Food trends go up and come down very quickly. 2 years ago, many Taiwanese bubble tea outlets set up in various parts of Singapore. Last year, I remembered we were all crazy about Beancurd Pudding. Then this year, all of us were into something new – BLACKBALL GRASS JELLY!
The local food trends also represent my love journey. I remembered my first date with the man about 3 years back was at Gong Cha @ Novena. Subsequently, we spent almost every date drinking different bubble tea outlets, from KOI to Gong Cha to A-Gan Tea etc.
Then, we were crazy over beancurd pudding, and every hawker centre we went to, we will definitely look for a bowl of beancurd pudding. And the family got crazy over it too and we start to make our own beancurd pudding (click here for recipe).
Lately, the conversation I have with the man is always about “BLACKBALL GRASS JELLY”. Almost every night after work, he will call me to tell me that he is going to queue for Black Ball Grass Jelly in Bedok. On days when he ends work late, he will call to tell me that he can’t eat BlackBall Grass Jelly that night. And everyday I will be complaining that I didn’t get to eat Black Ball with him. I guess BlackBall must gave us some rewards card for being the most loyal customers (just kidding).
Blackball Signature (cold), $4.90
Blackball Singapore (warm), $4.90
So how did the love for Black Ball Grass Jelly begins? We ate it once in Star Vista, then we visited Taiwan and ate the hot grass jelly. We also visited Jiu Fen (click here to read) and tried the different grass jelly outlets in the old street and fell in love with it. When we came back to Singapore, we were crazy over it!
There are four ways to enjoy the BlackBall Signature, you can either have it hot, cold, warm or icy. There are a combination of yamQ, golden sweet potato, yamballs, sweet potato balls, red bean and pearls. If you like the semi-liquid kind of grass jelly, like the ones you have tasted in Taiwan, go for the hot one. If you like to quench your thirst, go for the icy one.
The grass jelly is definitely yummy. The texture is so soft, be it hot or cold, and you can’t possibly get this texture if you were to buy the original ones from supermarkets.
Jiu Fen Crushed ($4.50)
Having been to Jiu Fen and tried the jiu fen balls, we can of course taste the difference in the texture of the yam balls. Up till today, I still can vividly remember the taste of Ah Gan Yi Yu Yuan (阿柑姨芋圆) @ Jiu Fen because every taro balls are so so so fragrant as though you are eating the real yam!
Of course BlackBall is not comparable to Ah Gan Yi Yu Yuan, the taro balls has more glutinous flour than yam and they give you more ice than the ingredients. Which is why I don’t really like Jiu Fen Crushed because I feel it is too expensive.
Grass Jelly Milk ($3.80)
We also have a tall cup of Grass Jelly Milk which we love!
If you are wondering how the name “BlackBall” came about, it draws from the idea of ‘Xian Cao’(grass jelly) being ‘black’ in colour and taro ‘balls’. The company was founded and created by Mr. Tang in 2006, who is an experienced tour guide, when he came across ‘Xian Cao’(grass jelly) by chance upon travelling to ‘Guan Xi’. He was thrilled and decided to open BlackBall. It has transformed into one of the biggest dessert chains in Taiwan and Malaysia and now, it is expanding into Singapore. At first, someone told me it was Mediacorp artiste, Zhang Yao Dong, who brought the franchise in Singapore. Later, then I realised he is only the ambassador for Blackball.
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