Last year saw a tsunami of new Taiwanese-inspired ‘bubble tea’ shops open in London. Hugely popular with students from East Asia, these drinks have yet to break through to the mainstream in London, and to survive some of the bubble tea shops are having to diversify. Boba Jam has one of the best locations of the clutch, a conspicuous site in Chinatown, but on Shaftesbury Avenue. It recently expanded by adding an Asian-style café and milk bar next door, decorated in cutesy pastel colours that evoke nursery school. The doll’s house impression is reinforced by the tiny booths where pals can huddle; there’s also non-alcoholic karaoke in Chinese or Korean in a tiny, private karaoke booth. The vast array of hot or cold bubble teas contains all manner of crazy flavours, colours, and types of starch balls, but it’s the desserts which caught our attention on our most recent visit – pictured is the mango dessert, a tropical concoction which contained everything but a beach towel and lost flip-flop. Guy Dimond
For info, see Boba Jam listings.