Bubble tea is without doubt Taiwan’s most famous drink and it’s taking the world by storm. From Los Angeles, to London, to Tokyo, pearl milk tea shops are popping up all over the globe, proving that the popular handmade drink has come a long way since its humble origins in Taichung. And now, because bandwagons are there to be jumped on and nothing is truly sacred, Taiwanese branches of Domino’s Pizza are offering a Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea Pizza. You know pizza? And you know pearl milk tea? Yeah, it’s those two things. Those two things together. Those two things together at once.
Pizza X bubble tea = good?
You may be able to tell from the previous paragraph that ahead of trying this new culinary hybrid, we were somewhat skeptical. First of all: look at it. Look at it with your eyes. Identifying as a dessert pizza, it’s a mozzarella pie topped with brown sugar tapioca pearls, mochi balls and drizzled with honey. For want of perhaps a slightly more in-depth description: it looks a bit wrong. It’s like when something you’re very familiar with (in this case pizza) changes slightly and it makes you uncomfortable. Like when they change the Facebook homepage; like when Apple redesigned the shape of the headphone jack on iPhones; like when your dad turned 50 and started wearing skinny jeans.
(Read more: Bubble Milk Tea and Beyond in Taiwan-Part one)
To be honest, it’s not a combination we’d ever thought about – you know like when you find out two people you went to high school with are married now despite you never having seen them talk to each other at school, or when you saw those pictures of Will Smith at Ningxia Night Market. Both pizza and bubble tea have been doing fine separately for quite some time. Pizza, in particular, has been crushing it. These big crossovers don’t always work. Do you remember the Batman v Superman movie? Although, to be fair, sometimes they do, like when Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je did that rap with local rapper Chunyan to help get himself re-elected. To us, this pizza feels akin to when the writers of a sitcom have run out of ideas. It’s the Joey and Rachel subplot of foods. Anyway, now that we’ve aired all of our preconceived grievances, here’s what it actually tastes like…
Much to our surprise and, to a certain extent, horror, it’s actually alright. We’d even go as far as describing it as búcuò. The honey accents the cheese in a pleasant way and the QQ texture of the pearls and mochi makes each mouthful, dare we say, nice. It’s the expected mix of sweet and savory but neither flavor overpowers the other resulting in a satisfying taste. The fragrance of the pearls, that smell like they’re fresh out of your cup at Coco (other bubble tea stores are available), may cause some doubters to fall at the final hurdle due to your brain simply not associating the aroma with pizza, but we genuinely recommend this as a novelty worth trying.
(Read Also: 10 foods you need to try in Taipei )
The pizza will set you back NT$199 for a small pie and will be available at 155 Domino’s stores across Taiwan until November 24. This isn’t the first time that tapioca pearls have escaped their cups and infiltrated the world of food. Nowadays, you can get your hands on hotpots, pancakes and more. Check out this video from BuzzFeed Bring Me to see some of the best places to try bubble tea-inspired treats in Taipei.
Try more Taiwanese food: Taipei Culinary Experience.