The hype around bubble tea hasn’t slow down, with weird concoctions of food with boba getting odder and odder. In fact, the boba craze has gone beyond its inclusion in just desserts, to now being a savoury component as well. For boba fanatics, this article will definitely test your love for boba; will it keep your unwavering love for boba alive?
Here are my top 10 picks of the weirdest boba creations, which honestly left me asking, boba why?
1. Spice World Hotpot – Bubble Tea Hotpot
Who doesn’t love a comforting meal of hotpot? But hold your horses, we’re here to talk about Bubble Tea Hotpot.
Spice World Hot Pot (香天下火锅), located at Clarke Quay, has Bubble Tea Hotpot (S$32.90) on their menu.
The Bubble Tea Hotpot uses assam milk tea broth as the soup base, mango popping pearls topped with milk foam and coffee powder.
The idea of this as the soup base makes me squirm, but that’s not the weirdest part of this hotpot just yet. Additional ingredients can be added, from sweet bites like taro, nata de coco and colourful jellies. But wait, how about the savoury bites?
Items like beef slices and mala bak kwa apparently can be added. For those who are feeling adventurous, you should definitely try the Bubble Tea Hotpot.
To those who prefer something on the safer side, but would like to share eye-catching snippets of your hotpot experience, there is the Hello Kitty Mala Butter (S$9.90) for your hotpot broth. If you are not a big fan of Hello Kitty, there’s a teddy bear version.
There is the Premium Barbie Australian Wagyu Beef Slices ($38.90) as well, although one would think this is gimmicky. It will not come to a surprise to me if this concept was inspired by Lady Gaga’s unforgettable meat dress.
Spice World Hot Pot (香天下火锅): 3B River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-06 to 07 Block B, Singapore 179021 | Opening Hours: 11am – 12am (Mon to Thurs, Sun), 11am – 1am (Fri & Sat) | Facebook
2. Tiger Sugar Dessert – Roasted Mung Bean Soup with Golden QQ & Taiwan Taro Lava With Taro Pearl And Cream Mouse
Tiger Sugar Dessert, which just made its debut at Capitol Singapore, has a wide array of traditional Taiwanese desserts—with a modern twist.
Try their Roasted Mung Bean Soup With Golden QQ (S$6) for a fusion of traditional dessert meets present-day food trend.
With the beans imported from Taiwan, roasted and cooked several times to achieve a unique toasted nutty flavour, this is definitely not your ordinary mung bean soup.
Another dessert from Tiger Sugar that has pearls is the Taiwan Taro Lava With Taro Pearl And Cream Mouse (S$6.60). The dessert drink consists of taro and sweet potato tapioca balls, along with taro paste and lastly covered with tons of cream mousse.
This is reminiscent of a dessert that appears frequently on Chinese restaurant menus—orh nee, or also known as sweet yam paste.
Tiger Sugar Dessert: 13 Stamford Road, Capitol Singapore, #B2-32, Singapore 178905 | Opening Hours: TBC | Facebook
3. Edith Patisserie – Bubble Tea Tarts & Matcha Bubble Tea Cake
Ever thought of the existence of Bubble Tea Tarts? Well, you are able to grab these tarts at Edith Patisserie.
Edith Patisserie is a local bakery that specialises in cakes and a variety of pastries. They also provide customisation to their layered cakes, as well as unique flavour pairings for occasions like weddings and birthdays.
Although they mostly run their business online, you are able to get their Bubble Tea Tarts (S$34 for a box set of four tarts) at their physical shop located along North Bridge Road—every weekend from Friday to Sunday. To those who do not have the time to go down to their physical outlet try out these Bubble Tea Tarts, fret not as they take online orders.
The Bubble Tea Tarts comes in two flavours—Original Milk Tea and Matcha.
Their almond tart shells are handmade and baked to golden brown, filled with tea-infused ganache and finished with daily cooked pearls. For indecisive foodies like me, do not despair as you can purchase a box set that includes both flavours. The box of tarts can be ordered via their site.
Do remember not to refrigerate these tarts; these tarts must be eaten within six hours once received, and no keeping them overnight else the pearls will lose its chewy texture!
The tarts also come in smaller bites—Mini Bubble Tea Tarts (S$35 for two boxes of fifteen) which is perfect for occasions or sharing with your boba fanatic friends.
How about pearls on a cake? Well, Edith Patisserie has achieved that.
With their Matcha Bubble Tea Cake (from S$50+), this cake is definitely the one you should get for your friends or even your loved ones who will do anything to have boba in their lives.
Their Bubble Tea Cake comes in two variants—with or without pearls in between layers. For those who love their cakes chilled, this might be a letdown as they do not recommend refrigerating it or the pearls will lose their texture.
4. Xiao Mei – Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream Bar
Singapore is frequently sunny and extremely humid, how about having an ice cream to cool yourselves down instead of having bubble milk tea?
Well, now you can have the best of both worlds with Taiwan’s Xiao Mei Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream Bar.
For S$3.50 per ice cream bar, it is definitely steep for its price.
You will can snag these babies right at Capitol Singapore’s relatively new supermarket, Eccellente by HAO mart.
For those who would like to gift this to your friends or get it for an occasion, it is available in a box of four at S$12.90.
Want more? How about two boxes at S$21.80?
