“满堂红” literally meaning “red everywhere” symbolises prosperity or good results. Interestingly, when my Chinese essay was man tang hong in the past, it would be a heavily marked-down piece circled with red pen due to the many mistakes.
This dessert café at Bedok North is also called “Man Tang Hong” 满糖红, with a switch of the middle word to mean “sweet”.
I know right, another dessert café?
This joins the many new traditional dessert shops in Singapore including Sweet Hut 甜秘密 (Geylang), Tian Wang 甜旺 (Jalan Besar), Smile Dessert 酒窝甜品 (Bugis), Chow Zan Dessert (North Bridge Road and PLQ), Yatkayan (Middle Road), and Sweet Thoughts by M.O.D (Hougang) – just to name a few.
Instead of the over-the-top décor or traditional Asian look that many others opted to have, Man Tang Hong had a minimalist dusty pink look, decked with white furniture pieces with a slight tropical feel.
You would think it sells coffee and brunch, but nope.
The owners which is a pair of young couple, wanted to present a different environment contrasted to places which can be more warm and humid.
Their signature items include Cheng Tng ($4.30), Snow Fungus with Manuka Honey ($5.80), Yam Paste aka Orh Nee ($6.80), and Black Glutinous Rice ($3.80).
Other cold and hot desserts available are Natural Aiyu Jelly ($3.50), Watermelon Sago ($3.80), Rock Melon Sago ($4.50), Rock Melon & Watermelon Sago ($4), Sea Coconut Delight ($3.80), Red Bean with Tangerine Peel ($3.50), and Bubur Cha-Cha ($4.20).
With all that said, there would always be people who feel this is ‘over-priced’ because a dessert down the road at a hawker centre can be below $2.
Of course, we also have to consider rental, environment, ingredients, and other factors.
Over at Man Tang Hong, several of their ingredients are made from scratch. For example, the aiyu jelly is made with natural fig seeds to extract its gelatine; while the yam paste is steamed and hand mashed.
The Cheng Tng ($4.30) indeed had a refreshing sweetness that did not get cloying, and was especially soothing to the throat in this hot weather.
This is also included with premium grade longan and dates, as their flesh is thicker and sweeter with a better mouthfeel.
While some of the good quality Orh Nee elsewhere would come extremely smooth, their Yam Paste ($6.80) had a slightly different take in which you would taste the varying textures of the hand-mashed yam.
Included with some pumpkin puree and coconut milk, these added some sweetness and aroma, and the entire combination was not overly greasy or rich.
Interestingly, they also included a wooden cup of Pokka Oolong Tea at the side to refresh the palate.
Nothing against this brand (l love their drinks), but I thought that a self-brewed or cold brew Chinese tea would add more character to the shop.
Not your typical dessert shop. Another thing to note is the place opens from 5pm onwards only, possibly wanting to attract the after-dinner and supper crowd.
Man Tang Hong Desserts
218 Bedok North Street 1, #01-11, Singapore 460218
Opening Hours: 5pm – 11pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon