LiHo vs Gong Cha: Which is better?

By June 5, all bubble tea outlets under the Taiwanese Gong Cha franchise will be converted to a new home-grown brand LiHo. But before that happens, we ask four young people to tell us which brand of drink they prefer.ST VIDEO
Four students pit their favourite Gong Cha drinks against the LiHo alternatives in a video taste test.
Four students pit their favourite Gong Cha drinks against the LiHo alternatives in a video taste test.PHOTO: ST VIDEO

Here are some highlights on The Straits Times food website ST Food, straitstimesfood.com, this week.

BUBBLE TEA SHOWDOWN

Taiwanese bubble tea chain Gong Cha made headlines last week when its franchise operator, the RTG Group, announced that all its stalls will be converted to a new home-grown brand called LiHo, a Hokkien term for "how are you".

By tomorrow, Gong Cha will be gone after eight years in the market. Its outlet at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands will serve its last drinks today and close at 11pm.

The unexpected exit of Gong Cha has caused quite a stir, especially among die-hard fans.

ST Food asked four students, aged 21 to 24, to pit their favourite Gong Cha drinks against the LiHo alternatives in a video taste test.

They also tried LiHo's new cheese tea offerings. Cheese tea, or tea topped with a layer of frothy, whipped cheese, is also popular elsewhere in Asia, from Guangzhou to Kuala Lumpur.

LiHo's cheese topping is a combination of milk and various types of cheese, including gouda, a Dutch cheese made with cow's milk. LiHo vs Gong Cha: http://str.sg/4LQi

RECIPES TO TRY

Get cooking this week with a handful of new recipes on ST Food.

There are four recipes from Singapore chef Devagi Sanmugam's latest cookbook, I Am A Rice Cooker!.

Whip up coconut fish with chilli and garlic paste, as well as traditional kueh lepat ubi kayu or steamed tapioca pudding topped with banana slices. Devagi Sanmugam's recipes: http://str.sg/4L5C

For Ramadan, try two recipes from The New York Times. Make home-cook Amanda Saab's Lebanese namoura or a semolina cake soaked in a floral-scented sugar syrup; and pastry chef and cookbook author Malika Ameen's chilled watermelon chaat, which she says is delicious and a quick way to get fluids into the body after a day of fasting. Ramadan recipes: http://str.sg/4LxH

ST Food features stories from ST and its sister publications, as well as regional and international newspapers including The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Look out for videos and recipes and use the handy search tool to navigate the site. Go to the social media section to keep abreast of what our food writers have been up to.

•Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 04, 2017, with the headline 'LiHo vs Gong Cha: Which is better?'. Print Edition | Subscribe