(This is the first in a series of posts about my fave Asian snacks)
Not all my food explorations are satisfying experiences. Sometimes I don't order enough pork in my ramen and still feel hungry after downing the whole bowl. Sometimes I don't particularly like the food at a new restaurant and will hurriedly leave the place with a large portion of my meal untouched. Or sometimes there's nothing wrong with a meal at all, but for some inexplicable reason, I just need a little something extra to hit the right spot. For times like these, I turn to my favorite Asian snack places. One place that tops the list is Quickly in Milpitas, CA.
Quickly is a hugely popular chain of Asian cafes that originated in Taiwan and now has franchises around the world. Of course, that does not necessarily mean that all Quickly stores fare well. I've seen some Quickly stores (like the one in Sunnyvale, CA) that are absolutely languishing - with nary a customer in sight. Fortunately, that is not the case with the Milpitas store - this place is usually packed, with a long line of people waiting to order their favorite beverages and snacks.
Starting out as simply a place to get tapioca milk tea (aka bubble tea), Quickly expanded its offerings and marketed itself as a "New Generation Asian Fusion Cafe". The "New Generation" part is very apparent when one walks in the Milpitas store, whose patrons are mostly young, hip Asians. It's easy to see why this place is popular with the young crowd. The interior decor looks cool and (to quote Austin Powers) "groovy". The air is charged with loud (but not blaring) Taiwanese pop tunes. On the walls hang large flat panel TVs, where young Asian hip-hop idols (some of whom can really dance!) electrify viewers with their wild gyrating dance moves. There are plenty of magazines on hand to help one keep up with the latest news and gossip about Asian celebrities. Judging from the number of patrons using laptops, there might be free Wi-Fi access as well.
None of the above really matters, however, if the food and beverages are not up to par. In this area, the Quickly Milpitas store scores well in both quality and variety. There are a dizzying number of snacks to choose from - ranging from beef satay skewers, to udon noodles, to fried squid balls. Ditto for the drinks. One can go for milk tea, or fruit juice, or flavored icy slush - and then customize the chosen beverage by adding tapioca pearls or chunks of fruit.
Of all the drinks on the menu, the one I've come to love the most is almond milk tea, with chunks of coconut and lychee - absolutely heavenly!
Being the meat lover that I am, I also enjoy their barbeque chicken sandwich. I find the thick, chunky meat to have just the right texture, substance, and flavor to satisfy my carnivorous cravings.
The almond milk tea alone will ensure that I keep coming back to this place. Also, I see a lot of intriguing items on the food menu that I haven't tried yet (like fried mini octopus) and look forward to exploring. And of course, it's simply fun to hang out here and watch those cool Taiwanese music videos on the big-screen TVs, while soaking up the youthful, trendy energy of the place.
540 Barber Ln