FRNK isn’t built to milk the trend

May 23, 2019 – Vinz Lamorena

The easiest way to spot a milk tea stall is to look for a long line of people. The craze hasn’t died down one bit, and there’s no way we’re bidding goodbye to our constant boba cravings anytime soon. Local milk tea shops have long expanded their marked territories and various brands from Taiwan and Hong Kong have entered the country in the past two years.

To simply put, today’s level of competition in the beverage scene is fierce. The question now is: Should new brands ride on the trend or risk the introduction of novelty products? Manila’s newest milk bar chose the latter.

FRNK Milk Bar is opening its doors to the public with an entirely different menu. Found in the halls of Glorietta 3, Makati, FRNK offers 29 unique drinks that each embodies a fascination on layers—in colors, textures, and tastes. While the drinks have familiar base ingredients like matcha, dark chocolate, and brown rice to flavor the richness of their milk choices, its featured combinations break the monotony of what is being offered elsewhere.

Developing this Japanese milk bar concept took barely half a year, with all of FRNK’s recipes built from scratch. Their milk drinks truly encapsulate the different flavor combinations that are famous across different Japanese cities, innovating well-loved traditional tastes. It’s not just reimagining milk, it’s a reinvention.

FRNK also took time to understand the relationship of ingredients with caloric content without sacrificing the blend of flavors. They created low-calorie crave-worthy drinks for everyone to enjoy. Not only that, they’re making plant-based alternatives more accessible in the market. Yes, you can choose to customize any of their drinks with almond or brown rice milk.

They also have some pastries to accompany their wide range of drinks, which include Japanese Chess Cookies (P75), Flourless Kokoa Cake (P85), Flourless Chizu Cake (P105), and Houjicha Bakery Canelé (P75).

Not everyone will be a fan of the novelty of ingredients they use, that’s for sure. But those who are in love with Japanese flavors are bound to find their new favorite hangout. This milk bar’s aesthetic reminds us a lot of Seoul’s Stylenanda, too! That only means every corner was made to be an Insta-background.

Here are the alike team’s FRNK drink picks:

Frozen Cereal Miruku (P150)

This drink will definitely be giving Mumufuku’s soft-serve a run for its money. It’s the only one on the menu that doesn’t reveal the calories, but discovering just how good it is with every sip will make you happily settle for a cheat day. It’s extremely rich and creamy, a milky wonderland sweetened with toasted cornflakes and almond crumble. It is also served with a chunky cereal cookie, a buttery shortbread with a chewy center.

Kokoa Spiced Popsicle (P115)

A hot cup of fresh milk with notes of cinnamon is served with a solid dark chocolate sphere. It’s quite a delightful experience to see the chunk of chocolate melt into the light and milky liquid concoction. This slightly sweet chocolate blend will definitely remind you of childhood.

Kokoa Magma (P95/P105)

Imagine your favorite chocolate tablea—it’s smooth and rich. Now imagine it’s served over ice. That’s exactly how the Kokoa Magma tastes like—bold, bittersweet, with a welcome grainy malt texture. The drink is drizzled with dark chocolate sauce and has some almond crunch in the mix.

Mochi Beri Chizu (P110/P145)

We all know how good cheese is with milk tea, but mochi? Boy, that’s a revelation. It gives it a distinct chewy bite. The FRNK team actually recommends that you add mochi to your chosen beverages for its addictive soft texture—definitely an insider tip we took to heart and loved! The Mochi Beri Chizu has a light milk tea base with just a hint of strawberry jam, and topped by a dollop of frothy cheese. It’s so good you can finish it in an instant—just remember to mix it well!

Midnight Ichigo (P100/P125)

The strong and complex taste of matcha lingers in every sip. Its body of flavor is reminiscent to the high-grade matcha powder used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, balanced by a tart base of chunky strawberry jam. Definitely made for the hardcore matcha lovers out there.

Ichigo (P115/P140)

The fusion of green tea and strawberry makes a refreshing zesty drink. While the combination of flavors will remind you of the good ol’ yogurt, the sinkers make this a standout. Another FRNK innovation in the milk drink game are its basil drops. These are basically basil seeds, which resemble the look and taste of chia, that are contained in fruity squares of gelatin. It’s an interesting replacement to the classic boba sinkers—it’s FRNK’s secret to less calories, too!

Photos by Vinz Lamorena