What's Boba, you ask? That depends upon who you ask. In Taiwan, BOBA is a slang term used for "big breast" or "big-breasted female".
In Chicago at Imperial Lamian (and the U.S, in general) it has taken on the meaning of tapioca ball due to its spherical shape.
These bobas are typical of those you'll find in Imperial Lamian's Bubble Tea, now available at their convenient Wok Up window kicking off just in time for the summer season.
The window, located on the Hubbard Street side of the restaurant at 6 W. Hubbard on the Southwest Corner of Hubbard and State St., opens today at 11:30 am. for take-out.
The take-out menu features a tasty selection of bubble teas and Dimsum.
You can order their bubble tea "your way." At yesterday's media preview, I ordered it "my way" by first selecting my tea from a choice of four: Milk Tea, Hibiscus, Coconut Matcha or Jasmine. I picked the Hibiscus tea. Next I selected my bubbles--from a choice of three--Tapioca, Lychee or Pomegranate. I went with the Pomegranate.
The combo, pictured above, was a hit--arriving in a generous sized plastic cup--perfect for grab and go--with lots of bubbles and just the right amount of ice. The $6 drink tab was well worth the price and a nice switch from my typical lemonade or regular iced tea. I can see me stopping by again on a hot summer day to try a different combo--maybe the Coconut Matcha tea with the Tapioca bubbles.
The menu also features a unique selection of Dimsum with five choices including a Pumpkin Puff that is cute as a button--and looks just like a miniature pumpkin--filled with roast duck and butternut squash; Siew mai, (pork and shrimp dumplings); Spring rolls; Pork Wontons and Scallion buns--all beautifully presented.
The dimsum prices range from $9 for the pumpkin puffs to a low of $5 for the Scallion buns. You can also order a combo of one bubble tea and 2 dimsum for $10. Portions are appetizer size so if you're really hungry, you may want to head inside for a more substantial meal. But if you're looking for a savory quick treat this should fill the bill.
The lunch Wok Up Window is open Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at 6 W. Hubbard.
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Filed under: Chicago Food