Our local restaurants have been affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 so this September I decided to help out a local restaurant group in Austin. Five weeks later – a quick restaurant renovation and new menu, I launched the Koko Pop-Up at 101 by Tea Haus & then round two ✌🏻. I’ve always had the curiosity of opening my own restaurant but knowing how hard is it from my restaurant friends, I shied away from it. With A Taste of Koko reaching ten years this year and with the impact of COVID-19, I felt the need to step up when the team behind 101 By Tea Haus reached out to me.
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Asian restaurants have been impacted the most by the stigma caused by COVID-19 and with the team being Taiwanese, it was an authentic opportunity for me to jump in. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how much my brand would be able to help and how much we could achieve in just a short five weeks. This was my first restaurant project and I wasn’t sure what to expect so it’s been eye-opening to learn about the ins and out of operating a restaurant in Austin.
Here’s what 101 By Tea Haus looked like before Koko Pop-Up. For those of you who attended my Museum of Donuts, you know that it had to Instagrammable!
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Hundreds of you showed up have shown up at Koko Pop-Up and from the bottom of my heart and the team at 101 By Tea Haus, we’re so grateful and blown away. I’ve even met some of you that drove all the way from Dallas and San Antonio! We are keeping the winter pop-up going until end of January, hope you see you soon.
WINTER KOKO POP-UP MENU
Even though it’s cold during the winter in Austin, I wanted to feature a series of dessert waffles with my favorite winter ice creams from Amy’s Ice Cream – peppermint and eggnog! See the full Koko Pop-Up menu here.
- Hot Koko – homemade hot chocolate topped with a toasted homemade marshmallow
- Frozen Hot Koko – housemade frozen hot chocolate with whipped cream dusted with cocoa and drizzle of chocolate
- Peppermint Mocha Boba – blended Amy’s Ice Cream peppermint ice cream topped with whipped cream and crushed candy canes with a drizzle of chocolate
- Eggnog Boba – blended Amy’s Ice Cream eggnog ice cream with boba topped with whipped cream and crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
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- Peppermint Bark Bubble Waffle – freshly made bubble waffle with Amy’s Ice Cream peppermint bark ice cream with crushed candy cane with an Amy’s Ice Cream peppermint bark piece
- Eggnog Bubble Waffle – freshly made bubble waffle with Amy’s Ice Cream eggnog ice cream with crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and a drizzle of caramel
- Birthday Cake Bubble Waffle (available only at Teahaus at 2222) – freshly made bubble waffle with Amy’s Ice Cream Mexican vanilla ice cream with sprinkles
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I’m so sad that all the hot pot places in Austin closed so we had to launch hot pot for this winter menu because who doesn’t want to enjoy a steaming bowl of broth and noodles during the winter? Our hot pots are available for both dine-in and for takeout (comes in three labeled containers with a QR code where I teach you how to make hot pot at home!). We also have hot pot starter kits if you don’t have a burner at home.
- Korean Army Stew – homemade beef stock, ramen, pork belly, home-made fermented kimchi, American cheese, spam, tofu, and vegetables.
- Japanese Sukiyaki Hot Pot – housemade soy sauce and kelp stock with udon noodles, pork belly, chuck beef, and vegetables.
- Sichuan Spicy Hot Pot – homemade Sichuan peppercorn stock with glass noodles, pork belly, chuck beef, tofu, and vegetables.
- Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 紅燒牛肉麵 – when I walked into 101 By Teahaus years ago, the beef noodle soup was the first thing that I had and it reminded of home. I begged one of the partners to bring this back and put it on my Koko winter menu! Our beef noodle soup features beef shank and chuck short ribs that have been simmering for 8-24 hours in a housemade beef stock, noodles, carrots, and bok choy.
- Tang Yuan 紅豆湯圓 – I grew up eating tang yuan and my mom still cooks it for me when she visits so I wanted to share this traditional Taiwanese dessert with you. We cook down sweet red beans and reduce it with organic whole milk. Then we add mini white and pink mochi balls and pair that with our special sweet sesame paste filled mochi balls.
FALL KOKO POP-UP
Here’s a recap of my first pop-up at 101 By Teahaus – we hustled to redesign the restaurant, launch a food menu, colorful vision, and overall experience in just 5 weeks!
Koko Pop-Up wouldn’t be possible without my best friend, graphic designer, and visionary, Dani Parsons of The Dani Creative!
WINTER KOKO POP-UP MENU
For my first pop-up (at that time I thought I would only do this once :)), I wanted a menu of fun and colorful and yummy food items that were snackable.
- Pink Drink – strawberry boba milk tea
- Galaxy Drink – jasmine boba milk tea with butterfly pea flower
- Tiger Milk Tea – brown sugar boba milk tea
- Fried Chicken & Bubble Waffle – still available off the menu at 101 (just ask the staff!)
- Matcha Green Tea Bubble Waffle
- Milk Tea Bubble Waffle
- Fried Dumplings
- Fried chicken nugget snack with Thai basil
- Fried Tofu Snack with Thai basil
- Austin Chronicle
- CBS We Are Austin
- Austin Monthly
- Community Impact
- Visit Austin
- Austin Food Magazine
- Silicon Hills News
I got my Koko custom neon sign from Yellowpop and I LOVE IT. I custom ordered the jacket, color, font, and size through their builder and it was so easy. The sign shipped to me in a couple of weeks and we’ve had it hanging outside of 101 By Teahaus. We even ordered another custom sign for Teahaus on 2222 too.