Here’s a first for my food showdown—a drink. I know, what kind of drink would so capture our imagination that I would be compelled to write a showdown article for it? Well, if you’ve read the title, you’ll know it’s none other than a cool, frosty, Coconut Shake.
A coconut shake is a simple drink. It’s made with coconut water, vanilla or coconut ice cream, and coconut pulp. The result is pure tropical coconutty bliss. Still, not all drinks are created equal. Depending on the ratio of coconut pulp to coconut water to just the quality of the coconut itself, you can have a very different experience.
For this showdown, I have decided that the contenders shall be the famous Mr Coconut, Otai CocoMelon, and Fruce. Let’s crown a winner once and for all.
Okay, I decided on this purely out of convenience. The outlet is near the office, and I happened to chance upon it while having our usual spread of Thai food in Toa Payoh Central. What is interesting about Otai CocoMelon is that they have plant-based options. So, you can have their shakes or their other variety of drinks with almond milk or oat milk. How incredibly 2021 is that?
I had their Coco Boss (S$4.50, Medium), which comes in an adorable handy cup. At Otai CocoMelon, their shake follows the standard recipe of coconut milk, coconut ice cream, and coconut pulp.
I have to say, for a relatively under-the-radar brand, this was a pretty good coconut shake. The drink was creamy, with a somewhat milky finish. There was some coconut pulp scattered here and there for some bite. I’m rather impressed with Otai CocoMelon, to say the least.
Aaah, a store that needs absolutely no introduction. A common sight at Mr Coconut would be the long, snaking queues of very patient customers.
It would surprise many new fans of Mr Coconut that said mister has been around for quite some time. A sort-of underground cult favourite for many years, Mr Coconut rose to fame like Ed Sheeran and slowly became a household name. Now, Mr Coconut has crossed over and become mainstream. I mean, have you seen the weekend craze over said cup?
In terms of variety, Mr Coconut has definitely diversified over the years. From their ever-green Coconut Shake (S$4.40), it has spawned the likes of the Coconut Banana Shake (S$5.30) and even their Bubble Coconut Series. It does seem like the possibilities are endless with Mr Coconut.
While there are many outlets across the island at your disposal, I chose the one closest to me. Yes, I’m all about that convenience. I waited for a lull in the crowd before purchasing the highly coveted Coconut Shake.
Just like Shakira’s hips, the crowds don’t lie. I mean, if you’ve had the classic Coconut Shake, you’ll know how good it is. It’s an intensely coconutty shake that’s creamy and fresh. It might be because Mr Coconut uses young Thai coconuts, which are known for their slightly nutty and sweet flavour.
As with any drink, you can choose your sweetness level, but I would urge you to have this au natural. And just maybe, if you squint hard enough, you can imagine yourself on a beach in Bali soaking up the sun.
A fruit juice brand that delights with colourful pastel tropical aesthetics, Fruce has got it down pat and then some. Fruce, meaning the ‘fusion of fruits’, specialises in the eclectic mixture of fruit juices such as their D24 Durian Avocado (S$5.50) and their Peach Melon Nakiato (S$5.70).
One of the newest additions to their lineup is the Fruce Coconut Shake (S$5.70), which is slightly an upgrade from their Coconut Fruce (S$5). Their Coconut Fruce is fresh coconut water that has been filtered for four hours with coconut flesh added. Yes, it’s just pure unadulterated coconut in a cup.
Seeing as it was my first time at Fruce, I decided to order both the Coconut Fruce and Fruce Coconut Shake—you know, for research.
The Fruce Coconut Shake came a little differently than the others. Instead of the usual ice blended, this drink came a little haphazardly dressed with ice cubes and a dollop of ice cream mixed in at the top. A kind of deconstructed coconut shake, if you will. So, the drink tasted a little split.
Before I write this off completely, I gave the drink a mix so that the coconut ice cream and coconut water mingled together. Alright, it’s definitely much better. Still, the coconut flavour could have been more pronounced, but I enjoyed it all the same.
I think the answer is pretty obvious. When it comes to coconut shakes, Mr Coconut reigns supreme. I mean, the queues are really insane, but I would dare say it is so worth it.
Now, if the queues at Mr Coconut ever give you pause, Otai Cocomelon would be a good choice too. Plus, the availability of almond milk and oat milk just makes this millennial heart sing.
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