A new Taiwanese pop-up is coming to Austin this week, aiming to highlight local Asian restaurants amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Koko Pop-Up, led by local blogger Jane Ko of A Taste of Koko, will take place at fast-casual spot 101 by Teahaus at 6929 Airport Boulevard in the Crestview neighborhood starting on Thursday, October 8, with takeout, delivery, and dine-in services.
As someone who is Taiwanese, Ko is using her pop-up as a way of getting people to support Austin’s Asian restaurants right now. “Asian restaurants have been hit the hardest during this pandemic,” she says in a release, “so I felt this need to step up again.” (In March, she launched Hundred for Hospitality, a fundraiser that raises money for local restaurant to give out meals to in-need service industry workers.)
“I hope my pop-up will not only help our local restaurant industry,” Ko continues in the release, “but more importantly, break the stigma on Asian culture during this pandemic by having people enjoy Taiwanese food.” From the start of the pandemic, Asian restaurants throughout the country have faced acts of discrimination and drops in business stemming from racist rhetoric and misinformation about the coronavirus.
After this pop-up ends, Ko plans on partnering with other Asian restaurants for future events.
For this pop-up menu, Ko worked with 101’s team (led by partners Mathew Wang, Allan Hsu, Dae Oh, and Kevin Kim) to figure out the dishes, drawing inspiration from night markets in Taiwan. This means bubble teas, including the Galaxy Drink made with a jasmine boba milk tea and butterfly pea flower; snacks, like fried dumplings and the restaurant’s basil fried chicken served with a spicy aioli dipping sauce; and an array of bubble waffles, including a savory option with fried chicken. The full menu runs below.
The Koko Pop-Up hours will be from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and there is no announced end date yet. Pickup orders can be placed online starting on October 8; third-party deliveries can be placed starting the week of October 12. There will be murals outside of the restaurant too, designed by local designer the Dani Creative.
Ko’s pop-up comes on the heels of another similar one: Asian cocktail pop-up Daijoubu, run by co-creators Sharon Yeung and Caer Maiko, launched and ran DaijoubuMart from August to September, with the same goal of supporting Austin’s Asian-American community and food businesses.
The Koko Pop-Up Menu at 101 by Teahaus
- Pink drink (strawberry boba milk tea)
- Galaxy Drink (jasmine boba milk tea with butterfly pea flower)
- Tiger Milk Tea (brown sugar boba milk tea)
Night Market Snacks
- Lookin’ Like A Snack: fried 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