What’s soft, bouncy, squishy and fun to play with? Warabimochi, of course! With these little cubic morsels of stretchy, chewy goodness being hard to come by in Singapore, I was delighted when I came across Spuds & Soda, a store specialising in unique flavours of vegan warabimochi.
The main difference between warabimochi and the more common mochi used in daifuku is the type of flour used. Warabimochi uses bracken starch as opposed to mochigome rice or rice flour, giving it a much softer, somewhat jelly-like texture.
Spuds & Soda started out as a home-based business in 2021, and its success eventually led to the opening of a physical store in the Beauty World vicinity just a year later. From just selling warabimochi, the business has expanded to include dango and cold brew Japanese teas and lattes.
When I visited Spuds & Soda’s store along Jalan Jurong Kechil, I was greeted by a cosy yet minimalistic space with two tables for diners. The owner informed me that the business was still primarily based online, and a large majority of people would order takeaway as opposed to dining in.
A clear display case at the front of the store showed off the colourful cubes of warabimochi and sticks of dango that were ready to be packed for customers.
What I tried
The first item I tried from Spuds & Soda was their famous warabimochi in two series: Nihon Classics (S$6.80 for 8 pieces, S$11.60 for 16 pieces) and the limited edition Childhood Faves (S$6.40 for 8 pieces, S$10.80 for 16 pieces).
The Nihon Classics series consists of four classic Japanese warabimochi flavours: Kinako Kokuto, Matcha, Houjicha and Black Sesame.
Each cube of warabimochi was ultra soft and springy in texture. They were jiggly and stretchy and pulled apart easily with little resistance.
The mouthfeel of the warabimochi was especially notable. They were squishy and slightly chewy, yet light and easy to bite into. The smooth and soft cubes slid around my mouth easily and had a pleasant, satisfying mouthfeel.
Each flavour in the Nihon Classics series was covered in a generous dusting of super fine powder, retaining the smooth texture of the warabimochi.
The Kinako Kokuto Warabimochi was coated in roasted soy bean flour, giving it an incredibly nutty profile that I absolutely adored. The soy bean flour was fine and the roasted aroma was definitely prominent.
Similarly, the Black Sesame Warabimochi had a very strong, nutty aroma that satisfied my black sesame cravings in an instant. The generous coating of black sesame powder added a pleasant, earthy element to the mild sweetness of the warabimochi.
The Matcha Warabimochi and Houjicha Warabimochi were both strong and rich in flavour as they were coated in quality, earthy matcha and houjicha powders. The slight bitterness from the tea powders perfectly balanced out the mild sweetness of the warabimochi base, making this the perfect light snack for Japanese tea lovers.
Next, I had the limited edition Childhood Faves series, consisting of flavours such as Honey Lemon, Ribena, Bandung and Lemon Barley.
This series was especially nostalgic for me, given how I had grown up loving these drinks.
The Honey Lemon Warabimochi surprised me as it came with tiny bits of chewy dried lemon skin embedded within the squishy mochi cubes, providing an interesting textural contrast. It reminded me very much of iced lemon tea, except in a chewy, edible form.
The Lemon Barley Warabimochi came with a light zestiness from the lemon, which complemented the mild, sweet barley flavour. I was impressed at how both the lemon and barley managed to be prominent in taste without drowning the other out.
The most nostalgic flavour to me was the Ribena Warabimochi, which had a strong berry taste. The flavour wasn’t overly sweet, yet had an evident, slightly sharp blackcurrant flavour.
Finally, the Bandung Warabimochi had a light, sweet and floral flavour. It had the most attractive deep pink hue, and with its refreshing, rosy taste, it definitely didn’t disappoint.
Next, I had the Childhood Faves Dango (S$7.80), which came with three sticks of dango in the flavours of Honey Lemon, Ribena and Lemon Barley.
Compared to the warabimochi, Spuds & Soda’s dango were noticeably firmer and chewier. They were similarly smooth with a stickier, jelly-like bite. The flavours tasted identical to their warabimochi counterparts, and were well incorporated into the dango balls.
Personally, in terms of texture, I still liked the warabimochi more for its squishiness and softness, but those who enjoy stickier and firmer textures may lean towards the dango.
The Childhood Faves series was generally sweeter than the Nihon Classics series, and though I did prefer the nuttier, more intense flavours from the Nihon Classics warabimochi, I thoroughly enjoyed the unique local twist that Spuds & Soda incorporated into their Childhood Faves series.
Even though the Childhood Faves series is a limited series, fret not, for Spuds & Soda constantly rotates their limited edition flavours, with past flavours including Milo, Kopi-O, Goguma and Fruit Punch. I love how there’s always something new to look forward to!
Finally, I had three of Spuds & Soda’s drinks: the Genmatcha Cold Brew (S$4.50), Houjicha Mylk (S$5.50) and Matcha Latte (S$6.50). Served in adorable clear cans with a sticker of their mascot on each can, the presentation of these drinks certainly stood out from other cafes.
Each drink was as impressive as Spuds & Soda’s mochi. The Genmatcha Cold Brew was surprisingly strong despite its light colour. It had a strong tea aroma and slight bitterness, and was utterly refreshing.
The Houjicha Mylk, made with oat milk, was light and similarly refreshing. The oat milk made it taste extra fragrant, and surprisingly, I found the drink to remind me a little of coffee.
My favourite, however, was without a doubt the Matcha Latte. Perhaps that’s the matcha addict in me talking, but trust me when I say that I downed the entire can without a second thought. The rich, gao-ness of the matcha was earthy, and the nutty, natural sweetness of the oat milk made this drink incredibly flavourful.
Spuds & Soda thoroughly impressed me with its affordable yet high quality range of warabimochi, dango and drinks. The innovative, culture-blending flavours of the Childhood Faves series were a delight, and the Nihon Classics were the best traditional warabimochi flavours I’ve had in Singapore by far.
It’s no wonder why Spuds & Soda was successful enough to blossom from a home-based business to a thriving business with a physical outlet. Though Beauty World isn’t particularly convenient for me, I’d definitely travel down especially for a warabimochi fix again.
Expected damage: S$7 – S$16 per pax
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Our Rating: 5 / 5
Spuds & Soda
68 Jalan Jurong Kechil, #01-04/05, Singapore 596180
Spuds & Soda
68 Jalan Jurong Kechil, #01-04/05, Singapore 596180