I was recently invited to the launch of a luxurious $99 bubble tea cocktail at a hot pot restaurant. It sounds like a strange combination but it worked so well.
The Melbourne branch of bubble tea chain, Gotcha, is next door to the Melbourne outpost of the international chain of colourful hot pot restaurants: Da Long Yi.
The two collaborated on the launch of the Kiss Of The Goddess, a bubble tea cocktail with all the luxurious trimmings.
Ingredients such as premium quality hand picked tea, patron silver tequila, absolut vodka, celery tincture, collagen and edible 24 karat gold leaf add up to the $99 price tag.
Plus, it is just so pretty! You can see the gold glittering inside as well.
It tasted more like bubble tea than alcohol. Sweet and refreshing, but I kind of wanted to add some toppings in there – grass jelly or boba! Clearly I’m addicted to bubble tea.🤣
This masterpiece of a cocktail will be available soon at the new Gotcha Melbourne Central store!
After the cocktail launch we settled into a hot pot feast. Looking at the menu, I was excited, it looked like we were in for a treat.
The feast started with these gorgeously buttery and slightly sweet ‘Golden Fried Buns.’ These were reminiscent of brioche buns except less flaky, more fluffy. So good.
Followed by the ‘Crispy Pork’, which was chewy more than crispy, though nicely spiced and flavoured with Sichuan peppercorns.
These ‘Fried Brown Sugar Glutinous’ cakes were lightly sweet, chewy and addictive. Hard to stop at one.
Then the hot pot started up: the soup bade flavours were tomato and pickled vegetable. The pickled vegetable base was our fave as it was slightly spicy. The tomato one reminded us of thin Campbell’s tomato soup, which was a simple flavour but also a comforting one. The tomato base also became more complex in flavour as we added in ingredients.
(Pictured above is also the ‘Signature Smooth Beef Slices’, which were melt in mouth delicious).
Oh boy did we add in ingredients. Da Long Yi were super generous and gave us many different platters to try.
I always order tofu when I’m eating Hot Pot, so I was especially excited at this tofu platter. There was lots of texture from all the different types, and tofu absorbs so much flavour from the soup broth.
Next up were these ‘Fish meatballs’ which were dumplings filled with fish roe. They were fishy and very heavy. Not my kind of thing, but I was glad to try them. They definately tasted better in the spicier broth, and after they had been cooked for around 20 minutes.
These fresh ‘Yang Chang Noodles’ were my favourite. They were slightly chewy, and absorbed the flavour of the soup really well. I loved them, especially in the tomato soup base.
The staff at Da Long Yi were really knowledgeable about how long to cook different things for, and were really friendly. I know because I asked them heaps of questions around each platter.😝
For these Basa slices, less than a minute was required and they became soft and flaky. Basa has such a light flavour, so it is perfect for hot pot.
I love mushrooms and was thrilled when I saw this platter. So many different types, and so fresh too. I will order this platter next time I visit Da Long Yi ( and the tofu!!).
Okay. Ready to get the meat sweats!? We were so lucky to be able to try so many different types of meat. The meat was fresh, and presented really beautifully.
Pictured above: ‘Beef Slices’
‘Pork Belly’ : delicious in hot pot, as the fat adds flavour to the broth, and the pork is soft and light.
This amazing dragon was smoking as it arrived, presenting the ‘Beef and Lamb Platter’
The hot pot bubbling away at the end of the night as we contemplated how we would be able to move after eating so much delicious food.
My experience at Da Long Yi was really great. The food was of high quality, the restaurant was clean, the staff attentive and the atmosphere buzzing.
As we left, we were given an amazing goodie bag. Inside these bags were…
…some exciting new sustainable products which Gotcha has released: a reusable bubble tea cup, reusable straws and an adorable vegan leather cup holder.
This is so fantastic to see, as while I love bubble tea, all the plastic is horrible for the environment.
Go Gotcha tea for being one of the first major bubble tea chains to release these sorts of products!
I want to thank Gotcha, Da Long Yi and Harvey Taylor publicity for the invitation to this amazing launch. It was a spectacular night, and I’m really thankful that I could go and share it with you, my readers.