Super tried out drinks from two Taiwanese milk tea shops, and the flakiest Hong Kong egg tarts which are now available in Manila. All good—if you don’t mind the constant queue.
Activity Pod X, Bonifacio High Street
The top two drinks from this Taiwanese brand are Brown Sugar Boba Milk with Cream Mousse, and Brown Sugar Boba + Pearls with Cream Mousse (P120 each).
Featuring the trademark “tiger” syrup stripes, these drinks have a rich aroma from the dark brown sugar, and an addictive creamy taste from the fresh milk. Don’t forget to shake the drink “15 times” to get the full flavor before stabbing it with a straw.
Tiger Sugar’s tiny takeaway kiosk (near Fully Booked) also serves hot drinks such as Black and Green Tea Lattes.
The line is always snaking, but on a good day, it moves fast.
Follow Tiger Sugar Philippines on Instagram.
Honolulu Café SM Aura
Honolulu Café serves legit, flaky egg tarts with warm, creamy center at P50 each. We think that’s a good deal from a “cha chaan teng” or Hong Kong-style diner that has been around since 1940. The signature tart boasts “192 layers,” which are delicately created through a secret recipe that requires freezing the dough overnight.
We did not count, but group CEO Derrick Yeung Siu-Yip assured us that it adds up.
The first branch in Manila is a full-service restaurant with fun interiors. It is a 44-seat shop that serves pork and butter buns, super tender curry beef brisket, baked pork chop rice with cheese, noodle soup with luncheon meat and egg.
Hong Kong classics—aka deep-fried everything—are also offered, such as prawns, jumbo drumsticks, spareribs and fish fillet, which all goes well with the fried rice with diced chicken and salted fish.
To make choosing easier, there are only three desserts: Red Bean Doughnut, Mango Pudding and Mango Sago with Pomelo. Don’t miss the drinks, too. We like the coffee with condensed milk, iced red bean with milk, watercress honey and Hong Kong milk tea.
Follow Honolulu Café Philippines on Facebook.
Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea
Bonifacio High Street; Ayala Malls The 30th; San Juan; TriNoma
We first had its Kumquat Green Tea in Taipei some years ago because we had no idea what “kumquat” was. Our curiosity led us to a new discovery: a sour drink flavored with small, slightly bitter citrus fruits.
Yi Fang is the tea place to get a refreshing fruity fix. The drinks are made from tea leaves, real fruits and milk, never powder.
Its Signature Fruit Tea has a base of passion fruit and mountain tea, sweetened with pineapple jelly sauce, and apple and orange slices.
The tea menu is extensive. Top sellers are Pineapple Green Tea, Aiyu Lemon Green Tea, Sugarcane Mountain Tea and Brown Sugar Milk Tea Latte.
It has been around in the Philippines for a while, but we have yet to try out all mixes. Next time we will order the Ginger Tea and the seemingly exotic “Multi-Floral Honey Juice.”
Follow YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea – Philippines on Facebook; @yifangteaph on Instagram.