Photos by Angelica Villanueva
What will you get when you mix taho and halo-halo? Singapore dessert chain Nine Fresh serves it.
Because of its popularity among Filipinos in Singapore, Nine Fresh is bringing its bestselling Taiwanese desserts to the country—its first venture outside its home base—at SM Manila and SM Fairview.
The shop, which opened eight years ago and currently has 17 branches in Singapore, serves bean curd (just like our taho, but silkier and runnier), grass jelly, or ai-yu jelly (made from the seeds of awkeotsang creeping fig), and topped with sweet potato, matcha, and taro balls.
Other toppings include black pearl, variety of jelly, beans, and roasted or boiled peanuts.
“It’s similar to the Filipino halo-halo,” co-founder Vanessa Tan said during the brand’s preview in Manila.
Tan said they brought the concept to Singapore after trying the dessert in Jiufen, a mountain town in Taiwan, where it is a local delicacy.
Aiming to localize the flavors of the dessert, Nine Fresh’s branches in the Philippines will use local ingredients and toppings such as ube balls in place of taro balls. Tan also shared they are planning to include more local ingredients in their topping menu.
Bestsellers include Nine Fresh Signature (priced at P115 for a 500ml bowl), Black Pearl Ai-Yu Special (P120), Grass Jelly Special (P110), and Fruity Ai-Yu Jelly (P125).
Customers can also create customized combinations of the base and toppings. Bean curd and grass jelly are priced at P50 while ai-yu is P65. Toppings’ range from P10 to P30.
Tan said they are planning to open eight to 10 more branches this year.