Bubble waffles, also known as egg waffles, have recently risen from relative obscurity to become the next online sensation. An import from Hong Kong, egg waffles originated as a street snack in the 1950s and are made with a sweet egg-rich batter cooked on a special frying pan with small round cells.
Although traditionally eaten plain, bubble waffles have been inspired by the traditional ice cream cone to become the next hip dessert. By curling the bubble waffle and placing it in a cardboard holder, a good-sized scoop of ice cream and plenty of photogenic delicious toppings can neatly fit. As well as impressing passers-by, creating beautiful food is essential to stimulate a buzz online and attract hungry customers, with phones poised for their next snap.
Having been bombarded by pictures of this upgraded ice cream, I decided I ought to try a bubble waffle and see if it tasted as good as it looked.
As there are a number of outlets selling bubble waffles it was relatively easy to source a location for my taste-test, so I decided on venturing to foodies’ paradise, Boxpark in Shoreditch. Located in “Unit 58” was Nosteagia, a self-professed bubble waffle specialist, featured in Secret London. Naturally, as Unit 58 is essentially just a booth, there is not much to remark about the actual venue, but the menu board above the counter did impress me with its range of flavours (for both the waffle and ice cream) and exciting toppings.
After spending a good few minutes debating which flavours and toppings to pick, I decided to stick with a relatively simple combination: original bubble waffle, matcha ice cream, blueberries, and Nutella.
As the waffle is made on order it was really interesting to see the batter being poured into the round cells on the special frying pan. My bubble waffle was assembled carefully, with blueberries being delicately arranged and Nutella artistically drizzled. It certainly looked appetising! However, in reality the dessert itself is not particularly practical, and I began to worry how I was actually going to eat it. Thankfully a spoon was provided to attack the rather oversized dessert, and I eagerly dipped into the ice cream and its toppings.
The matcha ice cream had a nice soft subtle flavour which was complemented by the sharp juicy blueberries and the rich chocolately Nutella. But really the ice cream was not what I had come for, so I braced myself and took a rather awkward bite of the bubble waffle. The outside of the waffle had a crunchy sweetness while the inside was light and fluffy, but disappointingly the waffle did not have that much flavour overall. When I finally managed to combine the waffle with the ice cream it was rather pleasant and refreshing as it was not too sweet. Nevertheless, it definitely looked better than it tasted.
Worth the hype?
No. Bubble waffles are an online sensation due to their photogenic arrangements and endless topping combinations. However, in reality it is a rather awkward dessert with nothing particularly special (at least flavour-wise) about it.
Bubble waffle, ice cream, 2 toppings: £5.50
How pretty it looked
Awkwardly trying to eat it