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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Latest Taiwan food fad to hit S'pore: Cold desserts

The fascination with Taiwanese food - everything from crispy chicken cutlets to bubble tea - continues unabated.
Asia One - March 13, 2013
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Latest Taiwan food fad to hit S'pore: Cold desserts

 

This time, it is refreshing desserts that people here are queuing for.
Generally served cold, these grass jelly and shaved ice-based desserts are topped with ingredients such as chewy taro and sweet potato balls as well as bubble tea pearls. Other toppings include kidney beans, nata de coco, roasted peanuts and lotus seeds.
At least four outlets and chains are selling these hearty desserts, one of which is popular Taiwanese grass jelly dessert chain BlackBall.
Since April last year, the franchise here has been steadily expanding and now has five outlets, in Star Vista, Bugis+, Katong I12, CityVibe and NTUC Foodfare in Bedok North Street 1. It has its sights set on further expansion.
Mr Clement Toh, 37, one of the owners of BlackBall's Singapore franchise, says: "We noticed that the popularity of Taiwanese food started to surpass food from other countries because the taste, quality and flavours are acceptable to Asians. Also, Taiwanese variety shows focus on its cuisine, which is popular with Singaporeans who have travelled to Taiwan."
Blackball's grass jelly, which is slightly bitter, is made from Mesona grass from Guan Xi, Taiwan, and all other ingredients are imported.
The company - whose brand ambassador here is Singapore-based Malaysian actor Zhang Yao Dong - first opened in Taiwan in 2006, and has since moved into Indonesia, Australia and Malaysia.
Also looking to expand is Beans Talk in Toa Payoh, a kiosk that has had brisk business since it opened in July last year.
Its owners, Mr Lim Eu Ren and his wife Vannessa Tan, add their own spin to the dessert by adding roasted peanuts and silken tofu pudding.
Mr Lim, 29, says: "Locals like to have all the ingredients in one bowl, which is why we introduced the $2 serving with everything inside. We'd like to open more outlets in the east and west of Singapore soon."
Over at Millenia Walk, Taiwan-inspired crushed ice desserts from Bing Bian are also drawing busy executives.
Its director Gary Wong, 50, says: "We were inspired by the dessert scene in Taiwan and experimented with many flavours to create our menu. After lunch, people want to have a refreshing dessert before going back to the office. Our most popular item is the taro ice set, but many have tried the other flavours that include fruit. Some like to create their own as well."
Fluffy Dessert's owners Fiona Tang and Yeo Shu Fang, both 26, entered the market a year ago with their chic cafe in Tanjong Pagar.
Ms Yeo says: "We noticed that Singapore didn't really have Taiwanese desserts and we wanted to fill the gap. Business has been steady so far and we open late to cater to the supper crowd.
"On weekdays, we get the Central Business District lunch crowd, while on weekends, we see families and couples. There's still room for other players to enter the market."

 

This time, it is refreshing desserts that people here are queuing for.

Generally served cold, these grass jelly and shaved ice-based desserts are topped with ingredients such as chewy taro and sweet potato balls as well as bubble tea pearls. Other toppings include kidney beans, nata de coco, roasted peanuts and lotus seeds.

At least four outlets and chains are selling these hearty desserts, one of which is popular Taiwanese grass jelly dessert chain BlackBall.

Since April last year, the franchise here has been steadily expanding and now has five outlets, in Star Vista, Bugis+, Katong I12, CityVibe and NTUC Foodfare in Bedok North Street 1. It has its sights set on further expansion.

Mr Clement Toh, 37, one of the owners of BlackBall's Singapore franchise, says: "We noticed that the popularity of Taiwanese food started to surpass food from other countries because the taste, quality and flavours are acceptable to Asians. Also, Taiwanese variety shows focus on its cuisine, which is popular with Singaporeans who have travelled to Taiwan."

Blackball's grass jelly, which is slightly bitter, is made from Mesona grass from Guan Xi, Taiwan, and all other ingredients are imported.


The company - whose brand ambassador here is Singapore-based Malaysian actor Zhang Yao Dong - first opened in Taiwan in 2006, and has since moved into Indonesia, Australia and Malaysia.

Also looking to expand is Beans Talk in Toa Payoh, a kiosk that has had brisk business since it opened in July last year.

Its owners, Mr Lim Eu Ren and his wife Vannessa Tan, add their own spin to the dessert by adding roasted peanuts and silken tofu pudding.

Mr Lim, 29, says: "Locals like to have all the ingredients in one bowl, which is why we introduced the $2 serving with everything inside. We'd like to open more outlets in the east and west of Singapore soon."

Over at Millenia Walk, Taiwan-inspired crushed ice desserts from Bing Bian are also drawing busy executives.

Its director Gary Wong, 50, says: "We were inspired by the dessert scene in Taiwan and experimented with many flavours to create our menu. After lunch, people want to have a refreshing dessert before going back to the office. Our most popular item is the taro ice set, but many have tried the other flavours that include fruit. Some like to create their own as well."

Fluffy Dessert's owners Fiona Tang and Yeo Shu Fang, both 26, entered the market a year ago with their chic cafe in Tanjong Pagar.

Ms Yeo says: "We noticed that Singapore didn't really have Taiwanese desserts and we wanted to fill the gap. Business has been steady so far and we open late to cater to the supper crowd.

"On weekdays, we get the Central Business District lunch crowd, while on weekends, we see families and couples. There's still room for other players to enter the market."

 

 

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