Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gossip Tapioca

I drove past "Gossip Tapioca Drinks" a million times en route to the Asian markets in West Valley but never went in. I assumed it was a male Vietnamese hang-out selling coffee, tapioca desserts (and maybe cigarettes?). When found out it was a friendly full-service restaurant with plenty of female staff, I lured Diana down to the hood for a girls lunch. The food was pretty good even though the dishes weren't 100% authentic. The hostess was nice but our waiter, who looked Chinese, spoke neither English nor Vietnamese!
Single Grill Fondue with Beef and Shrimp, $20.  It's been ages since I've had this fun interactive Vietnamese-wrap version of "Korean BBQ" called bò nướng vĩ. (1) Cook your own beef, (2) Wrap it in fresh herbs and rice paper, (3) Dip in fish sauce, (4) eat! The portable butane gas stove they brought out took up a third of our table. Butter keeps the meat from sticking to the griddle and adds a moist flavor.
Uncooked plate of marinating beef and peeled shrimp.
Platter of pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, fresh mint herbs, lettuce, bean sprouts.
Dry rice paper and a bowl of warm water to soften.
Despite the fact that we kept buttering our pan, our protein kept sticking. (Yes, frustrating.) Thick clouds of smoke filled the unventilated room. Tears streamed down my cheeks from smoke stinging eyes. Seriously. Diana was worriedunsafe, but way fun!
Take a sheet of dry rice paper and soften it in the bowl of water. The rice paper will turn limp, malleable, and sticky. Fill it with lettuce, sprouts, cucumber, picked carrots and daikon, meat. Of course Diana (with precise and deliberate baker's hands) rolled her wrap beautifully on the first try.
The rice paper will be tacky. Roll it up firmly and tightly.
Dip into fish sauce and ENJOY. YUMMMMY!
Take a sip of Vietnamese coffee to refresh. Start all over again with cooking the meat, wetting the rice paper, filling it up, rolling it...
Single Beef Fondue, $16.  This is traditional Vietnamese beef fondue. The process is the same as the grill version but this time you are dunking the meat into boiling broth. The broth should be super flavorful (which it wasn't).
Slices of beef arrived unseasoned.
Another platter of fresh add-ins.
This little boiling pot even smoked up the room into a dense fog. This restaurant needed some serious vents. The broth was bland and needed soy sauce.
We ordered the Fruity Coconut drink with big fat black tapioca balls, canned peaches, jello chunks, various exotic asian fruits. Delish except for chewy tapioca balls (they creep me out). Music on was 90s new wave. Service was slow and confusing (remember our waiter spoke no English!) but the food was fresh, clean and abundant. By the time we left, Gossip was filled with white caucasians and a few ethnics (a good sign).
Gossip Tapioca
(801) 866-2868
1629 West 3500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Gossip Tapioca Pudding on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks for the post, Lisa. I want to check out this place mainly for boba, but I see they have lots of food choices too. Good thing you mentioned how the food was so I know what not to get from them.

  2. Thanks...I love supporting these businesses.