Friday, June 26, 2015

Superduck Modern Tea Shop at SM Cyberwest: a refreshing take on the milk tea Filipinos have come to love and enjoy!

Milk tea has been a staple for a lot of Filipinos these days. It is no wonder that a lot of brands have come and gone in the market. However, I'd like to tell you guys about my experience with Superduck Modern Tea House and its innovative milk tea flavors.

It's been quite a while since I last posted about the events I attended. But here goes. Last June 6, I had the opportunity to visit Superduck Modern Tea Shop, a relatively new player in the milk tea industry. It has about 4 branches; and the one in SM Cyberwest is newest. It has only been established this year. 

According to its owners, Superduck is named after the Taiwanese idiom for big brother or (da ge) which strangely translates to the word duck. The store is actually a franchise of a popular tea shop of the same name which originated in Lukang Taiwan.

Image result for chinese of big brother

da ge ge  (pronounced ta kuh kuh) - inspiration for the name of super duck

Superduck began from its humble roots when the employee of a famous milk tea shop decided to succeed in the operations of the aforementioned establishment. However, after a few years of operations, the original owner compelled the employee to return the use of the trade name to the former. Undaunted, the employee put up Superduck to continue his budding milk tea business. The business, in time, became a hit in Lukang, Taiwan. The franchise, then, was acquired by two Filipino-Chinese businessmen who were impressed with the menu selection on a visit to Taiwan. The rest is history. 4 branches later, we then see the first international franchise of Superduck making waves in Manila. 

Upon my visit, I was impressed with their menu. Their selection had more than 40 items of drinks and over ten dishes. Apart from that, the drinks had very peculiar mixes, particularly unheard of in the more mainstream tea shops. We were able to taste some of these innovative tea blends during our visit. Some of these included the Unique Blends Milk Tea. These flavors consisted of alcoholic drinks mixed together with a milk or fruit tea base. These consisted of the Heineken green tea, an intoxicating mix of bitter Heineken canned beer and sweet apple green tea. The mix was amazing, to say the least. I never expected that beer and tea would have an addictive flavor. The next I tried were the Bailey's and Almond Kahlua liquor milk teas. These mixes were very creamy and tasted of chocolate with a dash of alcohol. Well, the alcohol had the amount equivalent to a party shot, but that's another story. I did enjoy the taste though. The bittter accent of bailey's and almond kahlua was complemented by the sweet, creamy milk. 

Another notable series of drinks on the menu is the fruit tea selection. According to the owners, the fruits used in these are mostly fresh fruits which are dried or frozen and not mere powder substitutes. This is evident in the passionfruit drink (pictures below) which contains edible seeds and has a moderately sweet taste with a dash of sourness. The mango fruit teas, on the other hand, are made from locally sourced mangoes. This variant has a taste that retains the freshness of the fruit. 

The nai-kai series (Chinese for cover) has a cream cheese topping with a drink underneath. The usual way to drink it is to finish it until the half is left then the cheese topping must be mixed with the remaining drink to create a creamy and tangy blend. I was really impressed with the taste. While the nai-kai is reminiscent of the cream cheese drinks of other establishments, it stood out for its right blend of sweetness. Add to that the fact that the cheese used is of imported high quality and not some ordinary local brand.

Their basic milk teas are a cute above the competition due to the fact that authentic and imported tea leaves are used in the process of making it. The owners stated that the variants of tea aren't simply the run of the mill green tea or oolong. They have high quality variants such as mint osmanthus and English black tea leaves. We were even shown samples of these fragrant tea leaves in crushed form. We got a sampling of the wintermelon variant. I was pleased to note that it wasn't too sweet and not too filling to the stomach. The owners then revealed that the milk used was a non-fat variant. They also noted that the sugar used in the teas are not made of chemically processed corn syrup, but rather naturally processed local cane sugar. Talk about being tasty and healthy at the same time. Not only are these teas low on sugar, they are also low-fat.

The proprietors proudly announced that as much as possible, their ingredients are sourced from local farmers, particularly, the mango, sugar, and passionfruit. They also avoid using powder substitutes for these products to bring out the full flavor and avoid preservatives as much as possible.

Drinks are served with a served with a generous helping of sinkers such as coco, pudding, tapioca, among others. Some drinks such as the nai-kai don't come with sinkers, though. It wasn't a problem, as some of the drinks are better on their own.

The prices of these tea blends are very affordable. Basic teas start at 55 pesos while the most expensive item on the drinks menu, the alcoholic teas, are about 200 pesos per tall glass. Basic milk teas are about half the price.

As for the food, I was surprised when the dishes were made out of veggie meat. Every item on the menu is free of pork, beef, or chicken. As for the taste, these dishes still taste as if they were made from meat. I do like the fact that the dishes are full of spices and are not high on the MSG content. 

That concludes my review of one of the newest milk tea shops in Manila. Superduck Modern Tea Shop is located at 2nd floor, SM Cyberwest, North Edsa, Quezon City, beside Eurotel and in front of SM North. I do hope you guys will take the opportunity to visit it sometime. It is also open for franchising and event catering activities.

My pictures of the event:

The new Superduck facade at the second floor of SM Cyberwest (across SM North Edsa Skygarden and on the left side of Eurotel)

The co-owners giving the selected bloggers some samples of their products and explaining the brand,  its origins, and its unique take on milk tea

Me watching the orientation given about the brand and the establishment's products

Tofu bites with all the assorted goodness of different Chinese bites such as kikiam, squid balls, and fried tofu

Superduck tumbler with our free milk tea (mine's the nai-kai milk tea on the right while my friend got the choco milk tea)

The quintessential Superduck winter melon tea - not too sweet with an emphasis on the taste of the wintermelon

Some of its food offerings such as the Calamares, cheesedog with fries, and v-nuggets (All of the ingredients for these offerings are imported)

Potato wedges - tangy and peppery - just the way I like them

Beer tea? The Heineken infused apple flavored green tea offering - with the matching intoxication to boot

Choco milk tea and the nai-kai milk tea

Legit passionfruit tea (complete with the edible seeds)

Nai-kai (Chinese for cover) tea (Cream cheese top separated from the tea)

V-fish and fries (note the generous serving)

A heap of cheese on the newly offered linguine carbonara

Fried mushrooms (note the thick breading and helping of pepper)

Imported asian dumplings (a fried version of kuchai) 

The pasta menu - we got to try all three, though I do recommend the linguine for the generous serving of cheese and basil

The ultimate choco overdose - I wonder why I didn't try that? haha

The Superduck flyer

The Superduck food menu posted on the wall

The obligatory Superduck branded paper cup


The V-calamares with ketchup, mayonnaise, and chili sauce

The milk tea selection menu for in-house orders (I do love the fact that the look of the tea leaves are noted to the last detail)

The menu/flyer handed out to guests

Super Duck Modern Tea Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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