Wednesday, April 25, 2012

QUICK PICK: HAPPY LEMON'S COCOA WITH ROCK SALT AND CHEESE




     What can you say about the whole Milk Tea craze? No disrespect to those who have been totally captivated by it, but I personally find the stuff disgusting. If you say the words "Gong Cha" or "Serenitea" in my office, everyone loses their frickin' minds, and BAM, it's a given.. They have to order delivery. 


     It's not like I didn't give it a chance either. During a monthly meeting, everyone was asked where we wanted to order merienda, everyone inexplicably answered "Gong Cha". I was baffled because I was thinking to myself.. "But.. That's not.. Merienda...". The fact that we wouldn't be eating any form of solid food (except for the pearls in the bottom of the drink, of course) wasn't an issue. I was suggesting San Lo's Famous Emapanadas but they wouldn't hear it. They wanted their Milk Tea, and nothing else in the world mattered.


My officemates reading the menu of Gong Cha

      My grumbling tummy, however begged to differ. Nonetheless, I decided to not let my pickyness spoil their Milk Tea Party so I played along and asked for a chocolate one, hoping the overpowering taste of the chocolate would blend beautifully with the tea. 


    It did not. 

      It became highly evident that, unless it's "C2 Apple" or "Nestea", I'm not a tea person. 


     So when I heard about "Happy Lemon", I brushed it off as just one of those Milk Tea places. A few months ago, I was reading up about it, and I heard about their famous drink, "Cocoa with Rock Salt & Cheese", and was immediately intrigued, and a little bit weirded out. 


     In my mind, I imagined a glass of the chocolate milk tea I had tried during our meeting, topped off with grated quick melt cheese and a sprinkling of salt. Weird, right? 


      I asked my friend, the lovely Donna, if she tried had tried it already, and she said she had, and she loved it. I then asked my officemate, and Serenitea addict, Chi, if she had tried it. She said "Yes, but I like Serenitea more". So I asked her why, and she replied, "Because Happy Lemon's Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese isn't tea. It's chocolate!"


     It seemed my disgust with milk tea clouded my thinking so much, I hadn't realized that Happy Lemon's Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese does not have the word "tea" in it at all. 


 Problem Solved.  


     So one fine day, when Rina and I were at Rockwell, we came across a Happy Lemon, sat ourselves down and decided to give the popular drink a try. 


    And so began our addiction to Happy Lemon's Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese. 



        The reason why this is a quick pick instead of a full on post is because I wanted to profess my love for this one specific drink. Like a lovesick cow that is convinced he has found his soulmate, I don't want to even LOOK at the menu of Happy Lemon anymore. I don't know how anything in their roster of drinks can compare to the awesomeness of the Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese.

          I'll be honest with you.. It wasn't love at first sight. Since my straw pierced straight through the white froth that comprises the top layer of the drink, and went straight to the chocolate liquid, i wasn't impressed on my first sip.     


       In fact, I actually found it a bit bland. I looked at Rina and said, "I don't get what all the fuss is about.". It came off to me as something like a watered down chocolate milk. 

      I then took the straw, and dabbed the white foam, and gave that a taste. I realized there was a certain sharpness to it that was meant to be mixed with the mildness of the chocolate. I gave the glass a stir with the straw until it blended with the chocolate. 

     My initial thoughts were that the white cream was the cheese, and the chocolate sprinkles was the "Rock Salt". Apparently, the cheese is already mixed in with the Rock Salt.
       

         And just like that, I was a goner. 

        As I suspected, the white foam blending with the chocolate turned this into a phenomenally refreshing drink. I have no use for pearls and all that crap. I love the Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese just the way it is (If that's not true love, then I don't know what is). The light creaminess of the chocolate is tempered by the saltiness of the cheese, creating a wonderful balance between the two.


       Every time my mouth takes to the straw, I run the risk of finishing the whole glass in just one sip. I've been back to Happy Lemon around five times... in the span of a month. Rina and I usually share one Large Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese (P100), but after the most recent incident wherein I checked my phone for a few mins and when I looked at the glass, all that was left was ice, its about time we start getting one each. 

        When going dining out, my focus has always been on the food. With my new found addiction to Happy Lemon, this could be the start of a drinking problem for Rina and I (We fight over the drink). 


34 comments:

  1. You should try adding an extra layer of rock salt and cheese to your drink. It will be heaven!

    http://jojitsebastian.com

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    1. Thanks Jojit! will try it.. I didn't know you can do that haha!

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  2. Havent tried cocoa with rock salt and cheese, but i tried the lemon pineapple with nata :) its good but i still prefer gong cha's wintemelon milk tea or chatime's taro red bean or taiwan mango qq. My tummy hurts if i drink milk so i try to pick the fruit teas instead.

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    1. try it, cookies.. it'll be worth the tummy ache, I promise haha

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  3. Are we soulmates? I'm not into milk tea too. But I'm super duper in love with Happy Lemon's Cocoa with RSC. :D It melts my heart. Awwww... I want to grab one later. :D

    http://www.dekaphobe.com/2012/03/more-than-just-milk-tea-happy-lemon.html

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    1. in another life, quite possibly, Michy! Haha!

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  4. You'd better try Share Tea's version, its much much denser and way cheaper.

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  5. love rock salt with cheese too.. though I always order Happy Lemon's mousse spins.. :) You might want to try Akiba's trifle teas.. Love their trifle cream :)

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    1. I'll keep an eye out for it, Berylle! Thanks!

