Right up your AlleyCover Story
January 15, 2023
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
As the friendly, hardworking team at The Alley reminds guests, it’s always time for tea! The refreshing, invigorating beverage brings forth a sense of happiness and connects one’s ideal life with memorable experiences.
The Alley originated in Taiwan and its headquarters are based in California. About three years ago, the team did some market research in Hawaii and found the need for more quality boba tea shops. This revelation led to the first local location of The Alley opening at Ala Moana Center in December 2019.
“We pride ourselves on quality,” says Sidi Omar Mawloud, regional manag er of The Alley Ala Moana. “Our tapioca, which we call ‘Deerioca’ in reference to our mascot deer logo, is first made by hand in Taiwan. It’s then shipped here, and we cook it in house all day, every day. Each batch is only used for two hours, otherwise we dispose of it to ensure freshness.
“We are also committed to making our own sugar cane syrup. The boiling process creates the iconic original flavor that our guests enjoy with a sweetness that is delicate, but never overpowering. We hand-pick the types of tea leaves that we use, so each cup of tea has its own determined aroma and taste.”
The Year of the Rabbit is right around the corner and The Alley is helping guests celebrate “longevity, peace and prosperity” with a Lunar New Year Promotion ($10.99) that includes a Mini Gau along with Strawberry Green Tea with Jelly, and is available daily from 7 to 9 p.m. The Mini Gau ($6.49) is a traditional Chinese steamed pudding made from brown sugar and rice flour that is sticky and symbolizes strong family bonds entering the New Year that is served all day as an a la carte option.
Brown Sugar Deerioca Creme Brulee Milk ($6.69) is a popular sweet treat, as is Ube Taro Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk ($6.69) with its alluring purple color. Matcha Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk ($6.69) is another go-to option, as is the flavorful Snow Velvet Strawberry Lulu ($6.99).
“From the time we open our doors, the energy is high,” Mawloud says. “We pride ourselves on the quality of products offered and drink aesthetics. We have the option for our guests to order online using a QR code if they prefer not to wait in line. We also have our version of Happy Hour, and we call it ‘Dessert Hours’ available daily from 7 to 9 p.m.; everyone gets 10% off any drink purchase during this window.”
While the eatery is limited in what it can use as far as locally sourced ingredients, the business has partnered with local businesses to provide snack and food options to its guests. Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery, located in downtown Honolulu’s Chinatown, continues to provide The Alley’s Char Siu Sou ($4.99), and also makes the Mini Gau that is currently being offered as part of the festive Lunar New Year celebration.
“We also offer catering options where we can bring The Alley to you,” Mawloud says. “We set up a made-to-order (maximum two hours, which is the shelf life of the proprietary Deerioca tapioca pearls) menu with anything non-blended. Please call the store for more information!”