Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Midnight Snack: Tea Station Las Vegas

Revisiting my crazy reunion in Las Vegas on MLK weekend, this was the first stop on the foodie train for my fellow Loveboat friends and I, Tea Station!  And how appropriate, as most of the items we ordered were popular snacks and desserts that we had devoured the summer of 2006 in Taiwan where we first met.  For those that don't know about Taiwan's "Loveboat" summer abroad program, it is basically a chance for teens/young adults (16-27 years young from N. America) with Chinese/Taiwanese heritage to explore their cultural background by traveling all over Taiwan, taking classes to learn or improve Chinese, and meeting fellow North American Asians that are in the same boat!  So what's with the nickname Loveboat?  If you don't care, by all means, skip the next paragraph to continue my review for Tea Station.  Really, I won't be offended. 

I only heard this during the end of the trip, and was told that some parents send their children to Taiwan's yearly summer camp to meet an Asian American boy or girl to court (and then marry).  Say what?  Well, not every parent knows what shenanigans go on during these trips, in fact, my parents thought it was going to be cultural experience for me and at a great bargain too ($500 for one month)!  And it was.  We did take Chinese classes every morning, do Chinese homework at night, learn songs on the buses, practice singing/dancing before performing as a group, explore all Taiwan had to offer, eat Taiwanese meals every day, enjoy the night markets, go clubbing in Taipei, AND started friendships that have lasted 5+ years so far!  And that's why it's called Loveboat.

Now back to the review for Tea Station!  So after getting off the plane around 11pm and getting settled in my hotel room close to midnight, my Loveboaters and I decided to feed our hungry bellies and catch up on life since summer of 2006.  This cafe is a great hang out spot for people who like to drink bubble tea (or any other Asian drinks/tea) and order small plates while catching up/chatting with friends.  Since it is in an Asian shopping center, it shouldn't be a surprise that to see this cafe, well, full of Asians!  But don't let that stop you from trying their delicious drinks and snacks.  

NOM NOM NOM like we're in Asia! 
(except we're in Vegas' "Chinatown")

Spicy Fried Chicken 
(way better than KFC!)

Fried Squid Balls
(basically fried fish balls)

Red Mung Bean Shaved Ice- 红豆刨冰
(much better than Rita's Italian water ice)

Green Mung Bean Shaved Ice- 绿豆刨冰
(My favorite, and healthy too!)

I don't remember what this was but it was yummy.

When deciding what to order to drink, a friend (JB) was having a hard time choosing a good tea from the "Hot Traditional Chinese Tea" list to drink.  He told me he had been eating a lot of  热气 (yeet hei, a Cantonese term literally translates to "hot air" and basically means inflammatory) foods and asked me what teas would help cool/calm his body down.  I'm not an expert in teas, but I do know that herbal and green teas are the best things to drink if you're stressed, feel 热气 inside your body, or have been eating a lot of unhealthy foods.  I told him to pick any herbal tea (亮茶) or a decaf green tea, since it is packed with antioxidants that can cleanse your body from the inside and lower the temperature so it is more balanced.  So after my tea lesson, he asked me again, "What should I get?"  To which I replied, "I don't know, my dad always chooses the right tea for me.  Try Jasmine Blossom, that's a green tea."  So he did.

"The flower is going to open! Watch!"

"Still blooming..."

"It's beautiful!" 

Meet JB and his Jasmine Blossom! 

The main reason we came here was for their bubble tea 珍奶茶.  Gee, who lives in Las Vegas, told us this place has really good bubble tea, but we were disappointed to hear that they had no more Tapioca pearls that night.  Milk tea is just not the same without the pearls, so I ordered a Mango Jelly Ice.  It was the size of my head, but oh so delicious!

An excellent drink for hot summer days!

No joke, it's the same size as my big head!

4355 Spring Mt. Rd. 
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Overall Group Grade: A
Great hang out spot for young adults who love Asian drinks & snacks.

Do you & your friends have a regular hang out spot?  Where & how often do you get together there?

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