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  6. the moment i read this i asked my cadet to buy me some at their rob manila branch, waiting for it now hehe

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  7. You and my bf will get along really well! :D He's not a fan of tea either and teases me whenever I buy a cup at Gong Cha, Serenitea or Chatime. He liked this and the coffee with RSC at Happy Lemon though. But given a chance, I think he'd just want to order the Rock Salt & Cheese.. :))

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    1. that's good to know so when we finally get to meet up, i'll stick to him hehe

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  8. Most of the milk tea places actually have drinks that don't have real tea in them. In those cases, they use the word "tea" to mean infusion -- the same way herbal teas are actually infusions and not TEA, per se. For example, have you tried the Wintermelon tea? It doesn't have any tea leaves in it; it's a drink made from wintermelon, and it's delicious. I kind of compare its flavor to a sweeter pandan. Also, that cream cheese topping is available in most of the milk tea places, but called different things. Chatime, I believe, calls it "mousse." (Or is it Gong Cha that calls it that?) You can order it as an add-on. So the next time your officemates insist on ordering from a milk tea place, pick something that doesn't have tea, add the cream on top, and you won't feel like the sourpuss at merienda time anymore! :-)

    There is one point, though, on which I agree with you completely: milk tea is NOT merienda! It's a DRINK, people!!! Tsss....

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  9. Thanks Katrina!

    I learned a lot from your comment!

    I've tried the Chocolate Mousse of Chatime, and I liked it mainly because It doesn't taste like tea.. But I enjoyed Happy Lemon's rock salt with cheese morethough..

    But I'll give wintermelon a try! Just so I won't be accused of being KJ hehe :)

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  10. I'm a milk tea addict. 3 years ago, when there was no Happy Lemon, Serenitea or Gong Cha, I find comfort in Ersao's pearl milk tea. Anyway, I've tried all the Rock Salt Cheese in most milk tea places (they call it mousse in Chatime and Gong Cha Milk in Gong Cha) but I still think Happy Lemon has the best! If I can order a cup of Rock Salt and Cheese without the actual drink, I really would! Haha! Be warned, however, that the RSC has significant amount of Anchor butter, which makes it taste awesome, but not so healthy. :D

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    1. oooh.. ok i didn't know that about the butter.. yeah I think that's why its so good hehe

      I haven't tried Ersao yet, but I was invited to go to try not the milk teas, but the chicken steak hehe

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  11. Hi RichieZ!

    This is the post i've been waiting for.hehe For the past months i've been wondering why you don't have any post related to this Milk Tea craze, i was thinking maybe you're not into it. And now there you go, you were infected with the virus. BWAHAHAHA! *EVIL LAUGH*

    Anyway, Cocoa with RSC is also my favorite drink at Happy Lemon. Nakakakilig ang lasa!;p just like how i feel when i learned that Chris Tiu is one of the owners of Happy lemon. hihi Hope you will feel that KILIG too.haha

    PS. the second photo has a 9gag concept. natuwa ako!hahaha are you a 9gagger? you're doing it right sir! ;p

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    1. hey zai!! you haven't commented in awhile! na miss kita haha! I got kilig with the happy lemon.. about chris tiu, not so much hehehe

      yeah i love 9gag too! haha!!

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    2. haha, yeah antagal ko hndi nagcomment. pero stalker pa din ako ng blogsite mo.hihi ;p it's part of my daily routine to visit your blogsite. syempre IDOL! ;P

      MORE POSTS TO COME! :)

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    3. haha thats good to know.. kala ko nakalimutan mo na ako hehe! ingat!!

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  12. I love rock salt and cheese... yun nga lang kapag nasobrahan ako nagagalit na tummy ko... lol...

    Just wanna share my happy lemom exp.
    http://melovescooking.blogspot.com/2012/04/random-weekend-at-happy-lemon-and.html

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  13. I'm one of the Gong Cha fans, hehe. I didn't appreciate Happy Lemon's green tea with rock salt and cheese, though I think I would love the cocoa variant. :)

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    1. Give it a try,Guia! its highly addicting though... dont say you weren't warned hehe

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  14. Sayang your post came out during my second to the last day of vacation in Manila. I wish I had known about this place so I could've tried the drink you ordered. Yeah I was so surprised to learn about the milk tea craze there. I only had one at UCC, I think I had just regular tea with milk and the bubbles (sago). Dito sa US I can only find a similar drink when I go to a Vietnamese or Thai store, and they're not that easy to find.

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    1. awww sayang talaga Cecil! Nonetheless,I hope you had a wonderful vacation!Did you get to eat at a lot of awesome places? :)

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    2. Yup based on your reviews we went to Chelsea, Zong, and Pig Out. Hubby and I took my family to PF Changs (although I've eaten at PF Changs here back home but wanted my whole family to try it).

      Somewhere I saw someone complain about the poor airconditioning at Chelsea, and they haven't resolved this. Ang init when we went there, and evening pa so I thought it won't be too bad, pero we were fanning ourselves almost the entire time but yes the service was great because they moved us to a better ventilated area.

      Pig Out...I didn't like it that much. For a place called Pig Out you would think the servings would be big so that you could "pig out" but the servings were miniscule. They should just increase the price a bit to compensate for the serving size if they want to keep up with their name.

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    3. You make an excellent point regarding Pig Out.. especially if you're used to American servings!

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  15. I just tried it last night and it tastes sooooo good! Please try to drink it directly without using a straw, and do not stir it. I bet you'll enjoy it more. ;)

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    1. I've been wanting to do that.. drinking it without a straw! I actually just came from Greenbelt now to see if their branch there was open already.. unfortunately it isn't yet :(

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  16. I am ADDICTED to Happy Lemon's Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese too! :) And I share your sentiments. I don't care for milk tea, but that's prolly cos I'm a chocoholic. I LOVE LOVE this drink and I am seriously hooked. I make sure I get one at least once a week. Not good for the waistline, but what the heck. It's heaven in a cup (for me, at least). :)

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    1. Who cares about the waistline!! bring it on, Happy Lemon!!! hehehe

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