A new Taiwanese pop-up is coming to Austin this week to highlight local Asian restaurants amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Koko Pop-Up, led by local blogger Jane Ko from A Taste of Koko, takes place on Thursday, October 8th, at Teahaus’s fast-casual spot 101 on 6929 Airport Boulevard in the Crestview district.
As a Taiwanese, Ko uses her popup to get people to support Austin’s Asian restaurants. “Asian restaurants have been hardest hit during this pandemic,” she said in a press release. “I felt that this needs to be stepped up again.” (In March, she launched Hundred for Hospitality, a fundraiser that raises money for a local restaurant to distribute meals to service workers in need.)
“I hope my pop-up will not only help our local restaurant industry,” Ko continues in the press release, “but most importantly, it will break the stigma of Asian culture during this pandemic by allowing people to enjoy Taiwanese food.” Since the pandemic began, Asian restaurants across the country have faced discrimination and business declines due to racist rhetoric and misinformation about the coronavirus.
After this popup ends, Ko plans to work with other Asian restaurants for future events.
For this pop-up menu, Ko worked with the 101 team (led by partners Mathew Wang, Allan Hsu, Dae Oh, and Kevin Kim) to figure out the dishes, drawing inspiration from the night markets in Taiwan. This means bubble teas, including the Galaxy Drink made from Jasmine Boba Milk Tea and Butterfly Pea Blossom. Snacks like fried dumplings and the The restaurant’s basil fried chicken served with a spicy aioli dip sauce; and a range of foam waffles, including a savory fried chicken option. The full menu is shown below.
The Koko pop-up times are daily from 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and there is no announced end date yet. Pick-up orders can be placed online from October 8th. Third party deliveries can be made from the 12th week of October. There are also murals on display outside the restaurant, created by local designer Dani Creative.
Ko’s pop-up follows another similar one: the Asian cocktail pop-up Daijoubu, run by the two creators Sharon Yeung and Caer Maiko, started and operated DaijoubuMart from August to September with the same aim of supporting Austin’s Asian-American Community and food businesses.
The Koko pop-up menu on 101 from Teahaus
- Pink drink (strawberry boba milk tea)
- Galaxy Drink (Jasmin Boba milk tea with butterfly pea blossom)
- Tiger Milk Tea (brown sugar Boba milk tea)
Night market snacks
- Lookin ‘Like A Snack: Roast Chicken Nugget Snack with Thai Basil
- Fried dumplings
- Basil Bites: Fried tofu snack with Thai basil
- Fried chicken and bubble waffle
- Matcha green tea bubble waffle
- Milk tea bubble waffle