Hvala – Japanese Cafe & Teahouse Hidden Within CHIJMES, With More Than 30 Matcha And Houjicha Items
This is a Japanese teahouse located within the walls of the 19th-century built chapels at CHIJMES. (Also read: 10 Best Matcha Latte In Singapore )
Hvala which started as a takeaway kiosk at 313 Somerset, has opened its 2nd outlet with dine-in area of 30 seats right next to The Glasshouse at CHIJMES.
Specially designed to look like a Japanese teahouse, the space has a minimalist touch with wooden elements incorporated into every single details, yet brought out the beauty and the simplicity in the design.
(Reminds me of Peace Oriental Teahouse from Bangkok.)
The tea apparatus and tableware are all neatly displayed at the bar counter, from the mini stone mill grinder, pour over apparatus, tea scoop to the whisk.
This is probably the best spot to witness all the actions and effort in preparing every cup of tea.
The menu is categorised into Hot Brew ($4.80), Cold Brew (Cup $5.20-6.80/ Bottle $7-8), Hot/ Iced Whisked Matcha (Premium $5.30/ Ceremonial $8.80), Hot/ Iced Tea Latte ($5.80), Iced Blend ($5.50-6), Ice Cream ($5.20) and Cakes ($7.50).
Their signature item is the Tea Latte ($5.80) that comes in Matcha, Houjicha and Matcha Houjicha, which can also be found at their takeaway kiosk in 313 Somerset.
The difference is the Matcha powder used here, in this case Tsuki matcha, which had distinctive and pronounced vegetal notes, with a certain degree of umami-ness that tasted similar to that of seaweed.
My favourite is the Matcha Houjicha Latte Ice Blend ($6) that is exclusive to this outlet at CHIJMES, which hits all the right notes: the vegetal notes from the Tsuki matcha and roasted nutty tones from the houjicha.
For the lactose intolerant, Hot Brew ($4.80), Cold Brew (Cup $5.20-6.80/ Bottle $7-8) and Whisked Matcha (Premium $5.30/ Ceremonial $8.80) are available.
While their specialty lies in the Japanese tea, Caramelised Shiratama Kinako ($6.80) and a small selection of cakes are available.
Similar to creme brûlée with a layer of caramelised sugar on top, the handmade shiratama are really soft, QQ and chewy.
The kinako (roasted soybean) powder is made into a gluey and slightly grainy texture which is sweetened by the layer of caramelised sugar.
The flavours are well balanced, which is light and not too “jelak” (rich).
If you are looking for Softserve, sad to say that it is only available at their outlet in 313 Somerset.
Instead, matcha and houjicha ice cream ($5.20) are served here.
Yuki matcha powder is used which has a creamy texture and a lingering bitterness that only the hardcore matchaholics will appreciate.
For non-matcha items, a selection of cakes such as Goma (Sesame), Chocolate Truffle, Honey Earl Grey Hazelnut and Matcha Azuki are available.
The slice of Matcha Azuki cake ($7.50) is probably the weakest link, with soft and fluffy texture but a tad too sweet.
Hvala is definitely the spot for serious matcha and houjicha lovers with a promising start.
I foresee myself dropping by often for their legit desserts and drinks, reasonable pricing and a conducive ambience for tea appreciation.
CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.
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