S$5.80 National Day pandan kaya drink by Swensen's S'pore: Not great but not as bad as you think

Try once is enough.

Julia Yee | July 29, 2023, 11:08 AM

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Swensen's Singapore has rolled out a limited edition menu ahead of the National Day festivities.

The seasonal "SG58 special" spread consists of a Dry Laksa Linguine (S$15.80), Nasi Lemak Burger (S$15.80), Salted Egg Yolk Chicken (S$8.80), and Pandan Kaya Cloud drink (S$5.80).

Photo by Swensen's

When my colleagues turned their noses up at the Pandan Kaya Cloud, an innate sense of defiance arose within me, prompting me to head down to my nearest Swensen's to prove them wrong.

Taste test

First off, here's what the drink looked like.

Photo by Julia Yee

It looked like a milkshake with whipped cream and coconut flakes on top, and what seemed like pearls suspended mid-drink.

The first sip wasn't mind-blowing. To be fair, it tastes exactly how you'd imagine it to taste — like someone put some milk, pandan cake, and a piece of Ya Kun kaya toast into a blender and blended the heck out of it.

The pandan and kaya flavours come more as an aftertaste.

Oh, the chewy things aren't pearls — they resemble kanten fruit jelly.

Photo by Julia Yee

But the dense concoction and the shape of the jelly made it so that my sips kept getting interrupted by jelly stuck in the straw, so much so that I got fed up and decided to abandon the drink in favour of my food for a bit.

On hindsight, I should have asked for a bigger straw.

Going back to the drink while eating was a mistake, as it didn't pair well with anything savoury, at least in my opinion.

Those without a sweet tooth might want to pass on this.

It's not that it's unbearably sweet, but it's like the spiciness in anything mala — it builds.

Gif by Julia Yee

In conclusion, the Pandan Kaya Cloud drink is not as bad as my judgemental colleagues made it out to be, but would fair better as a solo dessert rather than a meal accompaniment.

Top photos by Julia Yee and Swensen's