Famous Roji Monster shaved ice in Singapore
There is always room for dessert, especially when said dessert comes with adorable googly eyes primed for the ‘gram. This is the selling point at Roji Monster, a world-famous shaved ice store that hails from Taiwan, and has recently opened its first local outlet in Tanjong Pagar.
With cafes in Australia, China, Korea, the United States, Canada and Malaysia, it was about time the Roji Monster brand graced our shores. Piqued to see if the desserts tasted as good as they looked, a colleague and I popped by ahead of their opening.
Food at Roji Monster
The menu at Roji Monster Singapore is not as extensive as their overseas counterparts just yet, but there are still plenty of options.
Ordering is interactive, as you get to pick a card detailing your chosen shaved ice flavour, then stamp on your chosen flavour. While I was entertained, I can’t imagine how this system is going to hold up against a long queue, with social distancing, as only one person can stamp at a time.
There are four shaved ice, a.k.a Monster Ice Cream, flavours to choose from: Uji Matcha, Black Sesame, Milk, and Belgian Chocolate. 23 toppings are available, and you get to choose two with every bowl you get. Additional toppings are $1 each.
We got two flavours: Uji Matcha ($12.90) and Black Sesame ($12.90).
The Uji Matcha Monster Ice Cream was topped with housemade dango and azuki bean paste, as well as tamago boro, better known as Wang Wang egg biscuits. I wasn’t too stoked on how measly the topping portions were, especially when comparing it to, say, bingsu. But, the novelty of having shaved ice with two big bug eyes looking up at me softened the pinch.
Uji matcha from Japan is used in the snow ice mix, and the difference is there. Instead of sugary, artificial matcha, you get all of the rounded bittersweet character of green tea in this dessert.
The dango balls were very QQ, while the azuki bean paste made for a classic duet with the matcha.
The tamago boro brought on the nostalgia, but added little to the overall snow ice.
The Black Sesame Monster Ice Cream was hands down our favourite. The nuttiness of black sesame shone through, and I appreciated that it was not overly sweet.
I chose their matcha and taro balls, as well as their mini dorayaki as toppings. The former is highly recommended—though they are not housemade, these chewy bites are dressed with honey, adding dimension to the shaved ice.
Skip the dorayaki, as while it is cute, the cake was dry.
Roji Monster also has the Monster Waffle ($10.90), where the batter gets pressed into the shape of the store’s soot sprite-looking mascot.
Crisp on the outside, and perfumed with eggy goodness within, this tasted like Hong Kong-style egg waffles.
This came with an aromatic matcha cream, milk-flavoured soft serve, and a forgettable chocolate syrup.
If you can’t stay in the cafe, then grab a soft-serve ice-cream to go.
We tried the Mix ($6.90) ice cream, a swirl of milk and uji matcha. The matcha flavour was prominent enough, despite having to share space with the milk flavour.
Ambience at Roji Monster
Stepping into Roji Monster feels like you’re being whisked away to a minimalistic cafe in Kyoto, though the life-sized monster mascots around the space cheekily break the illusion. The 32-seater cafe is small, but cosy, with an open kitchen so you can watch your shaved ice get made.
Open till 11pm on weekdays, and tmidnight on weekends, Roji Monster also makes for a fun dessert experience if you find yourself craving something sweet in the area post-10:30pm closures.
Located about a 10-minute walk from Chinatown MRT Station, and about five minutes from Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, the outlet is relatively central too.
Overall, I do appreciate the care they put into the flavours and ingredients used in their produce, from Japan-sourced Uji matcha to full cream milk.
Here’s crossing my fingers that their menu will increase soon to include flavours found in their overseas outlets. While I concede that Roji Monster is more about the novelty than anything, I definitely will pop back for taro-flavoured snow ice with googly eyes.
Address: 52 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088473
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 2pm to 11pm, Fri-Sat 3pm to 12am
Photos taken by Chew Yi En.
This was a media tasting at Roji Monster.