Drinking tea at Cafe Chi

A little oasis tucked into a neighborhood on SE Bush Street, Café Chi and Spa Chi, although almost hidden, are not to be missed – located just off of Front Street in Issaquah and only a minute’s walk from Front Street Market. Outside the door to the building is a beautiful garden with outdoor seating and a pond full of goldfish and koi. Inside, the building is separated into two parts: the spa and the café, each with its own entrance. Spa Chi’s services include manicures, pedicures, facials and more for a decent price, all within a quiet, relaxing environment. Right next door, Café Chi has a similar calming feel to it. One wall  is covered in hanging coffee cups, and another wall has shelves full of beautiful tea sets. Where there are windows plants fill the window sills. The atmosphere is warm, inviting and bright.
When it comes to the service, the employees are fast, efficient and very friendly.  The beverage menu includes all of the typical coffee shop drinks but with the addition of some classic Asian drinks such as a variety of bubble teas (which can come with fruit jelly or tapioca pearls) and hot milk tea lattes. Their food menu is strategically placed on the wall beside the cashier and is full of Taiwanese and other popular Asian dishes. Most of the dishes include noodles, some type of meat or tofu and come with small sides such as pickled daikon. Some of the noodle dishes they serve include: beef noodle soup, noodle soup with minced pork and noodles with fried bean sauce (which is what I ordered). In addition to the noodle dishes, they also serve rice dishes: lemongrass pork with rice and beef stew with rice are some examples. There are only a few seafood choices, seafood congee and fish ball soup. For those who are vegetarian, the choices are much more limited, but fear not, there is still a variety to choose from such as the vegetarian noodle soup, vegetarian spring rolls and all of the dessert dishes. Any meat dish can also be substituted with tofu. Their recently expanded dessert menu includes mango snow, red bean and mixed fruit ice cream and shaved ice with red beans, mixed beans, or grass jelly.
Whenever I come here (and that’s quite often) I always order an iced milk tea with tapioca which has very quickly become my favorite drink. One unique thing about Café Chi’s bubble teas is that they can make them in a slush form or liquid form. Every other restaurant I’ve been to that serves bubble tea only makes it in slush form – which is one of the biggest reasons that I always prefer the bubble tea at Café Chi. All the dishes I’ve ordered here I greatly enjoyed, especially the noodle dishes with pork. The only thing to watch out for is the heat of the dishes – some can be spicier than expected if one isn’t careful to specify their tastes. Regardless, this is definitely the right place to come to for an exotic meal and delicious drink.