Taro heaven at Cafe 86
Cafe 86 is the place to go to for a quick drink and snack to nibble on, especially if youâ€™re an ube (taro) fanatic or have a sweet tooth.
Walking in, I was surrounded by a rustic feel from the brick textures on the foreground of the white walls. The interior is split up into three sections. The first area I came across was the ordering counter surrounded by wooden boards, accented with mint green and faded red boards and staged with a chalkboard menu. From that area thereâ€™s a choice of going to the right, where thereâ€™s a secluded table, or to the left. Going left, there are normal tables to sit in or sofas to dive into and get comfy.
The service wasnâ€™t as welcoming as the surrounding atmosphere, but they werenâ€™t rude either. As I asked about the options on the menu, they replied in dull, unenthusiastic voices that had me think twice before wanting to ask something else. To sum it up, the lack of interest they had in their job caused me feel uncomfortable, wanting to get out of that situation.
The menu has many different items to choose from, but theyâ€™re all fairly similar in their taste and were selections that a bakery might have. They have a recurring theme of ube-flavored choices, such as their Ube Milk Tea, Ube Monster Ice Cream Sandwich and Ube Butter Bars. I decided to go for the Ube Monster Milkshake, which is one of the most popular picks. I also ordered Churochies and a Nutella Latte because I wanted to see if they put quality work even into their choices that werenâ€™t ordered as much according to the employee.
The Ube Monster Milkshake consists of ube and oreo crumbs topped off with whipped cream. Before getting to the taste, one tip, donâ€™t forget to mix it! Of course unless you want the taste to be unevenly dispersed. The milkshake didnâ€™t have an overbearing sweetness to it, but actually had a similar flavor to that of a taro boba, which made its price toward the high side for what was being given. There were two different sizes; a normal Ube Monster Milkshake is $5.99 and a Mini Ube Monster is $4.60.
Churochies are triangle-shaped churros filled with mochi, topped off with a bit of a thick cinnamon sauce. The coarse outer-layer of the the Churochies was a great balance to the smooth and sticky feeling of the mochi inside, which wouldâ€™ve cause a bland taste otherwise. The price for this item was $3.35, which was reasonable though the portion was small since itâ€™s only a finger-food.
The last item I ordered was the Nutella Latte. Of the three this is the one item that I would not order againâ€” not because it had a bad taste, but because the name was very misleading. Given that itâ€™s named Nutella Latte, I assumed it would taste somewhat like Nutella, but it mainly contained the astringent taste of coffee. The drink itself, ignoring that fact, was subpar, costing $4.40.
To overview, the layout and general feeling when you enter is welcoming, making it a nice place to hangout with your friends. Itâ€™s a little far, but the food and drinks are decent, mainly consisting of sweet light treats. The overall experience was satisfactory and I recommend going to Cafe 86.
By Emmeline Tantry, Staff writer
Photo by Emmeline Tantry