PlayMade vs KOI @ Waterway Point

playmade punggol waterway point

PlayMade opened its fifth SG stall at Waterway Point last week and the 1-for-1 opening promo ensured a continuous line of folks queuing up to hand over their moolah. But the real test, of course, is whether PlayMade will continue to be popular once the promotion is over. I popped by around 1.30pm today to try their Earl Grey Milk Tea and see if people are still flocking to PlayMade or if they’ve returned to their old favorite which is KOI. In the picture above, you can see a handful of customers waiting for their drinks outside PlayMade. And… here’s the queue outside KOI…

There’s all of just one lady…

koi waterway point

As for PARTEA nearby, well, the staff are probably having a party of their own since there are no customers. Maybe LiHo downstairs is doing a little better since it’s not located near PlayMade.

Well, fun times are ahead. Will PlayMade be able to take over the crown as the most popular bubble tea store in Waterway Point or will KOI be able to take back the lead? It all remains to be seen.

Truth be told, I think KOI’s Yakult Green Tea is better than PlayMade’s and GongCha’s Earl Grey Milk Tea beats PlayMade’s too. I actually haven’t found a favorite among PlayMade’s beverage offerings yet. XD But I like the Chrysanthemum pearls. If they take it off the menu, then I might stop going to PlayMade.

I think KOI should take immediate action to win customers back or else it’ll feel the pressure – I’m sure rent isn’t cheap at Waterway Point. I’ve seen too many stores close for good. Some things KOI can do would be:

  1. A 1-for-1 Valentine’s Day drink promotion
  2. Bigger cups. I love the XL size at R&B Tea. I think 1-litre cups are great for sharing. And you can charge a premium; people still think it’s worth it.
  3. Funky toppings. Sure, it might be following in PlayMade’s footsteps but since KOI’s drinks are already good, it might as well work on the toppings. Mango juice pops / lychee juice pops, anyone?

PlayMade Opens @ Waterway Point – Other Bubble Tea Stores Can Get Ready To ‘Close Shop’

playmade bubble tea waterway point

Probably because Punggol is Singapore’s youngest estate, you can find lots of bubble tea brands here. The newest entrant is PlayMade, which just opened today, drawing the crowds with their 1-for-1 promotion. I’ve tried just two of their drinks (*burp* so full already) and I’ve got a hunch that they’ll be doing pretty well in the days to come. I ordered the Taiwan Milk Tea (and added Chrysanthemum pearls) and the Orange Pulp Green Tea (with Pink Cactus Pearls) that you see in the picture above. I think the drinks are decent, definitely comparable with KOI’s and their pearls are DELICIOUS! Yes, the pink ones are gorgeous but the chrysanthemum ones are strangely addictive! Maybe I’ll try the Black Sesame Pearls and Burnt Caramel Pearls next time. For now, I’m loving the Chrysanthemum ones.

This particular outlet has said ‘Goodbye’ to Blackball and also Ah Ma Homemade Cake:

playmade punggol

I have a feeling PlayMade might be here to stay.

Besides the 1-for-1 promotion with their top 5 best-selling drinks (so clever to offer only the good stuff to new customers), there’s also tumbler and straw giveaways if you are among the first 20 customers to spend $5 at 1030am, 3pm or 8pm (thus drawing the crowd during off-peak hours). *Of course, if you’re going for the 1-for-1 promo then you’re not eligible for the freebies.

playmade punggol promotions

They’re also giving away free playmade balloons so your kid can walk around the mall and help them advertise their new store. 😀

The outlet also boasts a self-service kiosk on the right (see the 2nd picture above) and the staff make the pearls behind a glass panel on the left. <- Inspired by BreadTalk and Din Tai Fung?

Here’s the menu:

playmade menu

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I’m definitely happy about this new bubble tea store opening at Waterway Point. I’d say many of the existing ones are getting rather comfortable / complacent already. So it’s definitely time to have competition to shake things up.

KOI has been doing really well the whole time – everything runs like clockwork and they maintain their standards. Drinks can be a little pricey but they kind of make up for it with free drinks during their members’ birthday month.

LiHo’s quite an oddity. I’ve been to the store quite a few times when they should have opened already but staff still aren’t ready yet.

Partea’s not very friendly. Once I bought some drinks from them with a Fave voucher and couldn’t customize my order – it’s take it or leave it. Made a complaint via their FB page, they asked for my number and never got back to me. I’ll be very surprised if they’re still here at the end of the year.

Mr Bean and I Love Taimei also offer bubble ‘drinks’ and so far, no complaints from me.

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PlayMade is located very near to KOI at B1 (in-between the East and West wings), sandwiched between ToastBox and CRAVE nasi lemak. 🙂