New cafe Gadani opens in Downtown Berkeley

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Anissa Nishioka/Staff

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Berkeley residents can now enjoy a refreshing scoop of ice cream on a toasty egg puff waffle with the recent addition of Gadani, an earthy and simplistically designed cafe that officially opened its doors Saturday in Downtown Berkeley.

The cafe, located at 139 Berkeley Square, specializes in egg puff waffles — a popular street food in Hong Kong — as well as unique tea-flavored drinks such as rose and lavender lattes. The owner of Gadani, Meagan Tam, is from Hong Kong and said she wanted to “bring something back from home to here.”

Meagan Tam, an avid tea and egg puff waffle lover, saw that Berkeley was missing a key ingredient in its diverse food selection: egg puff waffles. She put two of her favorite things together, tea and waffles, and made a cafe specializing in them. The egg puff waffle batter is prepped the night before or in the morning, so that the baking powder can “work” in the sitting batter. The next day or later in the day, the egg waffles are served hot and ready.

“Their egg puff waffles were really fresh and warm and they use a lot of Tara’s tea flavors,” said campus senior Christine Fang in an Instagram message. “It’s a cute addition to Downtown Berkeley.”

Besides waffles and lattes, the café serves Tara’s Organic Ice Cream and offers ice cream flavors that range from teas to floral, such as Earl Grey and geranium.

“The combo (an egg puff waffle, ice cream and a topping) is the most popular product so far because it looks good (for photos),” Meagan Tam said.

Toppings include common options such as Oreo cookie crumbs to unusual options like rose petals.

In addition, Meagan Tam hopes to expand the menu.

“(I’m) hoping to add more items soon like jasmine green tea latte and non-caffeinated drinks,” Meagan Tam said.

Chelsea Tam, sister of the owner and Gadani’s social media coordinator, said their store is “different” than other cafes with its Asian fusion aspect and that it’s geared toward attracting millennials.

The simplistic interior look with a splash of color through greenery of succulents and plants was purposely picked by Meagan Tam. She came up with the interior look through inspiration of her brother, an interior designer, and while looking at other cafes to formulate her own style.

Meagan Tam added that the simplistic look of the cafe helps customers focus more on the product rather than the interior design. The owner is also seeking to expand the café toward the Cupertino area, keeping the simplistic design while adding marble decor.

“I hope people really get to know us (and) get to try our other products too,” Meagan Tam said.

Contact Robin Hyun at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @robinnhyun.