To some, taro, salted egg, meat floss and sweet potato may seem like unorthodox ingredients to add to desserts, but for me, they are a few of my all-time favourite dessert elements. Sadly, I find them to be uncommon and quite difficult to come by in Singapore. Hence, when I walked past Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi one day, I was instantly drawn in by its menu.
Located in a less crowded part of Chinatown, Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi is what I would consider to be a hidden gem. You’ll spot it when you look out for its vibrant, hot pink store exterior, which sticks out among the more neutral-coloured shops surrounding it.
On the inside, the shop has a much simpler storefront, with calm, pale pink walls and minimalistic white counters and shelves.
The owner, who is from China, told me that she had learnt to make desserts on the internet and would make them for her children. After a while, she decided to start selling them online, and in early 2022, she opened Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi’s physical store.
With over 30 desserts on the menu, including mochi, cake boxes, cake rolls and yoghurt drinks, I was spoilt for choice.
What I tried at Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi
I first tried the store’s titular Snowball Mochis, which were available in 12 different flavours. The Purple Sweet Potato Snowball Mochi (S$3.60) caught my attention the most, as I had never seen a sweet potato mochi before.
I was pleasantly surprised at how hefty the mochi was, and even more surprised at the generous amounts of cream filling contained within the stretchy mochi skin.
Like all good mochi, the Purple Sweet Potato Snowball Mochi was incredibly soft and sticky with a satisfying bouncy texture. The cream had a light yet noticeable sweet potato taste, and it tasted natural and unprocessed. There were even tiny bits of sweet potato within the cream!
While I don’t think the sweet potato taste was strong enough for my liking, this mochi was still a great snack.
Next, I tried the Sands Chocolate Snowball Mochi (S$4), which unexpectedly, was white in colour. When I bit into the mochi, I was a little confused to find that the cream was white too. The only evident chocolate element was the whole ferrero rocher piece hidden within the cream.
The cream tasted a little like white chocolate with strong milky tones, which I really liked. I found the addition of a whole ferrero rocher to be a bit of an odd choice, as I would have preferred if the chocolate elements were more spread out within the mochi.
As a non-chocolate mochi, I enjoyed this very much, but it probably wouldn’t satisfy any cocoa cravings.
I moved on to the Box Cakes, which attracted me with their vibrant, colourful appearances. The two box cakes that stood out to me the most were the Taro Tiramisu Box Cake (S$13.80) and the Pandan Floss Box Cake (S$8.80).
The Taro Tiramisu Box Cake was layered with coffee-soaked chiffon cake, heavy cream and taro paste. The combination of coffee and taro initially seemed very strange to me, but as I took my first bite, I was blown away.
I must compliment Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi’s taro paste, as it was strong and natural in taste with an adequate amount of sweetness. It was thick and creamy, which complemented the slightly runnier texture of the heavy cream.
The chiffon cake layers were generously soaked in coffee, giving them a strong, bitter taste. The bitterness of the coffee was well balanced out by the moderately sweet taro and cream.
While I would never have previously imagined combining yam with coffee, I must say that Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi has sold me on this pairing.
The Pandan Floss Cake Box stunned me with its bright contrasting colours. Made with pandan chiffon cake, seaweed meat floss and coconut cream, this cake reminded me heavily of Singaporean flavours. The combination of meat floss with pandan cake was yet another interesting dynamic that I had never tried.
Once again, Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi impressed me with its unconventional creation. The pandan chiffon cake was light and fluffy, and paired perfectly with the aromatic coconut cream. The meat floss added another dimension of flavour to the cake, as it was savoury and slightly salty to bring out the wonderful fragrance of the pandan and coconut.
While I do find the prices of the cake boxes to be pretty steep in relation to their small sizes, I must say that Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi had the best box cakes I have ever had, and I would gladly return for more, regardless of price.
I was most excited to try the Salted Egg Yolk Meat Floss Mochi Cake (S$4.20), as it combined all my favourite Eastern ingredients into one. I’ll admit, I was a little doubtful of the number of ingredients squeezed into a single cake, and was worried that the elements would overwhelm each other.
Upon cutting open the Salted Egg Yolk Meat Floss Mochi Cake, I was greeted by a gorgeous, satisfying mochi pull, formed by a thin layer of mochi within the layers of cake. Bits of vibrant orange ground salted egg sat within the cake.
The cake itself was dense and fluffy, and the mochi provided a nice soft textural contrast. The floss coating the cake was chewy and flavourful, yet did not overwhelm the other elements. Unlike other meat floss cakes I’ve had, this one did not contain mayonnaise, making it taste somewhat healthier and less indulgent.
I found the salted egg to be a little milder than I would have liked, and I would have preferred a more generous amount of salted egg yolk. Better yet, I would’ve loved it if Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi experimented with using salted egg sauce for an extra lava effect.
Given its rather big size and heftiness, this cake is most definitely worth the S$4.20 price tag.
The last dessert I had from Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi was the Small White Rabbit Swiss Roll (S$9), which also happened to be the last one available for the day. Lucky me!
This swiss roll was wrapped in a wrapper bearing the same design as the White Rabbit candy, making it look like a gigantic version of the popular sweet.
Unwrapping the paper revealed a snow white swiss roll containing white cream, pudding and bits of crushed oreo.
The White Rabbit candy was one of my favourites growing up, and Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi managed to perfectly replicate that nostalgic taste into its White Rabbit Swiss Roll. The soft cream had a lovely milky aroma, and the block of pudding within was smooth and silky. Both tasted identical to White Rabbit candy, much to my delight.
The extra addition of crushed oreo was perfect, as it added a bit of cocoa flavour to the milky swiss roll, making it taste a little more exciting without distracting it from the White Rabbit elements. Despite being inspired by candy, I was most impressed with how the White Rabbit Swiss Roll was not too sweet, contrary to its appearance.
I found the S$9 price point to be pretty reasonable, and was once again impressed by Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi.
I walked into Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi slightly sceptical because of the price of its desserts. However, I can safely say that I have been thoroughly impressed by this humble little store. I was amazed at the high quality of the products and the incredibly inventive flavour combinations.
Now, whenever I go to Chinatown, I will be sure to pop by Xiao Gege Snowball Mochi again for a quick dessert fix.
Expected damage: S$4 – S$20 per pax