Puffles’ cleanliness and service compromises quality

A brand new dessert shop, Puffles, popped up in Livermore beside Pho Hoa on Oct. 1. This shop sells bubble waffles, or “grid cakes,” a popular street snack originating in Hong Kong. Puffles combines both bubble waffles and ice cream to create a sweet and innovative dessert. 


Upon entering the shop, it was fairly quiet with no background music. There were also no other customers except me, presumably because it was a weekday. Noticeably, there were only a couple of tables with chairs, so the shop interior was spacious due to the lack of furniture or other decorations and the high ceiling. The white walls were decorated with ice cream shaped lights and bubble lights, adding a playful touch to the environment. At the front counter, there were napkins and spoons organized neatly in a ceramic dish. There were also various potted plants, flowers and small decorations on the counter, establishing a personal and comforting touch to the shop.


Their service and cleanliness inside the shop were excellent but the desserts were lacking in quality and taste.

In terms of service, the owner was very friendly when I walked in. She greeted me with small talk and had a welcoming and positive attitude. The shop practiced meticulous cleanliness, with the owner wearing gloves, having the assortment of toppings in different saran wrapped bowls, and keeping the area neat and tidy overall. The desserts came out quickly as well, within three minutes. 


Their assortment of flavors was featured on their handwritten chalkboard menu. The Puffles flavors included vanilla, chocolate and matcha, while the ice cream flavors included vanilla, chocolate, lavender, cardamom, black sesame and cinnamon. Although there was a limited selection of flavors, the unique ice cream flavors were interesting. Furthermore, they offer to put as many toppings as you want on your ice cream for no extra price. Price-wise, all puffles were $9.98 plus tax, which may not be too convenient for students because of the store’s location as well as affordability, being on the expensive side. 


I ordered a chocolate puffle with chocolate ice cream and a variety of toppings including strawberries, KitKat pieces, Oreos and whipped cream. I also tried a vanilla puffle with similar toppings. The chocolate ice cream was a standard chocolate ice cream, but it did have some chunks of ice in it which were not pleasant to eat. The puffle itself did not have much of a chocolate flavor, but rather a slightly deeper flavor profile than the vanilla puffle. Both puffles had a raw baking soda flavor, tasting slightly bitter and salty. While it is possible that it may have been a bad batch of batter, the quality of the dessert and overall experience was diminished by this factor. In comparison to other bubble waffles I’ve tried, I expected them to be crispy and warm. Instead, the bubble waffles were cold when I got them and were on the doughy side. In addition, the toppings (specifically the Oreos and KitKats) were extremely soggy and stale. On the other hand, the presentation of the dessert was aesthetically pleasing and cute. The paper container holding the puffle and ice cream made it convenient to catch drips and avoid a messy eating experience. I also thought the addition of the heart patterns on the bubble waffles were a cute touch to the presentation (connecting to their heart-shaped logo!).  


For my final verdict, I’d rate Puffles a 5/10. Their service and cleanliness inside the shop were excellent but the desserts were lacking in quality and taste, while also being on the more expensive side. I think this shop has potential due to their friendly service, tidy environment and unique flavors, however, the quality of the desserts itself were inadequate.