This is not really a restaurant, and this is not really a review. It is more of a description of a vibe and a general sense of feeling that I get when I drink a small $9 flask of bubble tea.
I don’t think there’s really any argument about the quality of these drinks. They are tasty, they are inventive, and they actually have a number of elements not found elsewhere. The Grapefruit Green Tea Slush with Fruit Jelly ($8.50) is a good example of this, where these guys experimenting with new ideas, for example putting the jelly at the bottom of the cup and not throughout it, actually changes the experience. It tastes pretty good, but again I’m reminded that we just spent $8.50 on a bubble tea.
This Black Milk Tea with Panna Cotta ($9) was also actually very good. Again a daring move from the mochi mochi team putting panna cotta at the bottom of the drink. Very tasty, and I think better than the option from Xing Fu Tang which incorporates panna cotta as a separate element. The price element comes out again though, even more in this case. One of the other things about these teas is that you’re actually not getting a large 700-800mL cup like you would normally. These are quite compact, slim, hip-flask like situations, so I think ultimately you’re paying around 3x the price for what you would pay for a standard milk tea a couple of years ago.
Whilst bubble tea has always been a discretionary spend Machi Machi certainly takes the idea of it as a luxury good to the next level. I don’t think your average public selective school student or university student really has access to buying and drinking these all the time, but there’s always the international student market.