Originated from Hunan, China in 2019, Chinese Tofu Magician 半仙豆夫 has rapidly expanded domestically and internationally within the past 2 years.
It has opened its first Singapore outlet at Paya Lebar Square.
The making of tofu and soy milk was first recorded during the Chinese Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago by Lord Liu An, and the latter eventually becomes one of the earliest beverages in ancient China.
The beverage culture in China first started in the late 1990s with the introduction of Taiwanese bubble teas into the market.
This is followed by the emergence of homegrown big brands such as Hey Tea 喜茶 and Nayuki 奈雪の茶 (which ended its Singapore run).
Using traditional techniques such as a big stone mill to grind their soybeans, the full process requires a total of 8 tedious steps to ensure quality.
Canada non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) is first chosen due to the consistency and quality of every beans, packed with high nutrition value of 20.6% fat, 12% free sugars and 42.5% protein content.
The remaining 7 steps include Soak, Add water, Grind, Filter, Boil, Separate and Discard.
Focusing on just soybean products, the Singapore outlet has a total of 35 items on its menu.
This ranges from their Signature Soy Milk Tea ($4.30 – $5.90) that comes with White Jade (chewy mochi), Fortune Chestnut Cloud Top ($4.30 – $4.80), Mango Pomelo Sago with SoyMilk ($3.20 – $5.10), Shake Shake ($3.20 – $3.70) and Soy Milk Ice Cream ($2.10).
Like any bubble tea shops, customers can also customise the amount of ice and sugar level, (up to 120% sugar! – HPB looking into this?) with the option of additional toppings ($0.50) such as Tofu Pudding, Three Colour Taro, Bobo Pearls and “Simmy Pearls” (essentially sago).
Their Signature Soy Milk Tea comes with a soy foam and white jade on top of different tea such as Matcha ($4.80), Peach Oolong ($4.30), Osmanthus ($4.30), Sesame Soymilk ($5.90) and Soymilk Tea with Soy Foam ($5.90).
Customers can choose to dine-in or takeaway, and the staff will dust a generous amount of soybean powder on top for the former.
Their Signature Soy Milk Tea series requires one to eat and drink in the same cup, dipping the white jade (chewy mochi) into the foam layer dusted with soybean powder will further enhance the flavours.
My favourite was the Sesame Soymilk Tea with Soy Foam & White Jade ($5.90) that comes with a separate pack of soybean powder to add onto the foam layer.
The sesame soy milk was simmered for 45 minutes to bring out the distinctive, deep scent and earthly flavours from the sesame seeds, almost like drinking a traditional sesame paste.
The white jade was worth a mention, coated with both black and white sesame seeds that give it a nice crunch on top of the chewy mochi texture.
Their bestseller is the Soymilk Tea with Soy Foam & White Jade ($5.90) packed with soy milk at the bottom, a soy foam on top and dusted with soybean powder.
The soy foam adds a different complexity to the cup, a thickened and creamy texture that gives it a fuller body whereas the soy milk was smooth and subtly aromatic.
Interestingly, I left one cup in the fridge for a few hours to keep it chilled and the soy foam curdle to form a wobbly layer of beancurd which reminds me of “Lao Ban beancurd”.
Seeing how Lao Ban beancurd was the hype few years back, Chinese Tofu Magician 半仙豆夫 should be a hit here win Singapore, with their many nutritional values such as cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and ideal for the Lactose intolerance.
Chinese Tofu Magician 半仙豆夫
Paya Lebar Square, 60 Paya Lebar Road, #01-51, Singapore 409051
Opening Hours: 11am – 8:30pm (Mon – Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.