108 Matcha Saro at The Exchange TRX in KL

After a 2-year hiatus, 108 Matcha Saro is finally back in Malaysia. The renowned dessert shop from Hokkaido, Japan, closed their first store in KLCC rather suddenly and quietly during the Covid-19 pandemic. And their return was just as lowkey with little fanfare. 

Excited to indulge in the same old but delicious matcha desserts, we checked out their new store at the TRX mall to bring you this review.

Matcha Obanyaki & soybean-coated warabi mochi

storefront of 108 matcha saro at TRX

Visiting 108 Matcha Saro felt like catching up with an old friend after a long while. Though frankly speaking, two years is not that big a stretch of time.

Japanese grilled obanyaki in matcha and original flavours

The shop is most recognised for their Obanyaki (RM7.90/piece), the Japanese-style stuffed pancake that they make on the spot. It has become the cornerstone of the menu. 

staff making Japanese obanyaki

The making process is a therapeutic scene to behold. The staff uses a funnel dispenser to pour batter into the grilling moulds. Then, they top it with a generous mound of filling such as red bean paste, matcha custard, and double chocolate. 

As the dough is partially baked and puffs up a little, the unfilled pieces are flipped over the filled ones, creating a mini burger-like ensemble. 

staff flipping matcha obanyaki and hot-stamping each piece with the 108 matcha saro's logo

When you have made something so cherished by the customers, it must be watermarked with your brand name. Thus, each Obanyaki is hot-stamped with the shop’s logo before being put up for sale.

boxes of warabi mochi with mixed flavours, matcha and soya bean

Of course, as a dessert shop, 108 Matcha Saro goes beyond baking pancakes. 

The menu also covers other tea-based treats such as Matcha and Hojicha Soft Serve Parfait (from RM25.90), Warabi Mochi (from RM14.90), and Tea Lattes (from RM14.90).

Here’s our verdict

108 matcha saro matcha obanyaki stuffed with red bean

Matcha and red bean have always been our favourite duo. The shop’s classic Matcha Obanyaki (RM7.90) stuffed with chunky red bean paste earned our nods of approval.

It had a good balance of bitter tea taste and a mildly sweet red bean flavour. The outer layer of the matcha dough was more toasted and chewier, while the inside remained light and spongy. Served fresh and hot, this was undeniably a comforting snack to savour. 

a small cup of warabi mochi with jiggly-soft texture, coated with matcha and soya bean powder

While we already expected the Obanyaki to be delicious, the Cup Warabi Mochi (RM14.90) surprised us. The warabi mochi itself is matcha-flavoured but generously dusted with soybean and matcha powder.

Unlike the typical mochi, this variation was smooth and jelly-soft, with only a slight chewiness. The closest resemblance we could think of was the Japanese raindrop cake. 

matcha parfait with matcha softserve, jellies, and warabi mochi

When we got the 108 Matcha Love Parfait (RM25.90), we knew right away that it was there to make us stare. 

Looking picturesque like a fake food model, the parfait has matcha soft serve topped with warabi mochi and matcha jelly. Underneath the ice cream were even more pieces of jelly.

Taste-wise, it was decent, nothing particularly stood out. But we figured it was more about the variety of textures offered in a single cup: the creamy ice cream, the slightly chewy warabi mochi, and the delicate jelly that effortlessly broke apart in our mouth.

iced hojicha latte

Of course, we didn’t miss their Iced Hojicha Latte (RM16.90) – it would be a sin to skip tea beverages at a tea-focused shop. 

The hojicha latte was one of the most refreshing tea lattes we had ever tried. The subtle milkiness allowed the pure hojicha taste to shine through, which was enhanced by a toasty undertone. 

Tasty matcha desserts with a pure tea taste in KL

obanyaki. matcha parfait, warabi mochi, and iced hojicha latte gathered on a tray

It is no wonder that Obanyaki is a cult favourite. It has the taste and texture that will make you return for more. 

But don’t sleep on the warabi mochi – it deserves a spotlight on the menu. Everything about the dessert is so subtle yet sophisticated, from the squishy texture to the nutty-earthy taste. 

To conclude, 108 Matcha Saro is once again back on our list of matcha go-to spots – we couldn’t be happier about that.

Address: Lot C.OS.06, Level Concourse, The Exchange TRX, Persiaran TRX, Imbi, 55188 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10am-10pm, Daily
Contact: 108 Matcha Saro’s Instagram

Also watch our video feature here:

Photography by Dennis Kong & xinyeegoh.

Cover image adapted from: The Smart Local Malaysia

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