Here’s our honest review of Playmade’s cocoa milk tea with mala pearls and wasabi milk tea with wasabi pearls

Trick or treat? Wasabi bubble tea with wasabi pearls (left) and cocoa milk tea with mala pearls by Playmade and Singtel’s Gomo.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Does liquid wasabi sound in anyway enticing to you?

Because if it does, boy, do we have good news for you.

Taiwanese bubble tea chain Playmade – known for making fresh tapioca pearls in various original flavours – is selling wasabi milk tea complete with wasabi pearls from now till October 14.

And it’s not stopping there.

The brand will also launch a cocoa milk tea with mala (yes, just like the spicy hotpot soup) pearls from October 15 to 31, thanks to a month-long Halloween collaboration with Singtel’s digital-only brand Gomo.

Imagine this in your bubble tea.
The New Paper

According to Singtel’s media alert, the wasabi-flavoured pearls are made with pure wasabi powder imported from Japan, while the mala-flavoured pearls are created from a special homemade mala sauce from Taiwan.

And like all Playmade pearls, they are freshly prepared at Playmade stores in Singapore daily.

All that sounds impressive, although we’re still not sure why anyone would think of the concoction in the first place. But the truth is that someone did and even turned it into reality – so here we are, again pushing the boundaries of what bubble tea can be.


The taste test: Trick or treat?

We did it for you.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

I’ll be honest – I was scared to try either of the flavours, especially after someone likened the wasabi flavour to “drinking liquid wasabi”.

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The mala pearls (left) come served in a cocoa drink, while the wasabi is added to a wasabi milk tea.
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Singtel

Here’s a closer look at the two pearl flavours after rinsing out the tea.

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They look completely harmless, don’t they?
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

First up: cocoa milk tea with mala pearls

The cocoa milk tea was actually very pleasant. It can be quite difficult to find good cocoa drinks in Singapore, so I was very happy to find Playmade’s version had a rich and dark intensity and a balanced amount of sweetness.

Depending on your tolerance to spice, the mala pearls may or may not give you a fright. One of my colleagues bit into five pearls at once and felt nothing, but another felt it was too spicy.

As for me, I found the spice of one single pearl just about right, but I did not dare to chew into more than one at the same time. The mala taste was quite well-delivered, and the drink as a whole reminded me of gourmet chilli chocolates made by high-end chocolatiers.

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Cocoa milk tea with mala pearls – available from Oct 15 to 31 – is priced at S$4.50 for a medium, and S$6.50 for a large.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Next up: wasabi milk tea with wasabi pearls

After a not-too-shocking experience with the mala pearls, I took a deep breath before inhaling a huge gulp of wasabi milk tea.

And just as promised, it tasted exactly like wasabi in drink form. In fact, the taste of wasabi was so strong that I could not taste much wasabi in the pearls themselves. Later on, I separated the pearls from the tea to taste them on their own, and found them slightly spicy, though not as much as the mala ones.

One of my colleagues, who has a low-tolerance to spice, found both the drink and the wasabi pearls too spicy for her liking. As for me, while the drink was not that spicy, I still don’t get the idea of putting wasabi in milk tea.

If you’re trying this, I’d suggest having a bottle of water on standby to wash the flavour down because a whole cup of wasabi milk tea quickly becomes overwhelming after just a couple of sips.

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Wasabi pearls in wasabi milk tea – available only till Oct 14 – costs S$4.20 for a medium and S$6.10 for a large.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

For now, the jury’s still out on whether these “Gomoween” drinks are a trick or a treat. But I can safely say I wouldn’t go back for seconds.

The drinks are available for all adventurous bubble tea lovers to buy, but Gomo customers get a S$2 discount on large-sized drinks.

Those who post their reactions to the bubble tea flavours on Instagram Stories can also get a free upsize on their next Playmade drink.

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Posting one’s reaction to the drinks will score them a free upgrade on the next order, but they must tag @singtel and @playmadeonezo and show the Instagram story to Playmade’s staff within 24 hours to get it.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

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