As if history is repeating itself, bubble teas are back in trend again.
However, the bubble tea shops in Singapore are also getting more creative, introducing tastier, healthier and more instagrammable beverages.
R&B 巡茶’s (previously known as “R&B Tea”) latest offering of Brown Sugar Boba Milk with Cheese Brûlée – the first of its kind in Singapore, should attract attention and a queue.
(Click PLAY for highlights of R&B 巡茶’s Brown Sugar Boba Milk with Cheese Brûlée.)
Some background on R&B 巡茶: No relation to the musical style, it actually stands for the Taiwanese owners Rex and Bruce, who opened up bubble tea shops in China when they miss the familiar taste from home.
There are now over 500 R&B 巡茶 outlets in China and Vietnam, with 5 in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands (Rasapura Masters side), Marina Square Cookhouse, Toa Payoh, Singapore Polytechnic, and Punggol Oasis Terraces. More to come.
Here are some of R&B 巡茶’s signature drinks:
Brown Sugar Boba Milk with Cheese Brûlée (Marina Bay Sands pricing Regular $5.80, Large $6.50. Other outlets Regular $4.80, limited to 50 cups per day)
The Brown Sugar Milk with Pearls drink is already taking storm in cities such as Taipei, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
The R&B 巡茶 version takes it a step up.
A cup would include pearls cooked in brown sugar, poured in with chilled milk, topped with cream cheese then torched.
It is also coated with brown sugar glaze that looks like the stripes of a tiger. Thus, they gave this drink the name “老虎出巡” – which literally means “a tiger taking its journey”.
There is no ‘correct’ way to drink this, but a recommended method is to take a sip of the pearls first, to appreciate the softness and chewiness. Cooked for more than 3 hours with an in-house, recipe these are actually some of the best boba I had in recent times.
You would notice that the bottom of the cups is actually warm as you hold it, so there is some thrill in the contrast of hot and cold temperatures.
That is not all, there is a layer of smooth and savory cheese cream on top, sprinkled with brown sugar bits then torched, for a layer of caramelized crust.
You would take some sips first to appreciate the sweet-savoury flavours, then mix it up with the drink eventually.
What I liked was the taste of the caramelized brown sugar. It did remind me of Gula Melaka, except that the graze is specially imported from Taiwan.
Brown Sugar Boba Milk ($4.80, $5.50)
The Brown Sugar Boba Milk is an extremely popular drink in Taiwan, and I always wondered why it took so long to ‘arrive’ to Singapore.
Well, better late than never.
This drink is also named “青蛙撞奶” literally meaning “frogs knocking on milk”, as the boba pearls supposedly look like frog eggs.
Comparatively, this drink uses that same unique brown sugar recipe for the pearls, but is less rich and sweet as it comes without the extra layer of cream cheese.
It is a more guilt-free treat, and I particularly enjoyed biting the warm soft pearls, then quickly sipping on the cold smooth milk.
Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea ($3.90, $4.70)
This is the milk tea version of Brown Sugar Boba Milk.
There are different tea base to choose from: Black Tea, No 23 Oolong, Roasted Oolong, or Peach Oolong or Black tea, to go along with the brown sugar pearls.
R&B uses only the finest Oolong tea leaves from Taiwan’s Dong Ding Mountain – the original Oolong tea growing area.
For something different, I would recommend the Roasted Oolong Tea which has some of that alluring smokiness from the tea leaves, which is said to be roasted over charcoal for a couple of hours.
Mighty Luffy ($7.00)
When you are feeling Singapore is hot and really need a thirst quencher, go get the Mighty Luffy.
Just check out the cup, coming in a XL size of 1000cc.
The refreshing drink is filled with an assortment of tropical fruits such as Watermelon, Lime, Lemon and freshly squeezed Oranges, included with Hawaiian Red Tea.
A “Baby Luffy” is also available at $6.30. For the price difference, may as well get the large?
Devil’s Booster ($5.00)
(I have issues with this drink’s name… but its more punny Chinese name of 恶魔橙实果 probably made more sense.) This consists of fresh pineapple chunks and oranges, included with Peach Oolong which makes it a great ‘boost’ for the day.
I find that after a heavy lunch, having a refreshing fruit tea like this (I usually add minimal sugar) helps cleansing.
Rich Macchiato ($4.80, $5.50)
A combination of fresh milk, then added with tea, ended with cheese cream topping.
Similarly, this comes with a choice of different tea base such as 23 Oolong, Roasted Oolong, Peach Oolong and Black Tea.
All-In Milk Tea ($6.00)
This is best for those who like to bao-ka-liao and love to experience the different textures while having a drink.
The mega-cup is included with 4 toppings, Lychee coconut Jelly, Golden Pearls, Pudding and Crystal balls.
R&B 巡茶 Outlets
Marina Bay Sands, #B2-50 Canal Level (at Rasapura Masters) Singapore 018972
Marina Square @ Cookhouse, 6 Raffles Boulevard #04-101/102 Singapore 039594
Toa Payoh, 470 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 Singapore 310470
Singapore Polytechnic, Foodcourt 4 AeroHub (AE106) Singapore 139651
Oasis Terraces, 681 Punggol Drive #B1-03 Singapore 820681
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with R&B 巡茶.