Asian travel cafe opens for lunch and din­ner

Whitsunday Times - - FEATURE -

NES­TLED in an ar­cade just me­tres away from the Air­lie Beach La­goon, is the new home of Asian fu­sion in Air­lie Beach.

At Cafe Cool LaLa you will find an ex­ten­sive menu of house-made Tai­wanese and Chi­nese de­lights, all cooked up by chef and owner Rui Yeh.

The cafe brings to town bub­ble tea, a Tai­wanese tea-based drink in­vented in the 1980s.

It con­tains a tea base mixed/ shaken with chewy tapi­oca balls, pop­ping boba or fruit jel­lies added (the pop­ping boba is a flavour ex­plo­sion in your mouth).

Those af­ter tra­di­tional flavour are rec­om­mended a milk-based tea, while red, green and fruity teas are per­fect for a re­fresh­ing hit.

Cafe Cool LaLa owner Pearls Tsang im­ports the tapi­oca balls and fruit jel­lies from Tai­wan.

The bub­ble tea per­fectly com­ple­ments the au­then­tic cui­sine avail­able at the cafe.

More than a take­away shop, lo­cals and tourists alike are en­cour­aged to sit down and ex­pe­ri­ence the gen­uine­ness that is Cafe Cool LaLa.

Orig­i­nally from Tai­wan, Rui Yeh trained in Taipei and has pre­vi­ously worked for Fish D’vine and Fan­tasea Adventure Cruis­ing.

Now he’s go­ing back to his roots and cooking the food he grew up with which he de­scribes as sec­ond na­ture.

Pearls Tsang, a Hong Kong na­tional who has been living in Air­lie Beach for three years, stresses that Cafe Cool LaLa is an au­then­tic Asian restau­rant, not an Aus­tralianChi­nese restau­rant.

“I want to bring real Asian cooking to town, not Western­in­flu­enced be­cause I love Air- lie Beach and want to add to its di­ver­sity,” she said.

“With the re­cent in­flux of Asian tourists, I think it will be good for the town and they’ll en­joy it too.”

Ms Tsang also loves the lo- cation, say­ing a bub­ble tea is a per­fect ad­di­tion to a swim or sun­bake by the la­goon.

Mr Yeh is adamant about us­ing fresh lo­cal pro­duce, from free-range chicken, pork and es­pe­cially fresh seafood. Their food con­tains no MSG or colour fix­a­tives – just fresh, fun and funky meals. Sig­na­ture dishes so far in­clude hand­made spring rolls, Tai­wanese chicken bites and dumplings. As the cafe en­ters its cooler months, they will in­tro­duce noo­dle weeks where each week they will fo­cus on a type of Asian noodles from Ja­panese to Tai­wanese.

They will also in­tro­duce a mini week­end Yum Cha soon.

ORI­EN­TAL DE­LIGHTS: Cafe Cool LaLa’s Rui Yeh, Pearls Tsang and Kenji Pang out­side their cafe in the La­goon Ar­cade.

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