The very first thing I would grab at Bangkok is always the Thai Ice Tea, otherwise known as Cha Yen, made from strongly brewed Ceylon Tea mixed with evaporated milk poured over crushed ice.
That orange-brown colour, creamy taste and touch of bitterness lingering over sweetness. So much pleasure when drank during hot weather. (Also, read about 10 Thai Iced Milk Tea Desserts in Singapore.)
Here are 10 places where you can get Thai Iced Tea in Singapore. There are many many many Thai restaurants with rather decent versions, if you know any, comment below (And I will expand the selection to 15).
43 Middle Road #01-00, Singapore 188952 (Bugis MRT)
Tel: +65 6335400
Opening hours: 12pm – 9pm (Mon-Thu, Sun), 12pm – 10pm (Fri-Sat)
Modern Thai Cafeteria Café Pal at Middle Road wins hands down for my favourite Iced Thai Milk Tea in Singapore. Many students from nearby art schools come packing Café Pal’s Cha Yen in bottles ($3), brewed from the familiar Thai Number One Brand.
Café Pal’s Ice Milk Tea was a version quite unlike others – rather milky, not too sweet, without that deep bitter aftertaste of Ceylon tea. You can include add ons such as pearls, sago, aloe vera and homemade grass jelly made from scratch for 50 cents extra. Please get the grass jelly because it is so smooth and yummy.
The only thing I did not understand was that the dine-in cup (with 2 toppings) was a whopping $5.80. Considering yes, it was a taller glass, but not that much bigger.
Note: Cafe Pal has also changed its packaging from a bottle to a take-away cup. Oh well. (Read: Café Pal Middle Road)
Cha Tra Mue
137 Amoy Street, #01-05, Singapore 049965 (Telok Ayer MRT)
Tel: +65 9383 0419
Opening hours: 9am – 6pm (Mon-Fri), Closed on Sat, Sun
They used to be known as “Nam’s Brewing Thai Tea and Coffee”. Rebranding exercise yah? Cha Tra Mue seems to have captured the hearts of CBD OLs, with long queues ta-baoing their tall cups every weekday lunch. They also use the Number One Brand Thai Tea brand, which they cleverly usee for the design of their takeaway cups.
At $2.50 for a tall cup, Cha Tra Mue also offers the ‘extra gold’ version at the same price. The taste belongs to a ‘safe’ region – not too sweet, not too bitter, not too diluted, not too milky, just nice for office executives. I preferred something more intense with less ice though.
80 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 048466 (Telok Ayer MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily, Last Order 9:30pm
For Thai Milk Tea that is more rich and creamy, Cha Thai should satisfy your cravings. Also the restaurant uses 4 different types of tea leaves, thus the after taste leaves a slight bitter note which some will like.
50 Market Street, Golden Shoe Food Centre Address: #02-19, Singapore 048940
Tel: +65 9429 6538
Opening hours: 11am – 5pm (Mon-Fri), Closed on Sat, Sun
The stall is so named due to the famous Sukhumvit Soi 55 street known for its exciting nightlife and cafe cultre, and 55 means ‘haha’ in Thai.
There are 4 basic drinks on sale, Thai Milk Tea, Milk Coffee, Rose Milk Tea, and Green Milk Tea ($2.50) with various toppings of sago (50c), pearls (30c) and red ruby (70c). Red rubies are chestnut in tapioca flour.
Soi 55’s version is less milky, a lot less sweet, and no crushed ice. Many customers would request for ‘siu dai’, or less sugar (waan noi / mai waan maag). My guess is they wanted to suit the taste to local markets. Though that’s not quite the real thing. (Read: Soi 55 Golden Shoe)
The Cathay Level 5, 2 Handy Road Singapore 229233 (Dhoby Ghaut MRT)
Opening Hours: 2pm – 10pm (Sun – Thurs), 2pm – 11:30pm (Fri), 11am – 11:30pm (Sat)
Soi 55’s second shop is on the 5th level of The Cathay. The benefit: You can bring Thai Milk Tea into the cinema.
Other than their original four – The Thai Milk Tea, Thai Rose Milk Tea, Thai Green Milk Tea and Thai Milk Coffee (all $3.90) , there are some new offerings of Thai Honey Green Tea ($3.60), Milk Tea Slushie ($4.90) and Kho Kho Nut Milk Slushie ($5.90). (Read: Soi 55 The Cathay)
SMU #B1-45, 70 Stamford Road Singapore 178901
Tel: +65 9665 1631
Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 9pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Popular among SMU students, there is a secret procedure involved in preparing Loaves Me’s tea (which the shop is not convenient to disclose). I think the drink slightly diluted, and wished that it was milkier. But it is still rather smooth, with a strong tea taste.
Tuk Tuk Cha
3 Temasek Boulevard #02-605A Suntec City, Singapore 038983 (5-10 min walk from Promenade MRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon-Sun)
Other branches: Sun Plaza, #01-15, Raffles City, #B1-68, Tampines 1, #B1-K2 (coming soon)
Tuk Tuk Cha’s signature Thai Milk Tea comes in both hot ($1.70) and cold ($2.80) versions. An up-sized cold drink is an additional $0.40. (A Thai lady stands behind the cashier, and that makes us feel it is more authentic. Yeah, we are superficial.)
Toppings such as pearl, coconut jelly, caramel jelly and mango pearls were available at an additional $0.50. We tried both with and without toppings and preferred the latter for a more unadulterated taste.
The Thai Milk Tea had a distinct tea scent and not overly sweet. However, the subtle bitterness in the tea did not surface and the texture wasn’t rich enough to leave a strong impression. (Read: Tuk Tuk Cha Suntec City)
Address: 22 Lim Tua Tow Road, Singapore 547772
Tel: +65 6287 8880
Opening hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon-Tue, Thu), 12pm – 11pm (Fri), 9.30am – 11pm (Sat-Sun)
$7! $7 for Thai Iced Milk tea served in a café, and there I was reminiscing those in Bangkok that cost me 25 baht. (Updated Jan 2016: Wait, they reduced to the price to $5.50.)
Sunday Market known for their Bangkok Toast and Thai Tea ice cream served a pretty neat cup of Thai Milk Tea, coming in a cutesy bottle and a ceramic glass on the side. Guess we are paying for that plastic bottle which we cannot take away, and its aesthetic value.
The taste is agreeably smooth, milky and sweet enough.
275 Thomson Road, Novena Regency #01-03, Singapore 327645 (Novena MRT, opposite Novena Church)
Tel: +65 6440 3270
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 9:30pm (Mon-Thurs), 11:30 am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Fri), 12pm – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Sat-Sun)
Rochor Thai’s Thai Iced Tea ($5.80) is sourced from a small family run plantation in the Chanthaburi province. It didn’t have that usual bitter after taste that is associated with the famous Hand Brand tea. Some may prefer this version.
Address: 5001 Beach Road Golden Mile Complex #B1-08, Singapore 199588;
1 Rocher Canal Rd #01-06 Sim Lim Square
Tel: +65 3113 2003
Opening hours: 12pm – 9pm (Mon-Sun)
Want to find the most authentic Thai food in Singapore? The answer: Golden Mile.
The other restaurants at Golden Milk tend to serve Thai Milk Tea (though I haven’t tried ALL yet) that was one-dimensionally sweet or diluted, such that Noodle’s Café’s version ($1.80) turned out to be quite close to what I would get from the streets of Thailand. Yes, too much ice too. (Read: Noodle Cafe Golden Mile)