We Try 101 By TeaHaus
The Teahaus brand came to Austin back in 2014 with the mission to provide quality milk tea, boba, and coffee without the traditional use of powders or syrups. Their iconic name brand “haus” reflects the in-house nature of all that they serve, whether it’s drinks or the food. They brew their teas and coffee daily based on demand while all other ingredients are directly sourced from Taiwan. But what makes 101 By TeaHaus truly unique on our around town list is its dedication to creating innovative menu items and community outreach efforts!
I have personally been an extremely big fan of TeaHaus ever since I was a student at UT Austin. Teahaus to me has honestly been a home away from home. Whenever my friends and I need to grind out some homework or prepare for an exam, TeaHaus is one of the first places that we hit on the spot. The interior of the cafe is just all good vibes. It has a chic open-concept model with lightly stained wood. Large windows let in daylight that keeps you awake and refreshed as you study. The customer service is beyond impeccable as they greet you with large smiles, good vibes, and nothing but kindness. All this, and we haven’t even talked about the food.
TeaHaus is a cafe-restaurant – meaning that you can stop by for a quick pick-me-up drink or dine in with your family at any time during the day. They have a large variety of selections between savory and sweet, along with appetizers versus a full meal. Here is a quick overview of some of their popular menu items from drinks, desserts, to entrees!
Braised Pork Belly
A classic presentation of a traditional pork belly dish braised for over 6 hours with a side of rice, bokchoy, and egg.
My Thoughts: The pork belly is extremely soft and melts easily into your mouth with every bite. There’s no need to war between your teeth and meat, as it is easy to bite into and enjoy with the side of rice. The pieces of the pork are also pretty big, bigger than I anticipated. The flavor is just right – not too sweet or too savory and blends well with the sides. I did have to fight against my instincts to not just eat the pork belly. This dish challenges my self-control in balancing each bite so that I won’t be left with just a scoop of rice.
Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Basil fried chicken thigh with Korean pepper and Asian slaw on a sweet buttered bun.
My Thoughts: Normally, I am not a big fan of sandwiches. I tend to find myself getting bored of the taste and flavors as I eat more. However, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich gave a few kicks of flavor that I did not expect. One of the best qualities of this dish is how crunchy the chicken is. With every bite that you take, you can feel your teeth sink into the different layers of the chicken. Your mouth registers the sweetness of the coleslaw and the kick of the Korean peppers. Fair warning, the bun is a bit thin so as you eat, it may just tear. This is definitely a messier meal so I would not recommend eating while studying.
Beef Noodle Soup
A soup that is made of braised beef and beef broth mixed with vegetables and noodles.
My Thoughts: I tend to have pretty low expectations when it comes to restaurant execution of beef noodle soups. It takes a lot of work, care, and hours to make the broth and the beef. I have had this dish twice now at Teahaus and I was pleasantly surprised both times. Similar to the braised pork, the meat was so freaking soft. Words can’t describe just how easy it was to eat the meat with the noodles. With barely a chomp, it naturally gives way and breaks apart in your mouth. The broth was also extremely savory. It is more on the thick and heavier side when it comes to meal options here, but it provides a very cozy aftertaste and feels. You can tell how much time they go into preparation, as the broth contain hints of flavors from all the vegetables that are used.
Korean BBQ Fries
USDA Korean BBQ Ribeye with kimchi, cheese, and spicy mayo over fries or tots.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the crunchiness of the fries. The potatoes and the mixture of flavor from the ribeye, kimchi, cheese, and spicy mayo made each bite a burst of flavor. This dish is oddly more on the sweeter side than it is on the savory side and I have an inkling that it is because of the Kimchi that they use. I think overall this is a pretty standard delivery of fries, but it is definitely a snack that you want to eat quickly before the fries start to turn soggy.
Basil Fried Chicken
Award-winning marinated chicken fried with basil and secret spices.
My Thoughts: Well, I had no idea that this dish was award-winning but I can definitely see why. Although, it may appear quite simple, for some reason, this was the dish that went out the fastest. Amongst my group of friends, this was the dish that we kept on coming back to for another piece. Something about the small crunch with the chicken and seasoning around it made it that we kept eating. The smell was immaculate, and you know when the chicken is ready the moment it steps outside of the kitchen. I think overall, this has an extremely well-balanced flavor that has hints of the “secret spices” mentioned in the description.
Marinated beef with a side of Kimchi, Bokchoy, rice, and fried egg.
My Thoughts: This was definitely one of the sweeter dishes out of the ones that we tried that day. Similar to the other meat dishes, this was pretty well balanced with the rice and the side vegetables. I think for me, I tend to prefer savory over sweet when it comes to my entrees and the kimchi and bulgogi were a little too sweet for me. I think I’m comparison to the other dishes available, it left me asking for more when it comes to the proportions as well. However, if you want a sweet or lighter dish, this is definitely a good option.
Double stacked Tonkatsu sandwich with cheese and Japanese curry to dip.
My Thoughts: I think the highlight of this sandwich really was the curry dip with the side of fries. Honestly, I am not a super big burger/sandwich fan so it takes a lot for me to just keep eating. I initially had my doubts about this sandwich as there wasn’t anything in it except for the meat, cheese, and bun. But I think the curry was a really redeeming element that added a whole new flavor profile to the crunch and the buns. I think the fries with the curry were such a good combo.
During my visit, I tried their Signature Boba Milk Tea, Jasmine Milk Tea, Sea Salt Cream Coffee, Sea salt Thai Tea, Lychee Fruit Tea, and the Brown Sugar Milk Tea.
Across the board, their drinks are delicious. I have never had a bad experience when it comes to ordering a drink or refresher at TeaHaus. They have a wide amount of selections that appeal to different tastes. The only down side is that you can’t adjust the ice or sugar levels of your drinks so the flavor that you order is pretty much what you get.
If you like something on the sweeter side, then definitely go for the Brown Sugar Milk Tea and the Lychee Fruit Tea. The Brown Sugar is definitely a “heavier” drink than the Fruit tea as one is milk-based and the other is just the tea. Both lean towards the sweeter side but are equally as refreshing.
If you are more in the middle about sweetness, I think the Jasmine Milk Tea and the Signature Boba Milk tea are really good options. Their boba and their tea really aren’t too sweet at all and is well balanced when it comes to the tea flavor. If you want to switch up the flavors for your milk teas, the Thai Tea with the Sea Salt Cream is also really good but this has a more distinct flavor profile.
The reason why this is one of my favorite spots in Austin is because of the quality in everything that they do include the service that they provide. Something that I noticed even during my first few visits is that the employees seem to really like working there. As I am grinding away on my laptop, I always see them having fun making the drinks, vibing to the music, and they always know how to connect with their customers.
TeaHaus is constantly working to promote local businesses and influencers within the Austin area. I remember that during the winter storm earlier this month, they put in a lot of effort to support the nearby communities despite the dangerous weather conditions. Maybe I am a bit biased in certain ways as I have really grown attached to this place but I would never hesitate to recommend TeaHaus!