Chenturan Aran is a freelance writer and a mammal.
Published June 30th 2011
T.V. is great. Checking out what's going down on Wysteria Lane or reminiscing with Jerry and Kramer always gets the endorphins going. However, living through fiction only goes so far, and a real way to spend your weekend is to find your own Central Perk or Cheers bar. Every Sunday for three months now, my mates and I travel to Utopia and spend hours on end soaking up the fun décor, reeling off the latest gossip and draining large cups of sweet cold milky heaven.
Utopia Bubble Tea is Perth's foremost pearl milk tea outlet, but is still largely ignored outside Australia's Asian populace. What makes this place unique is the wide-range of bubbly beverages, the choice of affordable but seemingly gourmet desserts and the colourful 'hangout' ambience. Oh, and it also has karaoke.
Scrap the classics: the shakes, the juices and all that phosphorous junk burning your throat. Forget the dietary information and drop $3.60 on the roulette wheel. The great thing about Utopia is the gamble.
There's a list of what seems like fifty choices, all with obscure and colourful names. From the inviting imagery of "Summer Love" and "Purple Dream," to the downright indescribable (Pu Er Milk Tea?), you won't have a boring time choosing. I suggest you share around to discover new flavours (maybe skip the friend with the red nose).
There are a number of combinations, as you can go traditional, add sago (the bubbles) or throw in some jelly flakes instead. If you're not in the mood for one of Utopia's famous teas, you can always choose from their wide smoothie selection or maybe even flirt with the cold syrupy goodness of one of Utopia's "snows." Just please don't be the guy or girl that decides to get a chocolate milk. This is Utopia, not IGA.
If you want to make a meal out of it, your bubble tea will go perfectly with one of their many value desserts, which include whole cakes, custard tarts, tiramisu and more.
For all those that think they've experienced the limits of the Taiwanese sweet beverage, I must ask a tiresome question. Ever been drinking bubble tea and had the sudden urge to sing a tune? Maybe rock some Lose Yourself or Xanadu while sipping down the jelly flakes? Well at Utopia you can finally get your primal needs met, without having to burn fuel or time. Fifteen calories and a walk up the stairs is all you'll need to get the party started. Utopia has a diverse range of music to get you vocal chords wet and an awesome closed party atmosphere to make it a night to remember.
Bubble tea is yet to be celebrated and embraced by Australia's wider multicultural community. Gelare tastes damn good, and I'm fairly sure it's not just Belgians keeping them in business. The utopian experience of a Winter Love Milk Tea with double Sago needs to be shared. It needs to integrate itself as a standard weekend beverage along side a Frozen Coke or a cold Export. Show it some love Australia.
Utopia is a great place to unwind, chill out, try something new and reflect on your week with friends. If you're feeling a bit more energetic however, use it to define your weekend, and take a little walk upstairs to Utopia's karaoke. And if you ever get bored, you can always use your big Utopia straws to spit sago at your friend, loved one or that stranger that decided to get chocolate milk.
Give it a go, and if you're lucky, it might just become a ritual.