Thai Milk Tea (Cha Yen, à¸Šà¸²à¹€à¸¢à¹‡à¸™), the distinctive orange coloured tea, is so well loved by Singaporeans that many young entrepreneurs have started shops just specialising in this drink. And I must say that they did a good job in doing so, focusing on a specialty that they are good at.
There are so many Thai restaurants in Singapore now and all of them serve Thai Milk Tea. But are they really good? Sadly, no. It is either too sweet or too diluted. You really can’t taste the thai tea or milk in it. Worse still, they charge it from $3 onwards. Some of them are good in presentation but bad in taste. For me, taste is the most important factor.
So, I went around Singapore drinking Thai Milk Tea and the shops listed below, you might already know of them, but yes, they are really the ones you MUST DRINK in Singapore for a good and authentic cup of Thai Milk Tea. (They are not in order of my preference)
Nam’s was the first Thai Cafe to open in Singapore, since October 2013. I still remember when I knew about this shop, I was so excited that I went down to try immediately, when Thai Milk Tea drink and desserts were still not that popular in Singapore. Very soon, cafes and ice cream shops selling Thai related drinks and desserts begin sprouting in Singapore.
They are similar to the kiosks you see in Bangkok at various shopping centres and BTS stations. You see “Number One Brand” all around the cafe and you know you won’t go wrong. They are the original Thai tea and they have been given special rights to open in Singapore using the brand. At S$2.50 per cup, you get a good hand-brewed tea freshly made with every new order. The taste of the Milk Tea here is well balanced but sweetness has been reduced to suit Singaporean’s taste. Be prepared to queue if you go during lunch hour! Read more…
Location: Far East Square – 137 Amoy Street, #01-05, Singapore 049965
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm
#2 Cafe Pal
If you love bubble tea, you should know about Cafe Pal. They are the ones who originally sold Thai Milk Tea in a bottle. However, since June 2015, they have changed to normal cups like what you see in most bubble tea but with their own customised design. They cited logistic and practicality issues for the change. However, I think that they should retain their bottles as it was one of the reasons which made them so “popular” today. You can basically see bottles of Thai Milk Tea going viral on social media feeds. And it also makes it easier if you are too full and want to drink it slowly.
The version here is stronger in milk taste and lacking in tea taste. The reduced sweetness seemed to be preferred with their customers here. Each cup costs S$3 and you can add toppings such as pearl, sago, grass jelly or aloe vera at an additional 50 cents. (This price is for takeaway only)
I got to add that I love the atmosphere and smell of this shop. Upon entering, there is a cool breeze with scents of lemongrass, totally making me feel some “Thainess” for a few minutes while waiting for my order to be ready.
Location: 43 Middle Road, #01-00, Singapore 188952
Opening Hours: Daily, 12pm – 9pm
Facebook | Instagram (@cafepal)
#3 Soi 55
Located in the midst of Central Business District, their main customers are from the office crowds nearby. If you are not working in Shenton Way, chances are you don’t know of their existence. They started from having stalls at pop-up events and eventually find themselves settling down in Golden Shoe Food Court.
The version here is stronger in tea taste but lacking in the milkiness. I tried their Green Milk Tea as well and found it very well balanced in terms of the tea taste and milk. Per cup costs S$2.50 and you can add toppings such as pearl, sago, or red ruby from 30 cents onwards. They also sell in bottled form at S$3.90. It’s a nice bottle and looks good in photos. Seems like they are the only with with bottled Thai Milk Tea now.
Location: 50 Market Street, #02-
19 21, Golden Shoe Food Centre, Singapore 048940
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 11am – 5pm
Facebook | Instagram (@soififtyfive)
#4 Nara Thai Cuisine
I definitely have to include Nara Thai’s Cha Yen here! You should have seen me mentioning that the previous places were either lacking in tea taste or milk. And the most well balanced version, I found it in Nara Thai and this is a MUST order in Nara Thai, don’t leave without ordering it. It’s so smooth, milky and flavourful that one cup is just not enough.
Yes, the price is not in the S$2/3 range. This one costs $5.90, double! And for your info, there are some places which costs more than this price! At such a price, we definitely won’t be drinking it so often. But well at least you know that this is the place to get a very shiok Thai Milk Tea, at least for me. If you are in Nara Thai, I’m sure you will be having a meal and the Thai Milk Tea is definitely a good companion to the spicy food.
Location: ION Orchard (#B3-21) & Westgate (#03-07)
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 11:30am – 10pm
Facebook | Instagram (@narathaisg)
The newest Thai Milk Tea (Cha Yen) cafe in Singapore. Having opened just a few days ago in Suntec City, many customers have been returning after trying the Thai Milk Tea and their toasts. The drink here is well balanced with the right amount of milk and sugar. I prefer the original recipe but it seems that customers prefer the reduced sugar version.
Another Must Try is their Golden Toast. Buttered crispiness on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. It indeed reminds me of After You’s Shibuya Thick Toast in Bangkok. I think this is the closest we can get from Singapore. Everything sold here is in the affordable range and it starts from S$1.50. At such a price, you probably find yourself in this shop very often if you work in Suntec City.
I think this is my new favourite hangout because of the location, price and quality of food and drinks. Read more….
Location: Suntec City (#02-605A)
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am – 9pm
Feeling disappointed that this list is so short? Well, this few made it to the top of my taste test. I can compile a whole list of Thai Milk Tea in Singapore but it might not taste good and might leave you disappointed, so there’s actually no point in doing that. Just a few good ones that will leave you happy after drinking is good enough.
New discoveries of good Thai Milk Tea will be added to this list (subjected to my taste test). If you have any to recommend or if you think that your Thai Milk Tea should be included in this list, feel free to comment below or drop me an email! :)