Last Updated: May 16, 2018
Taiwanese milk tea has been a crowd favourite for a long time in Singapore. Chu Tang (初堂), a brand originally from Tai Chung has brought its offerings over to its first outlet in Singapore, at DUO Galleria.
Located in the basement, the stall is limited in seating capacity. Its targeted clientele is the office workers looking for a grab and go meal. But that shouldn’t stop you from securing one of the few counter seats to watch them prepare your food and have a chat with the people manning the stall.
Chu Tang’s speciality is their Taiwanese milk tea, which comes in an adorable plastic bag. It gave off the vibes of getting drinks at a Taiwanese night market, where they sell their milk tea in similar bags.
These adorable bags have “放感情” (fang gan qing) printed on them, just like their Taiwanese counterparts.
Each bag of 放感情 milk tea retails for $4.90, which I find a little pricey. However, the blend of Ceylon and Earl Grey tea has proven to be quite addictive with the tea being smooth, and gao enough.
Unlike mainstream milk tea brands, this milk tea is so fragrant, you can detect the earl grey from the get-go.
Other items sold at Chu Tang meant to fill your belly include Cuban Sandwiches, Wraps, and Bento boxes.
The Cuban Sandwiches consist of bread made with a house recipe — this gives the sandwich a crispy exterior when toasted, while the interior stays light and fluffy.
We got to try the BBQ Pork Cuban Sandwich ($7.90), which was actually a pretty comforting meal in itself. It came with house-made BBQ pork and melty cheese pressed between two slices of bread.
The BBQ pork was made from pork shoulder which was chosen for its fat content. It’s baked for long periods of time and in small batches so as to guarantee the quality of every batch.
We loved the fact that every piece of pork was juicy, tender, and just slightly sweet. One downside was that the cheese made the sandwich a little too heavy for my liking and that, combined with the sweetness of the meat made it cloying.
We also got to try the Pari Pari Chicken Wrap ($7.90), which featured spicy chicken with the same melty cheese in a flour tortilla wrap. Initially, I thought the heat of the chicken was manageable, but as we made progress on the wrap, it started to burn.
Luckily, the cheese helped to turn the heat down a notch and the wrap provided a little sweetness which helped to blanket the fire. The portion of this wrap was too big for me, with the flour tortilla and everything. I ended up feeling full a lot quicker than I expected.
Regardless, we moved on and tried the Taiwan Braise Pork Bento ($7.90). Chu Tang’s bentos have an interesting concept that is heartwarming at the same time. They aim to replicate the experience and tastes of a home-cooked meal by serving a bowl of soup with every bento.
These soups differ on a day to day basis, depending on the ingredients in the market. On some days, it could be Watercress Soup, but when we visited we were greeted with a bowl of comforting ABC Soup. It wasn’t too heavily salted, which let the natural sweetness of the carrots and corn shine through.
There was something about the bento that made it feel comforting as well. For $7.90, you get quite a generous portion of braised meat, a whole braised egg, as well as a long strip of tau pok.
The braised pork was so tender it just melted in our mouths. The braising liquid used to cook the meat was garlicky, and a little bit sweet. It was such an easy flavour on the palate, I almost wished it was a little saltier.
That could also have been because I’m someone who really likes to have my rice drenched in braising sauce. So, the lack of liquid in this bento was slightly disappointing. Sure the tau pok still had soaked up some of the sauce, but I found myself wanting more.
Regardless, this bento is something I’d think of when I’m out and want to have a good ol’ home-cooked meal. Granted, nothing beats actually eating at home, but this comes close.
Chu Tang would be a great place to visit if you’re craving some home-cooked goodness or Taiwanese milk tea. But go with an empty stomach, as their items are really filling.
Expected Damage: $5 – $13 per pax