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Yi Cha Xian Lao Yin,

79, SS15/4B, Subang Jaya.
Tel: 016-666 6828
Business hours: 10.00am to 6.00pm,
closed on Mondays.

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DURING a visit to Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Vinney Tan fell in love with the place as well as the delicious food.

The tastes, as she recalled, were natural and original, instead of being overpowered by artificial flavouring.

It was also in Kaohsiung where she discovered Yi Cha Xian Lao Yin (or Yi Cha in short), a restaurant specialising in Taiwanese beverages and desserts.

The nourishing choices conquered her taste buds and piqued her interest.

Together with her husband Sean Tan, Vinney persuaded Yi Cha’s 60-year-old founder Chen Wen Xian to let her bring Yi Cha to Malaysia.

Following a long and laborious process, Yi Cha was finally opened in SS15 in Subang Jaya last month.

Both Sean, 41, and Vinney, 42, spoke passionately about their new venture. They were eager to share Yi Cha’s concept and its extensive menu with fellow Malaysians.

“Nowadays people have to eat out cautiously, as many restaurateurs do not even want to dine at their own restaurants.

Nourishi ng: Double-boiled Snow Pear and White Fungus.Nourishi Ng: Double-boiled Snow Pear and White Fungus.

“But at Yi Cha, we offer healthy drinks and desserts that we absolutely love and enjoy,” Vinney said.

A variety of freshly brewed beverages, including macha slush and milk pudding, grass jelly slush, fruity agar jelly slush, milk smoothies, milk tea, specialty fruity ice balls and Taiwan tea, are available at Yi Cha.

There are also double-boiled desserts, Yi Cha puddings and coffee.

Sean said the main ingredients, such as the chewy pearls used in Taiwanese milk tea, are imported from Taiwan.

Instead of the dull black ones, the pearls at Yi Cha come in attractive shades. Green tea and rosella are examples of the natural ingredients used to colour the pearls.

Vinney said the chewy tapioca balls are made by Yi Cha in Taiwan and then snap-frozen immediately to retain their freshness.

“No preservative is added,” Vinney assured.

Another staple in Taiwanese dessert known as “pop eggs”, or bao bao dan in Mandarin, are also made by Yi Cha in Taiwan.

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Manageable portion: Specialty Guiling Jelly comes with kiwi and “pop eggs”.

The “pop eggs” that come in the size of pearls, are passion fruit juice wrapped in a delicate transparent layer of membrane that is made of red algae extract.

The “pop eggs” will burst when bitten, hence the name.

From the beverage list, Vinney introduced Flower Green Tea, Macha Slush and Milk Pudding with Macha Pearls and Red Beans, Fruity Agar Jelly Slush with Rainbow Pearls and Basil Seeds Honey Kamquat Tea.

For desserts, Hokkaido Milk Pudding and Fruits, Specialty Guiling Jelly, Yi Cha Double-Boiled Taro Sago Paste with Mini Rice Balls and Double-boiled Snow Pear and White Fungus were recommended.

Each of them was a relish, and Sean pointed out that the flavours were subtle and not too strong.

‘[This is how the natural ingredients taste like,” he said.

To ensure the originality of Yi Cha, Chen dispatched his daughter Inez to oversee the operations in the initial stage.

Speaking on her father’s idea of setting up Yi Cha, Inez said he was in the bubble tea business and decided to manufacture his own ingredients to provide fresh and healthy alternatives to customers.

She added that the name of Yi Cha Xian Lao Yin was inspired by a plaque displayed at the Tian Gong Temple in Tainan, Taiwan.

The word yi (one) signifies that no matter how one tries to plan his actions, one’s fate is determined by a decisive stroke from the Supreme Being.

Meanwhile, cha means tea, and xian is freshness.

Lao yin, on the other hand, refers to the Hong Kong-styled beverages that have a variety of ingredients inside a cup of drink.

“We can scoop things up to eat, instead of just drinking the juice or tea,” Inez said.

At Yi Cha in SS15, the dining experience is heightened by the elaborate interior design.

The walls are lined with bamboos for a zen feel; and there is also a figurine of the famous San Tai Zi displayed prominently to reflect the Taiwanese culture.

This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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