Friday, March 07, 2008

dessert/frozen yogurt: YOGURT ME

No. 4, Lane 216, Alley 27, Chung Hsiao E. Road, Sec 4
(02) 8771-4210




Kid friendliness: no high chairs or boosters, but lots of lounge areas. Yong Kang branch is to-go.

Visit reviewed: 10/29/2007 and 2/4/2008

If you've ever thought, hey, someone should bring Pinkberry (or list copycat franchise name here), Yogurt Me has beat you to it. Although it doesn't quite have the elements that I think make Pinkberry so successful, I think that with a few tweaks it could be the next trend in Taipei.

First (and most importantly), where are the BERRIES and MANGOS? When we visited, it was a stack of non-cut fresh fruit behind a glass- a pineapple, grapes, oranges, kiwis, passionfruit, bananas- not exactly toppings I pictured on top of my tangy yogurt. Yes, it was October when we first went, but I think part of what makes Pinkberry so successful is the array of fresh cut fruits available year round- not frozen, but still sweet. My staple yogurt toppings are strawberries, white yogurt chips and either raspberries or blueberries, so I was out of luck- I chose banana and kiwi. Their "classic" set (NT$135) is a yogurt with three fruit toppings, and it's quite sizeable to share.

Second, it is too slow when you have to wait for them to chop up the fruit. I understand their volume/turnover is not as high for them to have fruit sitting around and then waste it if they don't do good business, but if you have a group in your party, you have to wait for them to bring out each yogurt one by one which is kind of a drag. They need pre-cut fresh fruit and they need strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and mango (though I think their Yong Kang location does have pre-cut fruit).

Third, they should show off their non-fruit, untraditional toppings, like cereal, cookies or chocolate chips in a candy-store style display near the fruit, so people know that they can choose it. We got some in a side dish and I wasn't sure if it was because it was a slo-o-o-w night for them or if they usually did that for everyone. I also think that's one of the big draws for Coldstone's.

Since October, they've added waffles (NT$180) and other set menu items to their menu. The waffle set comes with a small yogurt, side of fruit and coffee/tea. The waffles were too doughy/cakey and a disappointment although they looked very nice. My friend finished it though, though he agreed it was a bit dense.

Kind of cute, but kind of funny, their menu is presented in a scrapbook like cover, but in Chinese only. You have to look at their to-go menu for English.

As for flavors, they have the original (tart), green tea as well as chocolate and strawberry. They misunderstood me the second time I went asking for a small with strawberries and oreos. Instead I got a small strawberry yogurt w/ oreo (NT$105).

It's kind of weird that you get 1 oreo, rather than oreo bits broken up already as a topping for your yogurt, but I guess you have to use some elbow grease.

They also have huge smoothies (NT$105) available in about nine various flavors. I didn't have any though it again, looked good... Maybe similar to Froot, which is the Jamba Juice-ish smoothie place around town.

Could be a fun place for afternoon tea with various coffee/tea options available, or to grab some yogurt after eating nearby. We walked over from Chili House with some visiting friends who were excited about the yogurt trend in Taipei as HUGE fans of Yogurtland (in Irvine, CA). Overall, it was a disappointment for them because of the lack of selection of toppings and flavors (though it really is hard to compete with Yogurtland which is self serve and has 10 flavors or so and TONS of toppings available to choose from).

Other locations:

Yong Kang branch
No. 2, Lane 14, Wing Hong Street
(02) 2396-0237
M-Th 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM
Fri, Sat 11:30 AM - 11 PM

No. 49, Nanjing W. Road
(02) 2550-7398


abstractpoet said...

Oh yeah, we've been here! But, sorry to say, I wasn't a big fan. I think Emily and I shared the waffle set. Didn't like the waffle and thought the toppings were just weird! Fruit loops with yogurt?! Bananas?! Maybe I'm just a purist about that kind of thing...or maybe I'm just not the biggest fan of frozen yogurt to begin with. =)

Anonymous said...

We have a chain of frozen yogurt shops here in the US called Pinkberry. They serve cereal topics and assorted fresh fruits with a very tart plain frozen yogurt. It's been a HUGE success to the point where they have expanded all over the US in a matter of 2 years. Way crazy! The owner now appears in American Express commericials. Major success story.

Anonymous said...

You went! I saw this in Here! or 7-Watch, but didn't get a chance to go on my last trip to Taipei. Well, it doesn't look like I missed much.

Do you know of any yogurt places in Taichung? There's a good gelato counter near the science museum, but...real frozen yogurt?

margottt said...

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joanh said...

abstractpoet: yeah.. the waffle is very disappointing.. they need the berries, right?!? :)

g-lato: yup, totally mentioned pinkberry at the beginning of my post. it's crazy how quickly they've expanded

jenny: hmm, don't get out to taichung much. sorry! is that where you live?

margott: thanks for the invite!