Asian travel cafe opens for lunch and dinner
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.