Xiao Mei’s Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream Bar available at Eccellente by Hao Mart: 13 Stamford Road, Capitol Singapore, #B2-12 to 21, Singapore 178905 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily)
5. Emma – Brown Sugar Pearl Soft Serve
Brown sugar pearls in Japanese soft serve? At this rate, I am not surprised at all the ways boba can be used in savoury and sweet recipes.
Emma, a popular soft serve and speciality tea shop from Japan, is extremely well-known for their premium soft-serve that’s rich and milky. The soft serve is so dense it can be held upside down without falling off!
Their Brown Sugar Kinako Bubble Soft (S$5.80) consists of their classic milky soft serve, topped with brown sugar pearls in a cup.
Kinako powder—known more commonly as roasted soybean powder—is sprinkled over the dessert, giving it a slightly gritty and nutty flavour.
Another pretty new boba item on their menu is their Wafer Bubble Soft Serve (S$6.80). The wafer is made into a taco-like shell to hold the soft serve and brown sugar pearls, covered with a good amount of crushed nuts.
Switch things up with the mix of charcoal cheese or keep it simple with the original milk soft serve.
One would just pass this as regular boba that uses brown sugar. In reality, the brown sugar pearls from Emma are made with Okinawa sugar as well as kuromitsu, which is known as Japanese black sugar syrup.
For those who would ever thought of having boba in their lattes, this has become a reality as well.
Emma just launched their first-ever Japanese-style Kuromitsu bubble tea series. Emma’s bubble tea series consists of both hot and cold Japanese Hojicha, Sencha and Kurogama Lattes and their Okinawa Brown Sugar Tapioca.
The Okinawa Brown Sugar Tapioca Pearls comes as an add-on for only S$1 to their drinks. If you are wondering whether there are hot and cold options—the lattes come in both hot and cold variants; S$4.50 for hot drinks and S$4.80 for cold drinks.
6. Benjamin Browns – Bubble Tea Toast
Just when you thought cheesy toasts are a thing, Benjamin Browns has one-upped the rest of the competition by creating Bubble Milk Tea Toast (S$6.90). There are three flavours to pick from when it comes to the Bubble Milk Tea Toast—Ovaltine, Crunchie, and Caramel Lotus Spread.
Ring the shop to reserve your very own boba toast as their Bubble Milk Tea Toast sells out like hotcakes!
If you are seeking something to have with the Bubble Milk Tea Toast, you might want to check out some of their popular Over The Top Milkshakes like the Lava Pillows Milkshake (S$16++) and the Fairy Pebbles Milkshake (S$16++).
Benjamin Browns: 583 Orchard Road, Forum Shopping Centre, #01-20/21, Singapore 238 884 | Opening Hours: 10.30am – 9pm (Sun to Thurs), 10.30am – 9.30pm (Fri & Sat) | Facebook
7. Coney Donut – Brown Sugar Boba Custard Cone
Ever thought of a donut but find it a hassle to eat it on-the-go with the mess involved? Well, Coney Donut makes freshly baked soft-serve donuts, with a twist (literally).
With their signature donut cone, filled with milk tea custard and topped with brown sugar pearls, this is a good choice for boba lovers who are looking for a boba dessert on-the-go without the kerfuffle of having to fuss with messy hands.
Their Brown Sugar Boba Custard Cone is priced at S$4.80, and available in limited quantities daily.
8. Brother Bird – Boba Croissant
Croissants are one of my favourite pastries to have, but having boba in it? I’ll have to think twice.
Here at Brother Bird, they serve doughnuts as well as mochi. Bet you did not know that they also make Boba Croissant (S$5), stuffed with milk tea custard and boba. Available only during weekends, grab these whilst stocks last!
9. Fluff Stack – Oolong Boba Soufflé Pancakes
Who can resist a plate of fluffy soufflé pancakes?
Fluff Stack is a fairly new pancake cafe which is located at Suntec City, serving jiggly soufflé pancakes with an array of toppings of your choice—mango and passion fruit compote, gula melaka boba pearls, raspberry dust with chantilly cream, strawberry coulis, from S$8.80.
Of course, we are here to talk about the gula melaka boba pearls. You can order it with the Oolong Boba Soufflé Pancakes (S$9.80), topped with gula melaka boba and oolong crème anglaise at the side, giving you the freedom to add the amount you desire.
This combination sounds rather safe, so perhaps for a start into the weird world of boba, this is a good dish to start with?
10. FamilyMart Malaysia – DIY Bubble Earl Grey Cake
How about DIY-ing your very own boba cake at a convenience store?
To be honest, this is not as ‘DIY’ as one would expect as it is just simply pouring the brown sugar bubble on top of the cake, but hey, it still does sound like fun!
Available at all FamilyMart outlets in Malaysia, the DIY Bubble Earl Grey Cake retails at RM5.90, with an option to add on brown sugar bubble toppings at RM2. Do note that outlets at KLIA2 and Resort World Genting will be selling these cakes at a higher price, at RM7.10 for the cake and RM2.40 for the bubble toppings.
For their outlets at KLIA2 and Resort World Genting though, the cake will cost RM7.10, and RM2.40 for the bubble toppings.
I have to say, the cake does look rather photogenic and appetising; I wouldn’t mind giving it a try!
Love it or hate it, the boba craze is here to stay. While some will find the mentioned dishes ridiculous, I’m sure that there will be a handful of you are intrigued enough to try these over-the-top creations. I personally find the bubble tea hotpot to be a rather weird, but will not mind having the soufflé pancakes and Bubble Early Grey Cake!