With LiHo, KOI Thé and Max See (fruit tea shop) few steps away from one another, we see another new local brand opened by a group of Taiwanese – Hollin, specialising in freshly made pearls opening right beside LiHo.
I chuckled at the name “Hollin”, as it reminded me of the Hokkien word of ”Good to drink”.
At a first glance, Hollin actually reminded me of PlayMade by 丸作 at Tampines, both offering signature freshly made pearls with interesting flavours and no artificial flavouring or preservatives added.
The difference between Hollin and PlayMade by 丸作 is that the former only offers one type of pearl on their fixed menu, and a special flavoured pearl that changes on a daily basis.
Which means if you like a flavour of the pearl, you can only get it on a particular day of the week.
Pretty troublesome, huh?
The Honey White Pearl is the fixed pearl on the menu, whereas Matcha Pearl is available on Mondays, Cocoa on Tuesdays, Coconut on Wednesdays, Coffee on Thursdays, Peanut on Fridays, Black Sesame on Saturdays and Rock Salt on Sundays. (Must I really head there on a Monday?)
Pearls are priced at an additional $0.70 for both Medium and Large cups.
Offering 3 different categories of drinks on their menu: Tea ($2.20 – $4.90), Tea Latte ($3.20 – $5.20) and Rock Salt Macchiato ($3.20 – $5.20), options for sugar level (0, 25, 50, 70, 100%) and temperature (Hot, Ice, No Ice) are available.
I had the Matcha Latte with Cocoa Pearls ($4.90) with 25% sugar level since I was there on a Tuesday evening.
The cocoa pearls were quite enjoyable with distinct but not overpowering chocolatey taste.
The texture of the pearls from Hollin were quite average unfortunately.
On the other hand, the Matcha Latte was pleasant with bitterness from the matcha and flavours more pronounced than their competitors.
Operations on their initial days of opening can be confusing as the service crew mixed up my order of Matcha Latte and Matcha Rock Salt Macchiato even though I was pointing to the latter on the menu while ordering.
Oh well, guess I have to drop by another time to try the drinks from the Rock Salt Macchiato series.
Of course, I would have to give their signature Hollin Black Tea Latte (Medium $3.20/ Large $4.20) a try as this is the signature Bubble Milk Tea that is available at all bubble tea shops.
I would recommend this cup of Hollin Black Tea Latte, which reminded me of a familiar taste that most of us grew up with – Teh Peng (Iced tea with milk).
Same same but different.
With a stronger fragrance and taste of roasted tea leaves well balanced with fresh milk, this atas version of Teh Peng definitely left a deeper impression compared to their freshly made flavoured pearls.
While the Honey White Pearls are soft and chewy, the sweetness level could probably go down a notch to complement the drinks.
Hollin could potentially be a popular spot for bubble tea in future with their stronger tea fragrance and interesting daily flavour of the pearls.
Blk 190 Toa Payoh Central #01-538 (Opp HDB Hub), Singapore 310190
Opening Hours: 12pm – 8pm (Mon-Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.