Noah’s Ark (Westgate, Waitakere, New Zealand)
One of the drawbacks being Asian when living in Westgate in Auckland is there are not a lot of choice for restaurants and food stalls. What’s plenty in this location are home improvement stuff and I can understand why, it’s a fairly new suburb, most houses are new so businesses that open here are targeting home improvements, food is just secondary but there are many growth opportunities as there are a lot of space for opening up these types of businesses. We were so much spoiled when we were in North Shore as there are a lot of options when it comes to food.
One of the first things we were looking for when we moved here was bubble tea shops, in the first few weeks, our search led us to frustration until a friend of my daughter brought one when he visited our place. It was from Noah’s Ark and our first question is where did he grabbed them? It was inside the Northwest Mall which we visited just a few times. Next question was, are there other bubble tea shops around the area, sadly it was the only one at the time of this post. I guess there are few Asians living at this suburb at the moment hence this was the case but that will change soon as new houses are being built every day. Now that we know where the bubble tea shop was, we paid it a visit and try their offering.
Located near the food court, Noah’s ark is just before entering the area if you are coming from inside the mall, an averaged size stall in the just in the middle. Like your normal bubble tea shops they have photos of what they offer complete with names, what’s it’s made of and what the toppings where. While you can point to the picture menu and order what’s in there, the difference here is that you can mix and match things and the price changes based on your choices. You can choose from a milk tea base, non- dairy base, fresh fruity tea base, iced tea base and specialty to name some, then you choose the toppings for a maximum of three items and the options are plenty, 25 to be precise. From the usual boba, pudding, jelly and even ice cream, you name it.
On our first visit we chose four different items all of which are in the photo menu, they were: Creamy Strawberry Pudding with Egg Pudding and Pearls, Taro Milk Tea with Pearls, Mango Slushy with Pearls and Passionfruit Popping Boba, and Lychee Green Tea with Strawberry and Lychee Popping Boba. Creamy Strawberry Pudding with Egg Pudding and Pearls has the Strawberry Creamy Pudding (NZ$7.00) plus pearls (NZ$1.00) and egg pudding (NZ$1.00). Taro Milk Tea with Pearls came with Tea Base (NZ$6.00) plus pearls (NZ$1.00). Mango Slushy with Pearls and Passionfruit Popping Boba was made with Mango Non-Dairy Base (NZ$6.00 + NZ$1.00 for slushy) plus pearls (NZ$1.00) and Passionfruit Popping Boba (NZ$1.00). Lychee Green Tea with Strawberry and Lychee Popping Boba was prepared with Green Iced Tea Base (NZ$6.50) with Strawberry Popping Boba (NZ1.00) and Lychee Popping Boba (NZ$1.00). A complete equivalent on the menu item would cost you between NZ$7.00 to NZ$9.00.
The preparation was quite different too, ingredients are mostly flavouring as I did not see any fresh fruits and a lot of powdered mixes. They have a mixing machine after all of the ingredients are combined together then they are poured in a paper cup before it get sealed. Paper cups was a good move since its eco-friendlier than the plastic counterparts, but your orders won’t be Instagram friendly as you can’t see the contents.
As far for the taste, all of the four tasted really good, they were all rich tasting, interestingly the mango which came from a powder tasted like the real thing, the only downside is we find the Creamy Strawberry Pudding with Egg Pudding and Pearls too sweet, it’s like drinking melted ice cream, perhaps we do 50% sugar on this one the next time round. We love the options for toppings, the pearls was chewy and slightly sweet. The pudding was meltingly soft and pleasant. The popping boba on the other hand tasted unnatural, and the sac that carries the liquid is quite an odd feeling for me, once it pops, it felt like an edible plastic in your mouth.
It is highly recommended as long as you don’t take any popping boba unless you are a fan of it. Serving size was bigger than normal (you can only choose 1 size) and the price was OK for that size. Will definitely be back here specially that we know now there are no other options around the area.
Noah’s Ark Teahouse NorthWest
Address: 7 Fred Taylor Drive, Massey, Auckland 0814, New Zealand
Phone: +649 416 0631