ZenQ: Taiwanese Desserts Expands Beyond Bubble Tea

Taiwanese dessert chain ZenQ expands to Canada, offering grass jelly, Q balls, and creamy shaved ice to surpass the standard bubble tea menu.

Edmonton’s bubble tea culture quickly formed last year with the arrival of chains like CoCo, Gongcha, and Chatime. 2017 calls for a new wave of dessert: the grass jelly. That’s where ZenQ comes in and where it differentiates itself from what Edmonton currently has. I’m so proud of our ever-growing food scene!

Blackball Taiwanese Dessert on Stony Plain and 172 Street actually came prior to ZenQ this summer but with only one trip under my belt, I feel like I haven’t tried enough of their menu. ZenQ is conveniently located at the new Mayfair on Jasper, adding to the lively community of downtown.

ZenQ: Mango Creamy Frappe

Mango Creamy Frappe

ZenQ: Mango Creamy Frappe

Mango Creamy Frappe

ZenQ: Grass Jelly No. 5

Grass Jelly No. 5


ZenQ’s expansion to Malaysia, Australia, and Indonesia lead the chain to Canada, a surprising jump past our neighbours to the south. Future expansions include Vietnam and Hong Kong. The name is puzzling, with no indication of what kind of retail shop it is, nor what they offer. At least to us non-Chinese folks.

Zen symbolized “grass jelly” in Chinese and Q is slang for “chewiness”. Together, it represents the two signature items by ZenQ desserts, the collagen-rich delicious grass jelly and Q balls (match, yam, and taro flavoured) that bounce in your mouth.

The menu is conveniently divided out into series:

  • Grass Jelly
  • Creamy Frappe
  • Longan Black Glutinous Rice
  • Tofu Pudding
  • Royal Sweet Soup (Red Bean)
  • Hot Grass Jelly
  • Waffle & Snacks
  • ZenQ Tea Time & Hand Made Tea

Take your pick, but the collagen-rich grass jelly series is their most popular. A list of top 10 best sellers is the best way to go if you’re new to Taiwanese desserts.

Grass Jelly No. 5 Grass jelly, tapioca pearls, Q balls (taro, matcha, sweet potato), and pearl milk tea creamy frappe. I really enjoyed the grass jelly at ZenQ! A variety of toppings kept each bite exciting, plus the additional option of making your dessert richer from real cream is a bonus.

Mango Creamy Frappe Shaved ice with mango, mango jelly, rainbow cereal balls, and condensed milk.
I’d opt for a grass jelly series over ZenQ’s creamy frappes. For the price, I’d rather go to one of Edmonton’s newest Korean bingsu shops for shaved ice. Not to say that this wasn’t delicious because it was. The Fruit Loops cereal through me for a loop though.

ZenQ: Grass Jelly No. 5

Grass Jelly No. 5

I’m not the biggest fan of tofu pudding desserts (unpictured) to begin with but ZenQ’s version is silky smooth and not overly sweet. I’m looking forward to trying their hot desserts during winter: the Royal Sweet Soup Series (a red bean soup) and the Hot Grass Jelly Series.

As for ZenQ’s bubble tea, I quite enjoyed their Pearl Milk Tea, one of the better options in Edmonton. It’s a hot topic when you bring up who has the best milk tea though, and I’ll leave that up to you to decide!

10807 Jasper Avenue
(780) 761-9367

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