Kaitlyn Dehaven | Arts and Life Editor
Chinese flavors with a Boba tea twist are swirling through Waco since the introduction of a new restaurant on sixth street, Fortune Cookie.
Fortune Cookie is two restaurants in one. While the downstairs is filled with Chinese food, the upstairs is Boba tea bar and a spacious hangout for college students, where free Wi-Fi allows them to do homework while looking out over Baylor’s campus.
Boba tea originates from Taiwan, and may also be called Bubble tea or Pearl tea. This drink usually consists of tea, sometimes with milk, and chewy, gummy-like tapioca balls.
Marcus Smith, an employee who works in the upstairs portion of the restaurant, said that he enjoys the unique twist the restaurant has, and the Boba tea is a big hit so far.
“It’s different,” Smith said. “But we’ve had a lot of customers say that this place has the best Boba they’ve had in Waco.”
Originally, the restaurant was supposed to be only a Boba tea bar, but the owner, Tom Mach, has so much experience with food that he decided to turn it into a two-in-one restaurant.
Fortune Cookie is the second restaurant that Mach has opened, the first being a Japanese Steakhouse in Rockwall.
Mach has worked in the food industry for approximately 30 years, working his way through his family’s restaurant and eventually venturing off to start his own food business.
Mach realized that this was a prime location for a Boba tea restaurant with the help of his daughter, who is a student at Baylor. She informed him that there were not many places that sold Boba tea in Waco and that they would most likely have a good market with the college students.
Mach said that in addition to the allure of the Boba tea, the restaurant’s affordable prices also attract college students.
“The biggest thing that attracts the students is that the prices are very reasonable,” Mach said. “It’s not something very expensive that nobody can afford.”
Mach and Smith also said they had some favorite dishes that new customers should definitely try, including the sesame chicken, Hibachi fried rice and the Oreo Mocha Freeze.
Mach said every student should come try their Chinese food and Boba tea because it’s a good option for students living off-campus, and it’s delicious.
“Once they try it, they’ll love it,” Mach said.
The restaurant opened in November, but will have its grand opening in early February, ribbon-cutting ceremony included.