Sherman's Food Adventures: Black Ball Tawianese Dessert

Black Ball Tawianese Dessert

With all the Asian desserts shops in the Lower Mainland, it starts to get a bit confusing unless you are a diehard dessert fan.  When I'm browsing all the pics on IG, I literally have to click on the geotag to see where all these places are located.  Despite this, most of them thrive and in fact, have lineups out the door.  Okay, I'm not a really a dessert person, so I might not completely get it, but at the same time, I do have the occasional cravings.  That was the case after a gluttonous hot pot feast at Liushiyou with Mijune.  After that, we needed something sweet and what better place than one of the newest Taiwanese dessert shops nearby - Black Ball.

Getting right down to business, we tried their most grandiose dessert in the Black Ball Supreme.  This featured grass jelly, taroQ, yamQ, taro balls, yam balls, red beans, pearls, konjac jelly, crystal balls and 2 scoops of brown sugar.  Now if you think that the amount of sugar looked excessive, it was actually necessary.  The rest of the ingredients were mild and in need of the deep smoky sweetness.  Lots of chewy textures here and enough for 3 people minimum in my opinion.  Something more manageable for one person was the Almond Soup with mini taro and sweet potato balls, rice balls and peanuts.  This was mildly sweet and aromatic.  Once again, this was all about the chewy textures of the balls.  Good mouth feel and pleasing.

The next dessert, Forest Matcha Ice, was a 2-parter.  Along with the mountain of ice, we were served on the side a bowl consisting of matcha pudding, rice balls, red beans, barley and matcha jelly.  When eaten by itself, the ice was very sweet due to the condensed milk.  The matcha was still there though adding a touch of bitterness at the end.  The ice itself was pretty standard Taiwanese-style having a bit of crunch still.  The sweetness of the ice was tempered  when combined with the mild-tasting ingredients on the side.  The dessert started to make more sense much like the Black Ball Supreme where all of the ingredients needed to be mixed together for optimal balance.

We also tried Aiyu Jelly with crystal balls, konjac and konjac jelly.  The jiggly jelly was appealing in texture and very light to eat.  It was slightly sweet and a bit floral.  By itself, it wasn't overly flavourful, but the addition of konjac helped things out with added sweetness.  The contrast in chewy textures between the konjac and crystall balls was pleasant.  For our drinks, we sampled Cheese Top Fresh Tea, Classic Milk Tea with grass jelly and Fresh Milk Tea.  Apparently, they made the drinks at full strength in terms of sugar which made them too sweet for our tastes.  I'm sure if you ask for 50% it would be a different story.  Despite this, the milk tea was good with apparent tea flavour combined with the creaminess of the milk.  I enjoyed the fresh milk tea as it was light and almost refreshing.  Aromatic and unmistakably cheesy from the foam on top, the cheese top fresh tea was the most impactful of the 3.  To be frank, I'm usually not into Taiwanese desserts since I find them too filling after a meal.  However, the ones found at Black Ball were good.  Generally not too sweet and big enough to share.

*All desserts and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Large portions, best to be shared
- Desserts themselves are not too sweet in general (the ice was, but you needed to mix it with the side dish)
- Solid drinks

The Bad:
- This type of dessert is rather filling if you try to eat one by yourself
- Drinks by default are very sweet, best to ask for less sugar


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