There’s no escaping bubble tea.
Whether it’s the milky sweetness, caramelised flavour and aroma of the tea or the chewiness of the tapioca (or brown sugar) pearls, the drink – said to be created in Taiwan – has taken the world by storm. True to any great trend worth its weight, it has also inspired other food and drink items – both sweet and savoury.
Here are some worthy creations to try in Singapore:
1. Bubble Tea Tart by Edith Patisserie
When they were first introduced early this year in limited supply, these tarts ($8.50 each) were so popular that they had to be reserved in advance and the North Bridge Road bakery managed the demand by posting their availability on social media. Thankfully, they are regular features now – but usually only from Friday to Sunday – though advance orders via Edith’s website is advisable. Each tart is made of smooth tea-infused ganache piped onto an almond pastry base and topped with tapioca pearls, cooked fresh daily. A box set ($34) comes with four tarts in two flavours: original milk tea and matcha. Consume these within six hours for best taste and texture. Make sure not to refrigerate or keep them overnight as the pearls “will lose their perfect chew”, the patisserie advised on its website.
2. Boba Milk Tea Ice Cream by Shuang Yeh
Hailing from the home of bubble tea is Taiwan’s Shuang Yeh Boba Milk Tea Ice Cream ($9.90 for a box of five on Redmart), which is available at Fairprice Finest and Redmart. A creamy milk-tea flavoured ice lolly with generous black tapioca balls embedded inside, reviewers have said that it tastes exactly like a cup of pearl milk tea, with some indicating it’s too sweet. The brand seems to specialise in ice lollies with additions such as Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Taro and Red Bean Milk Ice Cream With Jelly.
3. Boba Croissant by Brotherbird Milk & Croissants
[WEEKEND SPECIALS] Brown Sugar Boba Milk Mochi Croissant 【黑糖波霸·可颂】 • Brown Sugar Custurd with homemade Brown Sugar Pearls, filled generously in all-time fav Original Mochi Croissant. *Available only in the weekends. • Christmas Box 6-item LINEUP (01/12 - 31/12): 1. Original Mochi Croissant 2. Rose & Raspberry w. Lychee Mochi Croissant 3. Peppermint Fudge Croissant Roll 4. Caramelized Brown Sugar Mochi Kouign Amann 5. Christmas Fruit Cake Mochi Kouign Amann 6. Matcha "Kit-Kat" Pain au Chocolat • Available starting this weekend in all Bakehouses: (1) Bakehouse EAST @ Djitsun Mall (Bedok) (2) Bakehouse CT Hub 2 "drive-thru" (Lavender) (3) Bakehouse dine-in/retail rack @stateland_coffeehouse (Bugis) • whatsapp @ 92964997 to request for order form, to reserve in advance & collect at chosen time.
Brotherbird’s indulgent croissants are already a big hit – it’s home to the Original Mochi Croissant, a bestseller through and through. Taking advantage of the pearl milk tea trend, its Boba Croissant ($5) is set to be a hit as well. You’ve got to wait till the weekend to try it though as it’s produced only then – make reservations for collection at any of Brother Bird’s “bake houses”. The flaky, buttery pastry is definitely a rich tea-time pick-me-up as it’s crammed full of smoky milk tea custard and chewy mini pearls.
4. Boba Lava Cake by The Bakery Chef
An inspired local take on the oozy self-saucing chocolate cake found in many Western high-end restaurants, this dessert creation ($9.80) is made up of a Thai milk tea sponge holding in a luscious milk tea sauce and of course, the requisite pearls. When cut open, the sauce oozes out, tempting you to mop it up with bits of cake. Other interesting flavours in the Bukit Merah bakery’s Lava series include Savory Lava (salted egg yolk with fried fish skin topping) and Green Forest (Thai green tea with red bean topping).
5. Original Boba Toast by Eighteen Chefs
Not to be left behind, homegrown diner Eighteen Chefs introduced its boba toast series earlier in April. The Original Boba Toast ($8.80) is made up of a buttered slice of toasted thick white bread topped with whipped cream and brown sugar boba. Said to be sweet and salty, it’s a dessert with multiple textures, from the chewiness of the pearls to the softness of the bread. There’s also the Milo Boba Toast ($9.80) with its milo powder topping for fans of local favourites.
6. Pearl Milk Tea Soft Serve by TP Tea
If a milk tea boba craving hits you in the middle of the night – well, TP Tea’s Changi Airport branch opens 24/7! One of the highlights at this Terminal 2 outlet is the Pearl Milk Tea Soft Serve ($3.60), said to be available only in Singapore and one other outlet in TP’s home base, Taiwan. A generous dollop of QQ pearls, slightly smaller than the standard, top a milk tea soft serve, creating an interesting dichotomy of texture. Besides this mainstay, TP sometimes switches it up with other flavours such as a Tie Guan Yin soft serve.
7. Alcoholic Bubble Tea by Wan Bar + Kitchen
No matter rain ☔️ or shine , WAN Bar + Kitchen has something for you! Escape the sweltering heat today by dining in our new (air-conditioned) indoor bar and indulging in an ice-cold alcoholic bubble tea! . . HAPPY HOUR: Mon, Tues, Thurs: All Night Wed, Fri: 5pm-10pm Sat: 7pm-10pm #eatatWAN
This Suntec City drinking hole and nightclub, which also has a serious food menu, ups the ante with its selection of alcoholic bubble teas – with naughty names to boot. Crowd favourites include the LDR (Long Distance Relationship, $15), a Thai iced tea that has a splash of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, vanilla syrup and of course, pearls. The Casanova ($15) is also popular, and is made of Hendrick’s gin, apple juice, apricot, rose syrup, lime juice, and garnished with lychee balls. For those with more of an appetite, try the $79 five-course bubble tea pairing dinner.