Bright Colors & Delicious Flavors Eat Like A Local At For The Luv Of Food, Which Opened Recently In The Original Wellington Mall

Bright Colors & Delicious Flavors Eat Like A Local At For The Luv Of Food, Which Opened Recently In The Original Wellington Mall

By Callie Sharkey

Foodies know that the best way to find memorable meals is to find where the locals go. For those who grew up in Wellington, nothing says local more than the original Wellington Mall. One of the newest additions to the familiar site is a smart little café called For the Luv of Food.

The menu is filled with bright flavors and lots of healthy options, but a highlight is the variety of taste-tempting bubble teas. Not sure what makes a bubble tea? Owner Kim Seow is happy to provide some insight and help you find the perfect drink to match your mood.

“The whole concept of bubble tea is milk-based, so it’s creamy, but not heavy or as thick as a smoothie,” Seow said. “We have the milk-based ones and the fruit teas, that’s the difference. They also come with boba toppings, like a chewy tapioca boba or mango popping boba.”

These refreshing teas are highlighted by the boba pearls that burst with flavor in a way so satisfying it reminds one of finding the prize in the bottom of a cereal box. Popular bubble teas at For the Luv of Food are the taro (a sweet and delightfully purple concoction), mango dream, and strawberries and cream.

“Bubble tea people often ask me, ‘Why doesn’t this taste like the ones I find down the street?’ I explain that it’s all about the ingredients. I’m very picky with our products and won’t accept anything that tastes chalky or artificial,” Seow said. “It is lighter than a milkshake — creamy but light. We also do almond milk and oat milk for people who want the creamy taste, but not the milk.”

Light, refreshing options are a must-have in South Florida, and Seow’s café also is a great resource for those dealing with dietary restrictions. Instead of being bored with the same flavor profiles, she has made it her mission to bring new, fun flavors that anyone can enjoy.

“Years ago, my diet changed a lot. There are things I cannot eat, and I didn’t know what to do with myself,” Seow said. “That’s how I learned about gluten free and dairy free. So, we are sure to offer gluten free and vegan options. We are trying to make everything healthier but tasty, because if something doesn’t taste good, I know I can’t eat it.”

With Jamaican and Chinese heritage, Seow’s passion for food developed to include signature recipes for a made-from-scratch Asian aoli, cilantro lime, Asian vinaigrette and jerk sauce. She embraced a menu of subs, wraps and sandwiches, but quickly found that the healthier cauliflower crust paninis stole the customers’ hearts.

“The cauliflower panini is off the chain!” laughed one repeat customer stopping by to grab a quick lunch. “Oh, and the matcha tea — you have got to try the matcha tea.”

Grab-and-go meals are ready for those who find themselves in a rush, but don’t be surprised to find locals asking for specials like a banh mi sub or Seow’s one-of-a-kind chai bread. The latter is often ordered by the loaf.

“I made chai bread for a family dinner years ago,” Seow recalled. “I saw something on the internet, played with the ingredients and recipe, and then made it into a bread. Now our family always requests it, and my kids said I had to sell it. The minute I tried it, people started ordering it by the loaf.”

Seow originally opened For the Luv of Food in a different location two years ago, but still customers follow and order some of their favorite goods, like brilliant purple ube cupcakes. After two years in Royal Palm Beach, Seow finds herself finally at home, back in Wellington.

“I’ve always wanted to be here. I grew up here. I graduated from Wellington High School,” she said. “I’ve been a Realtor for 22 years out here, but I’ve always loved food. I’m always the one cooking — everyone who comes over, they know they’re gonna eat. My friends said if you love it so much, why wouldn’t you just open a place?”

Seow has always been inspired by “mom-and-pop” eateries and supported them whenever possible, but she never expected to be running one.

“We are food people, we travel everywhere. We did a trip when my boys were younger and went from Maine to New York,” she recalled. “It was literally based on restaurants I found — mom-and-pop places I’d researched.”

Since opening its doors at the end of September, Seow continues to adapt the menu and explore a love of textures and color while listening to what her customers want. Her growing team not only laughs like a family, but also incorporates family, including her talented and experienced brother-in-law, Rod Seow, who has been a chef for years.

For the Luv of Food is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 5B. The café is currently open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To learn more about the most recent offerings, find For the Luv of Food on Facebook and Instagram @LuvofFoodRPB, or call the café at (561) 408-2113.