Hvala: Traditionally Brewed Matcha, Soft Serve & Other Japanese Desserts Hidden In CHIJMES

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In a culturally diverse country, we often find other cultures weaved into our F&B scene. With that knowledge and a heart for exploration, I often scout for hidden yet authentic cultural food gems.

When Hvala surfaced with a new store at CHIJMES, my excitement was beyond description!

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Brightly lit with soft lights and allowing sunlight to shine in, it felt like an open glasshouse. Along with some potted plants in the space, Hvala looks almost like a small Japanese garden — I already felt zen.

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Designed to be a Japanese Teahouse, Hvala displays intricate teacups and teapots around their store. I felt as if I was back in a teahouse in the quiet street of Kyoto.

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The tea apparatus are displayed on the countertop and you can sit by the counter to watch the staff brew them.

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We went straight for the Matcha Hojicha Latte (S$5.80) instead of the usual choice of just Matcha. Hojicha, made by roasting Sencha leaves over high heat, embodies a toasted nuttiness.

The mellowness of the matcha balances out the nuttiness of the hojicha. They complement each other so well that it didn’t fail to bring out the pronounced taste of the tea leaves.

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Don’t be fooled by how ordinary this looks — the Premium Grade Whisked Matcha (S$5.30) pleasantly surprised us! I expected it to be slightly bitter, yet upon the first sip, it was light and refreshing.

The Premium Grade Whisked Matcha came with two options: Yuki or Tsuki. We picked the former for its mellow flavour with medium astringency, and it is the most common choice. There’s an option to sweeten it as well.

What I love about this drink is, to prepare it, it will require patience to carefully whisk the tea to bring out its flavour and Hvala did it perfectly.

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Hvala offers warm desserts like the Caramelised Kinako Paste (S$5.20) — a roasted soybean paste caramelised with brown sugar.

It had a sense of familiarity as it’s consistency is very much like the local Chinese peanut or sesame paste dessert.

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The paste was rich and creamy, and the nuttiness of the soybean was very distinct. I recommend that you share this bowl of Kinako Paste as it can be quite jelak after a few mouthfuls.

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Hvala serves a small selection of cakes too, we chose the Matcha Azuki Slice (S$7.80). A layer of cream and Azuki bean paste is sandwiched between the matcha sponge cake. In addition, the cake wasn’t as sweet as expected, and it was moist and fluffy.

The matcha tea within the cake was light in flavour while the matcha sauce drizzled over had a slightly bitter taste that balanced out the sweetness.

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If there’s any place that serves good quality Matcha Soft-serve (S$6), it has to be Hvala! This soft-serve was rich and full-bodied. You can taste the astringent of the Matcha yet at the same time a subtle sweetness lingers in its aftertaste.

For those who enjoy a slightly roasted taste, they offer Hojicha soft-serve at their other store, Hvala Waffle Bar at 313 Somerset.

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Hvala definitely left a memorable experience for me. As a person who loves Japan’s culture, Hvala is a great place to be at for a cup of authentic tea and desserts.

The atmosphere and the smell of tea bring comfort. Allow yourself to fully immerse in a tea experience and you’ll definitely find yourself lingering in this place longer than expected!

Expected Damage: S$6 – S$12 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5


CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996

Our Rating 4/5


CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996

Operating Hours: 9.30am - 9.30pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 9.30am - 9.30pm (Daily)
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