Matchaya: Transported Back to Japan! 

Crazy popular and unbelievably warm food blogger, Kaelyn (of My Food Sirens), has opened a new eatery specializing in all things green tea, Matchaya! -cue fireworks!- You have no idea how much admiration I have for Kaelyn and Kevin for making this bold foray into the notoriously tough Singapore F&B scene. I strongly urge you to visit Matchaya not only because it is us Singaporeans’ duty to support our local businesses but also there are some seriously AMAZING treats that made me miss Japan big time! Matchaya’s offerings reminded me of the creative ways the Japanese spin off the simple green tea powder into delicious treats. At the end of the afternoon, I was wanderlusting about Tokyo (again!)

Last Saturday afternoon, armed with three hungry girl friends, we trekked to Icon Village, bought (note: not sponsored) and polished off 12 out of 23 items offered by Matchaya. We came, saw and conquered. You bet we stuffed our faces exceptionally and furiously green.

For a take-away counter presently manned only by Kaelyn and Kevin, offering 23 different products is an incredible feat! The cute little illustrations on the menu remind me of those seen in the little Japanese cafes. Here is the menu in case you, like me, like to peruse menus days before visiting and plot items to order. 

Everything is prepared on-the-spot (save for the Macarons and Swiss rolls) so if you order a lot like us, be prepared to wait  for about 5-10 minutes. We were in awe while watching Kaelyn and Kevin gently prepare our spread. There was some precise coordination exhibited with immense care and attention to detail taken at every step. Ice-creams and drinks were prepared last as there were some made-to-order items which took time to prepare. They really thought this through.

Kaelyn has requested for me to be as honest as possible with my reviews so I am not going to hold back. In order of my favourites of the afternoon…

Houjicha Soft-serve ($5.90) was hands down our favourite of them all. Intense with an unmistakable roasted green tea flavour, this supremely smooth soft serve with a subtle bitter aftertaste was incredible. The clear star of the lot.

When Kaelyn said the Houjicha soft-serve was her own recipe, my jaw dropped! This tasted wayyy better than the Houjicha soft-serve I got from a roadside stall in Arashiyama in Kyoto and tasted exactly like the Houjicha castella cake in the expensive parfait at the legendary Saryo Tsujiri. Very impressed.

My second favourite of the lot, but not shared by the three girls, was the ice cream popsicle, Cha Cha Neh Neh Pop ($8.00). Cha Cha is a collaboration with Artichoke of the Neh Neh Pop-fame. 

Comprised a matcha ice cream with black molasses gooey strip, houjicha feuilletine dip, matcha dip with black sesame seeds.

I will be the first to admit that $8 for a Magnum-sized popsicle is crazyyyyy expensive but damn, it delivered on all fronts! The matcha ice cream was rich and surrounded by a thick and addictively-crunchy green tea and sesame casing. Liquidy black molasses provided an extra touch of sweetness. So good.

Despite the price, I bought another for family lunch the next day. My family NEEDED to try this unique concoction and the name caused a few giggles but they were overall impressed with Cha Cha. My girlfriends, on the other hand, did not like the Cha Cha Neh Neh Pop as much for it was too sweet. So there, if you have a high sugar tolerance  like me, Cha Cha is for you.

My next favourite, and most surprisingly, the sorted Macarons ($3.00 each, $8.50 for 3). It’s no secret I dislike Macarons for its flat texture throughout but I was all over Matchaya’s.

On first bite, these little sandwich cookies made me squeal with delight. I absolutely loved the thick and densed filling with crisp shells providing a harmonious contrast. The surprisingly rich and fudgy Nama Chocolate we all liked the best but the signature Houjicha and bitter-ish Matcha were winners in my book too. 

I finally get the Macaron hype. Filing of the Houjicha below. 

They were so good that I had to get another 9 pieces including the fourth flavour, Yuzu, which had big pieces of bright Yuzu peels sandwiched within, for family lunch the next day (three packed separately in the picture below). Essentially in one weekend, I ate more macarons than my whole life put together. Boy did I devour these babies!

Matchaya began from a pop-up stall selling Matcha lattes – which quite honestly, did not interest me much. I’m not the biggest fan of lattes or milky drinks. While not my favourite of the afternoon, the green tea and houjicha were thirst-quenching. However, we did not enjoy the weak Royal Milk Tea. 

Another signature at Matchaya are the two types of Swiss rolls filled with supremely light cream. These did not leave an impact as much as the above for it was too light (and dare I say, too thin a slice served) but hey, I have never been the biggest fan of Swiss rolls due to its monotonous texture. 

And finally the one product we thought was a brilliant concept but left much to desire was the Brûlée Toast which comprised a slice of homemade milk bread topped with green tea and/or Houjicha jam. Freshly prepared, the toast was a tad over-toasted rendering it too dry without any fluffiness. 

Matchaya was the highlight of my weekend! We devoured sooo many yummy Green Tea treats. Some we simply could not leave without and still talk about today. Matchaya may not be a unique concept but with an unmistakable emphasis on quality and plenty of choices to suit varying desires; it is a much-welcome edition to our F&B scene. I am so excited for Matchaya’s future and look forward to its expansion of green tea items. Congratulations again, Kaelyn and Kevin!

Matchaya
#01-72 Icon Village, 12 Gopeng Street, Singapore 078877 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
(Look out for signs to the Icon Village Extension. It is a few steps away from Munch Salad)
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon-Fri), 10am – 7pm (Sat-Sun)

P.S. This is not a sponsored post. We paid and ate every product featured in this post. My poor waistline.

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