Saturday, November 19, 2011

Water Drop Tea House - Punggol

My mother recently made the long journey to Singapore to visit me. One huge cultural difference is the high stress level and countless hoards of people in Singapore. Therefore, during her trip, I took her to the most calming and peaceful eatery that I could think of, which is Water Drop Tea House. Not only did this provide a good escape for my mum, but it was also interesting for me to return to a place, which I had not visited/reviewed in almost two years. For those curious to see my first review - Click Here. Peace and serenity are what you can experience in this area of Punggol, appreciate it, before it is ruined by construction - Like everywhere else in Singapore.


LinkWater Drop Teahouse
Location: Fo Guang Shan, 1 Punggol Place

Contact: 64110590
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm. Sun+Public Hol 10am-5pm. Closed Monday.


Since my first visit, over two years ago, the menu has remained almost the same, yet some small changes have been made. This time around I captured it in a photo for my beloved readers to view. The menu, in essence, is very simple, with there being only a handful of main course meals. The rest of the menu consists of drinks (their variety of teas are especially unique and delightful) and side dishes. The dish which this tea house is most synonymous for is the crispy ginger side dish, I will get to that shortly, but first, lets start with the tea...


The different types of tea at Water Drop always captivate my attention. I was sad to see that the gui hua tea, which I remember so fondly from my first visit was now no longer available. With that being said, there are still many other unique teas to try. For example, here we have the Mixed Fruits Tea. There is no actual solid fruits in this tea, which was a bit of a disappointment. Nevertheless the flavour had popping fruit flavours, which closely resembled ribena, but without the overwhelming sugar content. A different, and certainly positive experience.

Price: $5.00 (pot). 8/10

For all the teas at Water Drop, there is the option of having a cup or a pot. For myself, I always choose the pot. Personally ordering a pot visually is much nicer to me. But for the purpose of informing you all, the cup price is $3. The next tea I sampled was the Longan Tea. A noticeable difference in this tea is the addition of various berries, such as goji and gooseberries into the pot. Not only does this enhance the flavour, they were also lots of fun to eat, once the teapot was empty. Flavour wise, the berries gave it sweetness, and the longan flavour is derived from dried longan, hence the golden brown colour.

Price: $5.00 (pot). 8/10

The signature dish of Water Drop is the Crispy Ginger. Since the last time I tried this dish, the ginger seems to have been made less burning (perhaps a switch from old to young ginger). This certainly makes it easy to eat in large quantities. Texture wise, the pieces of ginger are light and extremely chewy. Along with the ginger, there are also pieces of soy mock meat inside, flavour wise they don't have the burn of the ginger, and are more juicy. The flavour, of course, is predominantly of ginger - Yet there is also a distinct sweetness, which counteracts the ginger, to make it less overpowering. A dish that you will not be able to find anywhere else in Singapore, so seize your opportunity and order it!

Price: $5.00. 9/10

For my second visit at Water Drop, I was curious to explore more of the side dishes available. I started this exploration off with the Potato Wedges. Presentation wise, they arrived in beautiful condition, lined up in a straight row, with slashes of sauce coating them. Taste wise, they tasted as good as they looked. The potato was soft and fluffy inside, which was a relief as wedges can sometimes be undercooked. Although the sauce appears to be cheese, it is actually mayo and sweet chili combined. There is egg in the mayo, so this unfortunately is not a dish for vegans. Size wise, it may appear a little small, but price wise is pretty low, so I didn't feel too aggrieved. Certainly a side dish that I would order again.

Price: $3.00. 7/10

Probably the side dish I enjoyed the most from my first visit was the Veg Crispy Chicken, therefore I was curious to order again, to see if the standard was still the same - Thankfully it was. The batter of this chicken is hard and crunchy, however it is still nice and juicy, and not dry like some might expect. Not only was it juicy, but the flavour of the batter was sensational. Portion wise, I was pleased to see that they made this side dish slightly bigger, compared to the first time I visited. Great tasting snack, that I guarantee you will not be able to stop eating!

Price: $3.00. 8/10

The final dish in this review will be the Braised Rice, this is another one of the main meal dishes. Unlike the minced meat mushroom rice, this dish is served with white rice, instead of brown. The focal point of the dish is the various types of mushrooms, which sit next to the rice. As well as mushrooms there was also one or two pieces of gluten mock meat, which I'd rather not be there at all. The sauce that was poured over the mushrooms and rice tasted fine, and overall I was satisfied with this dish as a main meal. Price wise, it is extremely reasonable too.

