New bubble tea opening alert! And I absolutely love this one because it’s finally a solid one in West London – Queensway to be exact. So let me introduce you to The Whale Tea. Probably my second favourite bubble tea in London after The Alley.
It was rather random how I came across them. It was after our usual quick dinner at our favourite Malaysian restaurant, Normah’s, when we spotted The Whale Tea setting the space up. It is located literally right opposite across the street and the day we saw it finally open for business in 2020, I bolted into the shop like an excited kid.
The Whale Tea: from Nanjing to London
Instead of a Taiwanese origin, The Whale Tea actually started out in Nanjing, China. Like other quality bubble tea brands, they’ve quickly expanded across east Asia as well as Australia and Canada…and now it’s London’s turn!
Inside the shop, there’s a small sitting area. Apart from a wide range of bubble tea, they also do desserts such as macaroons, mousse cakes, etc. which are all halal! Though I did try their macaroons once and they were unfortunately disappointing. So let’s just stick with bubble tea here for this article and forget about desserts for a moment.
The Drinks: What We Ordered
Flaming Whale (£5.95)
This drink is exactly the reason that got me so excited. The Flaming Whale is basically a brown sugar boba milk topped with cheese cream mousse and torched on top for a creme brulee effect. It’s a massive drink and I love it.
The milk was so silky and velvety, and the cheese mousse on top adds another dimension of richness in there that makes the drink so satisfying. In terms of the tapioca, it’s pretty good too with its chewy texture and brown sugar fragrance seeping through at each bite. All in all, I’m super happy with how it came out and it is enough to keep luring me back for more.
Brown Sugar Boba Milk (£5.45)
I’ve also tried their regular brown sugar boba milk, which I suppose, simply put, it’s the less indulgent version of the Flaming Whale.
In this simpler version, it’s still good – silky and velvety milk laced with the sweetness of brown sugar syrup. Though since I already had a taste of the Flaming Whale, this one didn’t particularly stand out much in comparison.
Brown Sugar Boba Coffee (£5.60)
Then we’ve tried out their Brown Sugar Boba Coffee as well. It actually comes in Dalgona Coffee-style, with the brown sugar boba milk as the base, topped with a layer of Dalgona coffee mousse. The coffee tasted stronger than I anticipated, giving you a sharp hit at every sip. It’s got a really smooth and velvety texture that’s similar-ish to the two boba milk drinks above. All in all, I was surprised by how lovely this drink is and it’s a great pick for coffee lovers!
Matcha Dalgona (£5.60)
The idea of mixing matcha and Dalgona coffee may have sounded rather sceptical as one may easily overpower another. I originally thought it’s a whipped matcha mousse on top of boba milk, and definitely had that doubt when I found out it’s got both matcha and coffee in there. But I was pleasantly surprised by this one. To have both coffee and matcha existing together in one drink, when done right, could be quite a special drink. The Whale Tea has certainly mastered the perfect balance here, offering a good hit of coffee to start with and then the matcha seeping through as an afternote. It’s truly quite a unique sensation to the palate!
Sweety Potato (£5.40)
This is essentially Taro Bubble Tea but, once again, they have taken a little of their own spin here. With Taro Milk Tea, it’s either blended silky smooth or grainy (I definitely have a huge preference over the former). For this one, the drink itself was super smooth and velvety. The twist here is that they actually put in Taro chunks in there. As a result, this drink offers a unique blend of smooth yet chunky texture. If you’re a taro fan who enjoys eating taro as a whole, it’s going to be quite a memorable one.
Passionfruit Lava Tea (£5.90)
Last but not least, here we have a fruity one – the Passionfruit Lava Tea. The Whale Tea’s menu features a range of regular fruit teas with a special highlight for the Peach Resin Fruit Tea series. This Passionfruit Lava Tea is from that exact series, made of a green tea base blended with passionfruit and peach resin. A strong whiff of fruity smell came through once the straw pierced through the lid and it smelled like a tropical summery treat. It was sweet, zingy and refreshing.
Food Review Summary
To conclude this article, The Whale Tea is definitely a great addition to the bubble tea scene in west London! The Flaming Whale is a signature for a reason and is very close to the high quality that The Alley‘s Brown Sugar Deerioca Boba Milk delivers. I’d say overall it doesn’t beat The Alley, but it certainly earned itself a top spot in the London bubble tea scene and definitely good enough for me to return again & again for a convenient bubble tea fix.
Nearest station: Queensway
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