Monday, November 28, 2011

Milk Tea at Moonleaf, Harrison Plaza Village Square

Verdict: Good for small groups or a quick take-out
Damage: somewhere between 45-200 pesos/person

There's Milk Tea Madness in Manila!  Have you noticed the milk tea stalls and branches popping up like Shawarma did a few years ago?

April and I decided to grab our tea plus milk at one of the most popular teashops in town -- Moonleaf.  What started out as a small store in Magiting St., Teacher's Village, Q.C. has now expanded to 3 new stores+11 branches around Manila including one in Los Baños, if I counted right. Search Moonleaf reviews in blogs and you'll see the teatoppers raving about Moonleaf's milk tea.

We were one of those who were able to catch the soft opening in Harrison Plaza Village Square last Sunday after an awesome church service at Victory Malate, which is within the same mall.  As a testimony to the Pinoy's new-found fondness for  tea, Moonleaf was packed with fans by the time we got there.

Despite the long line, we were served quickly and courteously by the staff.  I'm a milk tea fan and was excited for my Wintermelon Milk Tea as recommended by April.  And look, yay! It finally arrived!

My milk tea damage: PHP75 for the Wintermelon Milk Tea plus PHP10 for the pearls
I survived the milk tea test long enough to take some pictures. Those are tapioca pearls you see on my drink, but you can also try their teas with nata crystals, pudding, or even without milk.

I don't know if they forgot to add some flavor, but the "sweetness" that other bloggers say about the wintermelon brew was sadly lacking in this cup. As April said, it was matabang (lacking in flavor) compared to the wintermelon blend she had before at the Los Baños branch. No matter how long and how hard I sipped, I just couldn't get a hint of the "honey-fruit-like sweetness" I've read of.   I guess they still lack consistency when preparing their teas.

In fairness, the tea tasted freshly-brewed as advertised and had a slightly smoky taste, probably because of the wintermelon.   The pearls were also good, not soggy or hard. I have always liked the texture of tapioca pearls since the Zagu Pearl Shake craze.  The pearls in Moonleaf had the same chewy feel.

Was April's Yogurt Milk Tea with nata better? My pretty friend looks happy in anticipation of her drink.

April's wallet damage: PHP85 for Yogurt Milk Tea plus PHP10 for the nata
Yogurt Milk Tea was a new item on the menu and as a self-proclaimed yogurt fan (expect my yogurt food trips in a future post),  I just wasn't able to feel the yogurt in this one.   Well, I could definitely taste the fruity nata, but I expected a bit more creaminess from the yogurt.  Moonleaf, where's the yogurt?! *tears tears tears*

So, will I go back?  Well, yes, if I happen to catch another Victory Malate service. Or maybe I'll try the one in Maginhawa St., QC.  I just want to give this quaint shop another chance on a regular day and understand why others are raving about it.  I'll probably order the same thing, but with pudding. And maybe I'll also add in a slice of chocolate cake or cheesecake.

If I'm satisfied, I might have enough motivation to leave a memento on this nice wall. Just like these happy customers did.

Moonleaf is located at Harrison Plaza Village Square, Pablo Ocampo cor. Mabini St., Malate, 1004 Manila, Philippines. Store hours are 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM.  Check out other branches on their website.