Mmm coconut slush and egg pudding with an order of fried dumplings.
Seven years ago, I spent a summer studying in Taipei and was introduced to boba tea. Since Taiwan's tap water is undrinkable (without a trip to the emergency room, just ask my father), and bubble tea was so cheap, it became my main source of liquids during my stay. The tapioca balls were interesting but the novelty soon wore off and by the time I got back to the states I was no longer fond of them.
Two years later a handful of us made the 24 hour journey by car to Austin, Texas for our fraternity's annual convention. I forget which school we mixed with and whether or not they were a sorority or little sisters. Not important, what is important was that after dinner we stopped by a local bubble tea house and it was there that I was introduced to boba substitutes. That's right, I could have the coconut or taro milk tea I enjoyed and chew on something other than tapioca balls at the same time! I instantly gravitated to the pudding (egg or milk) and consumed cup after cup while everyone else in Austin tried one upping each other by consuming enormous quantities of Everclear or beer.
Drinking and chewing as much as I could, I left Austin bloated and in despair. The Chinatown in NYC is one of the largest Asian communities in the U.S. and I've never seen anything but tapioca offered in the tea houses there. While visiting Binghamton one weekend, a friend and I stopped in at the local Old Tea House across the street from campus. There I rediscovered pudding tea and since then I've always made it a point to visit that location or its sister location at Cornell whenever I'm in the vicinity.
Two weeks ago I was wandering Flushing and recalled someone telling me that the Quickly near the Flushing Library offered pudding tea. While they do offer pudding, the taro slush left a lot to be desired. But I was so desperate for the drink that I ended up going back to it later that day to try another flavor. The trip out to Flushing isn't too arduous, but I wasn't sure if the slush they prepared was worth the trip.
Yesterday after dim sum (where Patty and Elmo showed up INSANELY late, that's right calling you guys out) we went to get boba which has become somewhat of a ritual. I made another attempt to find a pudding tea supplier in Chinatown and was forwarded to the Quickly on Grand Street. I've eaten there so many times I never bothered to look at the menu which in fact includes pudding tea! The slush there was much better than the Flushing location too.
After five years I'm finally able to have pudding-tea on demand. Try it, it's great. I couldn't find a photo online and I actually bought a cup earlier today but finished it without taking a photo. The Husky photo up there is just a place holder. I'll get a photo of pudding tea later this week.