Hong Kong dessert shop using carabao mangoes is finally in the Philippines

March 22, 2019 - 3:16 PM
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Hui Lau Shan blended drink Interaksyon
Hong Kong-based Hui Lau Shan finally opened its first branch at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. (Facebook/Hungry Herl)

A dessert shop in Hong Kong offering drinks and desserts with carabao mangoes as ingredients opened its first branch in the Philippines in time for the humid dry season that just started.

Hui Lau Shan had been sourcing its mangoes from the Philippines for its products since the 1990’s, but it was only recently that it finally brought the franchise here.

Carabao mango is a popular variety of mango endemic to the Philippines. It is mostly found in Guimaras, Davao, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Zambales.

Filipinos expressed their excitement over a post of Hui Lau Shan Philippines that announced its soft opening last March 17 at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong city. Its official opening date is on March 23.

Get ready to enjoy your favorite mango drinks and desserts in less than a week! 🎉 Come visit us during our soft opening on March 17 in SM Megamall. #huilaushanph #bigsmileeveryday #mangopride

Posted by Hui Lau Shan Philippines on Saturday, March 9, 2019

 

From blended drinks, fruit teas to handmade desserts, the brand offers a refreshing healthier alternative to Filipinos’ milk tea favorites.

The brand joined other popular mango-based food products from shops and restaurants such as the Pastel de Mango in Trufa Pasta Bar, Mango Jubilee drink in Jamba Juice and Golden Plus Smoothie in Llao Llao.

Mangoes in the Philippines are unique, according to General Manager William Cheng of the main branch in Hong Kong.

“The mango is a very unique fruit. You try it, and after you try it, you adapt to it,” Cheng said.

Hui Lau Shan started as a dessert specialist in the 1960’s selling Chinese herbal tea. It was only in the 1990’s that it innovated to mix carabao mangoes with the other ingredients.

“We have very good mangoes from the Philippines. Since the 1990’s, we use mangoes from the Philippines. And I must say, Philippine mangoes are very good,” he said.

“It’s also good that the Philippines has an all-year-round supply of mangoes. It really helped us a lot,” he added.

An instant hit in Hong Kong, the brand soon launched its menu of handmade fresh fruit drinks that customers can easily take out. It now has over 260 branches across the globe and still growing.

Cheng said that 100 percent of the mangoes used in Hong Kong came from the Philippines. However, branches from other countries only use carabao mangoes for their seasonal products.

Fat Daddy’s Group Inc., the group behind the popular Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse branches in the country, was responsible for bringing the international brand in the country.

President Freshnaida Versoza of Fat Daddy’s Group said that bringing the Hui Lau Shan to the country is also a way of helping the agriculture industry.

“The sweet taste of our own fruit has helped propel the brand’s growth in and outside Asia. It’s about time that we bring it here to the Philippines. It’s also our way of supporting the country’s agribusiness since Hui Lau Shan is estimated to consume one ton of premium carabao mangoes per week for 10 to 15 stores,” Versoza said.

After the shop’s success in Mandaluyong City, Versoza said she planned to open more branches in popular malls such as SM North Edsa, SM Fairview and SM Mall of Asia.