You might wanna make plans to be at One Holland Village on 3 February 2024, because that’s when the first Southeast Asian outpost of Warabimochi Kamakura will be opening.
With close to 50 outlets in Japan, the popular dessert chain specialises in none other than warabimochi, a traditional Japanese confection made from warabiko (bracken starch), and coated with kinako (soybean) powder. Despite its name, it is not the same as regular mochi, which is made from glutinous rice flour.
The warabimochi served here is composed of a secret formula that incorporates hard-to-find bracken flour, which yields a chewy, smooth, and melt-in-your-mouth texture, enjoyed with a generous coating of rich and nutty kinako soybean powder. I found it noticeably softer as compared to the warabimochi I’ve tried at some Japanese restaurants.
It’s also super stretchy but pretty messy to eat, so get some napkins on hand!
A 2-Piece Cup of warabimochi is priced at S$3.90, but you can choose to pair it with Ice Cream (S$5.90) or Kuromitsu Syrup (S$1.50), pure black sugar syrup made using sugar from Okinawa Prefecture with no need for additional starch syrup or molasses.
However, it’s the unique dessert drinks — essentially flavoured teas with chunks of warabimochi — kinda like bubble tea but with slurpable warabimochi instead of pearls — you should really get excited about.
Each cup comes with a warabimochi base, that gives off a smooth and silky mouthfeel, and topped with whipped cream. All drinks come in two sizes, Small (S) and Medium (M), with both hot and cold options for selected flavours.
You can look forward to trying some of their best-selling flavours, like Strawberry Yogurt, Strawberry Milk, Asakawa-En Matcha, Tenku No Hojicha, and Coffee Milk.
I couldn’t wait to try the Asakawa-en Matcha (from S$5.90 for S), which was excellent — smooth, bittersweet, and well-balanced, thanks to the addition of matcha powder from Asakawa-en. There is also a regular Matcha (from S$4.90) without warabimochi that all my fellow matcha enthusiasts will definitely enjoy.
The Tenku No Hojicha (from S$5.90) and Coffee Milk (from S$5.90) were also really delicious, even though those who prefer their coffee thick and robust may not find the latter to their liking.
However, it was the Strawberry Yogurt (from S$7.90 for S) that truly impressed us; it was filled with bits of strawberry and strawberry warabimochi, then topped with a velvety, not-too-thick yogurt drink.
The balance of sweet and tangy was just right — and this is coming from someone who doesn’t typically enjoy creamy, dairy-based products like bubble tea or coffee with milk! There was also no artificial strawberry taste whatsoever, if that’s what you’re concerned about.
If you’re still not convinced to give ’em a try, there will be an an opening 1-for-1 promotion on the store’s Coffee Milk, Asakawa-en Matcha, Strawberry Yogurt/ Milk, and Tenku No Hojicha warabimochi drinks, available from 3 to 5 February 2024, limited to two redemptions per person, while stocks last.
We recommend marking your calendars if you want to be the first few to get your hands on some warabimochi!
Do note that Warabimochi Kamakura is a takeaway kiosk, so you’ll have to enjoy your dessert at the outdoor sharing seats in the mall that are available for public use.
Will you be heading down to Holland V for a taste of authentic warabimochi?
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Photos by Christabel Tan