This is called bubble waffle. It has other names: Hong Kong waffle, egg puff, egg waffle, and a whole bunch more that I won’t bother typing. When you see one, you’ll know it because it looks like a section of bubble wrap. And when you eat one, it won’t taste like a waffle as you know it. Instead, a bubble waffle tastes like a combination of other things: the moist-eggy interior of a Madeleine, the crispy skin of a cake cone, the soul of a Nilla wafer.
You eat it one-by-one, tearing off each piece like a prescription pill blister pack. And though there are increasingly more places in and around OC that offer this treat, the newest and probably most unsung is Sweet Origin, a Hong Kong-style cafe in Irvine located a few blocks from hustle and bustle of Diamond Jamboree but is otherwise shunned by the Asian clientele it’s made for. Its Yelp reviews are dismal.
There are good soupy desserts and decent various East-Meets-West Hong Kong cafe specialities like steak and fries and spaghetti. But to the few who have discovered the place and loved it, Sweet Origin exists for its bubble waffle. And though it may not be Instagrammable as the Liege-style waffles from Sweet Combforts across town or even the bubble waffles at OC Night Market, Sweet Origins’ version is worth all the social media attention it’s not getting.
92 Corporate Park, Ste. B, Irvine, CA 92606, (949) 679-9116