ALLENDALE, N.J. – Ann Choi of Palisades Park pours and mixes the ingredients for a banana bubble tea at the new Café Moncher in downtown Allendale:
Banana powder, ice, black tapioca pearls, milk.
“We will use any type of milk you like — whole, skim, almond, or soy,” said Choi, 24, who opened the place on West Allendale Avenue last week with her mother, Jessica Son.
Café Moncher is all about the ingredients. They are fresh. They are interesting.
Choi is quick to say the menu is designed to stay relevant in all types of weather. For the warm weather, there are large arrays of cold bubble teas, smoothies, sparkling drinks, and frozen yogurts.
Already, the selections are attracting lots of folks in need of a hydration break — teens, businesspeople, retired folks, moms, and more.
The café also makes its own fresh juices in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, banana, kiwi, mango, and pineapple.
“Americans love to eat and drink healthy,” Choi said, “so I’m using the freshest fruits.”
For the cold weather, there are natural teas from other countries with names such as French Lemon Ginger, Peach Black, and White Coconut Crème. They come from Green Cura, a Leonia shop.
Café Moncher is picky about its coffees, too. It buys Sumatran coffee from the long-established Lacas Coffee Co. in Pennsauken.
“Asian foods are coming into the United States,” said Choi, who pointed out that bubble teas started in Taiwan.
“Thai and Japanese foods are popular,” she added. “Right across the street from us is a Japanese restaurant — Masa Sushi and Grill.”
Already, Choi is looking forward to adding a delicious cold Korean dessert to what Café Moncher offers: bing soo, which is shaved ice, topped with flavored syrup, condensed milk, fruits, and ice cream.
She also will soon start preparing panini sandwiches.
Before opening Café Moncher, Choi worked in Palisades Park for eight years—five at a bubble tea place and three at a coffee place.
She and her mother searched high and low for a perfect location and found Allendale on heykorean.com, a popular website the Korean community uses to connect with jobs, homes, rental spaces, news, and more.