Southwest Houston, the Fort Bend suburbs and Katy have all become home to many new Asian food and drink concepts over the past decade or so. From Korean fried chicken restaurants like Hoodadak and Bonchon to boba shops like Kung Fu Tea, Katy in particular is a hotspot for launching Asian-centric places.
One notable opening is ViVi Bubble Tea, which debuted in January in a large strip mall on S. Mason Road. Located next to a T-Mobile store, it’s impossible to miss with its bubblegum pink logo. Inside, the interior continues with the same Pepto Bismol-pink vibe.
ViVi Bubble Tea launched in New York City in 2007, then expanded to cities in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Today the chain has more than 20 boba shops in the United States. Katy is the first city in Texas to get a taste of ViVi’s bright aesthetic.
We recently stopped in to try a couple drinks for a casual visit. Popular drinks include the peach green tea and fruit tea aloe. Their “Moo Milks” serve as non-dairy options as well – lactaid milk topped with red bean, tapioca or egg pudding. There are also the classic milk teas, ice drinks made with lime jelly and teas made with fruit pulp such as grapefruit or kumquat.
ViVi offers house-made tapioca, jellies and pudding for any drink free of charge (a rarity in boba shops these days). Sizes include a medium or a large, with scales for the amount of sugar and ice each customer prefers (0% sweet, 30%, 50%, etc.).
We ordered the passionfruit QQ ($3.75 for a medium, $4.75 for a large), which consists of lychee jelly and tapioca bobbing in a sweet passionfruit-infused jasmine tea. We also tried the Earl Grey float ($3.75 for a medium, $4.75 for a large, photo above), a milk tea beverage with plenty of bergamot and a thick layer of creamer that you can shake to distribute within the drink. One thing to note is that ViVi’s tapioca seems a little smaller than other establishments, but the quality chewiness and sweetness make up for the lack in size.
The service at ViVi is also excellent, and the clean, neat space will appeal to students needing a place to study or for friends and families to share drinks. ViVi’s friendly atmosphere, reasonable prices and quality are welcome finds in suburban Katy.
ViVi Bubble Tea, 1540 S. Mason Rd. at Highland Knolls Dr., Katy, 832-437-1038, vivibubbletea.com
Hours: Mon. to Sun. 11 am-9 pm