Price: $4.00. 7/10

Conclusion - Water Drop Tea House offers one of the most peaceful and calming eating environments in Singapore. One of the few things that irks me about food reviewing is having to enter stressful restaurants, endure screaming babies and k-po people. At Water Drop, customers can truly relax while they enjoy their meal, for me, this is something extremely precious. Food wise, I was more impressed the second time, than I was the first. I enjoyed every dish I ordered, and thought at the end of my meal 'why has it been over two years since I've visited here!?'. I won't be waiting two years again, this is a eatery where you'll want to keep coming back again and again.

Overall Rating
Food - 8/10
Ambiance- 10/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 7/10

12 comments:

  1. thanks for highlighting this luke. near my place

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  2. Hey Drizzt,

    Also quite close to where I stay, I will definitely make a point to visit this place more often. Wonderful eating environment!

    Luke

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  3. Hi Luke!

    I had no idea Fo Guang Shan housed a tea house with such nice ambience. I'm not a buddhist but I've been to the temple once to take photos of their statues and I never noticed this little oasis of calm before! I'll be sure to make a trip down there again, this time to sample the tea house goodies =) Thanks for the review!

    And I'm also sadly sad too, that Punggol is primed to become the next happening hub. I love the 'ulu' feel and quiet serenity of Punggol. But ironically, I'm one of those contributing factors in ruining Punggol as I just got my BTO flat and will be moving there in a few years' time =X

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  4. Hey Shu,

    This place certainly doesn't stick out when visiting Fo Guang Shan. There is no sign posts or posters stating its presence, so unless you intentionally seek it out, then most likely you will not see it.

    I agree with you, and I also share the opinion that it will be a real shame to see what Punggol will be like in the future. Punggol is an area with tranquility and character, a shame to see that the government will be ruining it, just like they've ruined the rest of Singapore's landscape.

    Thanks for stopping by with a comment!

    Luke

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  5. My Waterway @ Punggol is now 5 minute walk from Fo Guang Shan. Although man-made, i find it a very beautiful place to stroll in. So it will be a good idea to breathe in some fresh air in the morning at My Waterway @ Punggol, then walk directly to Waterdrop Tea House for a nice, calming pot of tea.

    Raymond

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  6. Hey Raymond,

    Yes I also enjoy My Waterway @ Punggol a lot, I take a pit-stop there, on my way to jogging from Sengkang to Punggol beach. The road leading up to the beach is also very scenic (not man-made this time), you might want to take a look there too (although I am sure you already have).

    Thanks!

    Luke

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  7. hello Luke,

    when you visited the place, have you seen people of different races eating there? I would love to go there but as a 3rd generation singapore indian, we tend to face discrimination from many chinese like giving us dirty looks,saying horrible things when we go to such places. speaking from experience. easy for people to say its not the case but as a indian, my scary nasty experiences should not be disregarded as something else. afterall they are the ones not going thru this.

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    Replies
    1. Hey anonymous,

      I'm not going to say that is not the case, as I know the mentality that a lot of Chinese people have towards Indians is like that. Believe me, go to England and it will be 10 times worse for you. Go to China and it will be 100 times worse, haha. So, I don't feel Singapore is that bad, compared to other countries I've been to.

      I have seen other races eating at Waterdrop before, and generally, as this is a highly spiritual place, the philosophy is to welcome all and judge no one. Which is practiced by MOST who visit Fo Guang Shan.

      Hope you can visit Waterdrop and have a positive experience while visiting! :)

      Luke

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  8. Hi Luke,

    Yeah i def agree with u,racism is everywhere.Some countries have racist people some countries have racist govt... i've been to china,us and england etc. Unfortunately SG and china wasn't any different, equal level of racism.Maybe that's y sg is known as little china or part of china. Here people blatanly lie there is no racism and put the blame on foreigners being racist. LOL

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    Replies
    1. Hey anonymous,

      If it is racism towards darked skinned races, I would have to say from my experience (of living in both China and Singapore) that China is a LOT of worse - Just my personal experience. :)

      Having said that, I do agree with you that Singapore still has racism towards darker skinned races. But then again, Filipinos and China Chinese are also universally disliked in Singapore - So maybe it is not to do with skin colour.

      Luke

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  9. Hello,

    I'm a 3rd generation sg indian here so i know how the chinese people are here like. Naah it has not only to do with skin colour mainly the race.Yes china is worse because the population is huge and moreover they treat animals atrociously yet alone humans(i'm an animal activist too and china is def top of our animal cruelty list). Here filipinos and china and india are disliked because of overpopulation,jobs taken away etc nothing to do with race or colour in a tiny red dot.

    ReplyDelete

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