, as 630 Yen is about SGD7.90 or USD5.90.
The Osaka Station exclusive is called the Mochi Mochi Cheese Tea (630 Yen), comprising of Oolong Tea topped cheese foam, kinako powder (roasted soy bean flour), and a stick of dango (Japanese mochi dumpling) across the top of the cup.
First thing I noted were that the staff all looked cute in the earth-coloured overalls, looking like Mario Brothers in a way. (And did they purposely employ handsome and sweet-looking staff manning the store?)
There are three ‘steps’ to drinking this: first the cheese cap; drink the tea; then stir it all up.
Compared to other types of cheese foam, Machi Machi’s came across more light and frothy, with a tinge of saltiness.
The Machi Machi team apparently taste-tested over 30 cream cheese from all over the world to find the one to form the “Golden Ratio” for their signature cheese foam.
If you are intending to hold and drink, then the dango balls were a little redundant and you would just want to get it out of the way.
The Oolong tea had a mellow, delicate taste with slightly sweetness. Overall, I would say an ‘easy-going’ cup, though it may not pop-out for regular bubble tea drinkers.
The Jay Chou favourite is the bottled Black Tea Latte with Panna Cotta (630 Yen) contain soft panna cotta at the bottom.
I got the Strawberry Milk Panna Cotta (630 Yen), and the top pink was refreshing, though some could think it tasted like a creamier strawberry milk.
The draw to me was the soft panna cotta at the base, which you could either suck through a straw, or mix it all up.
Machi Machi will open in Singapore very soon.
Machi Machi Osaka – Osaka Station 阪急梅田店
大阪府大阪市北区角田町8-47 阪急グランドビル 離れ1F
8-47 Kakudacho | Hankyu Grand Bldg. Hanare 1F, Kita, Osaka 530-0017, Osaka Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Machi Machi Osaka – Tennoji 天王寺ミオ店
大阪府大阪市天王寺悲田院町10-39 1階 区画番号10番39号
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Machi Machi Tokyo – Harajukuラフォーレ原宿店
東京都渋谷区神宮前1-11-6 ラフォーレ原宿 2F
1-11-6 Jingumae | Laforet Harajuku 2F, Shibuya 150-0001, Tokyo Prefecture
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)