Monday, December 8, 2014

How to Maximise your Llao Llao Experience

5 proper swirls
So the people who know me have been quite exasperated with my (unhealthy) obsession with Llao Llao. I've been queueing up many times for llao llao to get my llaollao fix, and also dragging people to queue up with me. Of course, I'm not a pro que-er like Serene (who has contributed to this post with her very keen observation skills, out of the countless number of times of queueing up and contributing to Llao Llaos speedy expansion in Singapore).

The branches that I frequent most is the PS branch and Orchard Central branch, and most recently, the United Square branch.

How to Maximise your Llao Llao experience
Usually, there will be an unreasonably long queue. First, I decide if it's really worth queueing, and if I can finish eating my yogurt before my next appointment. If there is a slightest doubt, I would not queue. What can be worse than queueing and wasting 15 minutes of your life than queueing and not getting to the end of the queue? I usually do not queue if the queueing time exceeds 20 minutes unless I am in desperate need of llao llao to satisfy my craving, or if I am with another friend as crazy over llao llao as I am, who would accompany me. Also, my tolerance for queueing at PS is lower as the queue snakes outside the mall, where there is no air conditioning (very important, since I am incredibly heat intolerant).

The Sanum
Out of their many items in the menu, my favourite is the Sanum. I don't believe in queueing up and wasting a part of my life (no matter how short) and then buying the Petit llao (smallest item on the menu). Seriously, if you're queueing up, just do yourself a favour and get what's best on the menu! Plus, it's $6.50 for a whole heap of ice cream yogurt, 3 kinds of fruit, one crunch and one sauce.

The next step would be selecting the ingredients for your Sanum. The server will put a small whirl of yogurt into the cup, and ask you for your choice of crunch.

The crunches available are: sunflower seeds, chocolate muesli, caramelised biscuits (aka caramello biscuits), oreo, colourful pebble cereal, digestive biscuits, almond biscotti, kit kat and a few other offerings.

I don't particularly like chocolate with my yogurt - I feel that the sweet chocolate doesn't go well with the sour yogurt. But I think lots of my friends think otherwise. My favourite topping is the caramelised biscuits - it's quite sweet, finely pounded and goes well with the fruits.

I've tried the chocolate muesli and found it way too hard and pokey (pokes my gums, teeth, tongue and basically makes the whole experience very unhappy). I've also tried crushed oreos but they are chocolate base, I find that they don't go very well with the yogurt.

I haven't tried the sunflower seeds or the almond biscotti, but it would be next in my list to try (even though I am the most unadventurous person ever - I've been eating more or less the same combination  since I've discovered llao llao).

You then have to choose 3 kinds of fruits to add into your Sanum. I am a huge fan of strawberry so I usually get 2 servings of strawberry, and a serving of blueberry. The other fruits available are banana, pineapple, mango, kiwi, rock melon and watermelon. I do like berries very much, but another reason why I choose them over the other fruits (i.e. banana) is that they are generally more expensive, so this will give you more bang for your buck if you are counting your pennies.

Another thing that I have realised, is that if you ask for 2 servings of strawberries, the server just takes 1 full spatula full of strawberries and dump it into your cup. As opposed to asking for strawberry, blueberry and strawberry, where they will scoop two servings of strawberry, and you'd tend to get a bit more strawberry, or any other fruit for that matter. I've tried this a few times and it's consistently more (but may be purely psychological for me, since I'm such a cheapo).

The sauce comes next. There's a choice of caramel, wild strawberry, wild berries, Rafello, white chocolate, chocolate, chocolate crunch, white chocolate, apple sauce etc.

My favourite is wild strawberry, as there are really chunks of wild strawberry inside. Wild berry is way too sweet for milky liking. Rafello really tastes like the rafello chocolate, just that it doesn't go particularly well with the yogurt as it is too sweet and coconutty.

I haven't tried white chocolate or the apple sauce (looks really gross to me) yet.

Chocolate (just the plain old chocolate) gets very hard after being drizzled over your yogurt and at the bottom, it usually just becomes a solid chocolate lump. As I mentioned earlier, I don't like chocolate with my yogurt.
However, I will make a concession for the chocolate crunch, which is a different kind of chocolate. It doesn't harden like how the normal chocolate does, and there's a delightful crunch at the end of it. It doesn't taste purely of chocolate, but has a slight hazelnut taste.

The Top
Lastly, it all boils down to luck as well as keen observation skills. The last bit of the Sanum is the most important bit. It will decide if you're queueing is worth it, and if you did get your moneys worth. I have noticed a very large difference in the amount of soft serve yogurt that is given. You can get 5 really large swirls, to form a grand, towering Sanum, or a really crooked, small, twisted swirls which is barely even 1/4th a properly swirled Sanum. It's all dependent on your server - the swirling skills as well as if they are in a rush.

If I am queueing with a group of friends, and we do get a good server (5 generous swirls), we would usually try to order as a group, so that all of us can get a nice big towering Sanum. However, sometimes, this also backfires as the server feels overwhelmed and tries to make the swirls quickly, which gives us all very small tight swirls and a tiny Sanum. If the first person gets a lousy server, we will split up the order so that there will only be one unfortunate person would get the crooked Sanum.

My Favourite Combination
 Caramello biscuits, strawberry+blueberry+strawberry, and wild strawberry sauce
Do note that I'm not a big fan of chocolate (with the exception of chocolate fudge cake)

My Two Cents Worth
I really don't think that this yogurt can be considered 'healthy' especially since I'm convinced that there's more than 500 calories in a Sanum, but it really tastes so good that I have regular cravings for it! So please don't eat it just because you think it's 'healthy'! You can probably eat this as a not so balanced meal replacement.

I really dislike the way they let their servers leave their long ponytails swishing about - I feel that it's really unhygienic but this is just my personal opinion, I doubt that this really affects the taste of the yogurt. Perhaps it's all part of a marketing ploy, just like Frolick's. But then again maybe it's cos I'm 80 years old and as stickler for hygiene.

I do think their servers work really hard and there's a perpetual queue, but they are mostly efficient and quick and cheerful. So kudos to them!

The Branches
Marina Link #B1-04 Marina Square Shopping Mall

Plaza Singapura #01-22A (opposite Bread Talk) - you can see the depressing queue when you drive into the carpark. My heart sinks each time the queue snakes outside

Singapore Polytechnic
500 Dover Road Polytechnic Food Court 3 (lucky poly students!)

313 Somerset
313 Orchard Road #B3-55 - incredibly long queue, I haven't been back for a while cos the queue is ridiculous

United Square
101 Thomson Road #01-K14 - My new favourite outlet - cos it's out of CBD!

West Mall
#01-K6 1 Bukit Batok Central Link

1 Lower Kent Ridge Road #01-37

Anyway, for other cheapos (like me) out there, there's this economic rice post that's worth a read! Same psychology applies for choosing ingredients for Sanum!


Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow said...

lol! This entry is hilarious!!!! LOVE IT!

Anonymous said...

There's a new branch at Kent Ridge!

m said...

RERG: totally need to maximise my experience cos I've wasted so much of my life queueing for it!
Anon: in NUH! I forgot about it - will update the post. thanks!