Tong Sui: Picture-perfect pudding shop attracts repeat customers


General Manager Kevin Ng poses for a portrait in the new downtown Palo Alto location of coconut pudding store Tong Sui. “A lot of first timers that came and tried us and then return all the time,” Ng said. “I think eventually, they [customers] are more into the fitness and into the healthy lifestyle.”

Andy Robinson and Melody Xu

Cheerful mint green and white, the accent of light wood and upbeat music make up the atmosphere of downtown dessert shop, Tong Sui.

Tong Sui isn’t “just another boba shop” downtown, General Manager Kevin Ng said. Rather, the establishment, which opened in October on Bryant Street, defies expectations by specializing in coconut pudding of nearly 30 different varieties.

“When we first started out, it [our specialty] was not boba, Ng said. “It [boba] was here to attract more customers.”

According to Ng, founder Debby Wang was inspired by dessert-making traditions in Hong Kong and her background working in a Michelin Star kitchen. Looking for a healthier dessert brand, she founded Tong Sui in the Bay Area.

“When we first started out, it [our specialty] was not boba. It [boba] was here to attract more customers.” 

— Kevin Ng, Tong Sui general manger

Tong Sui prides itself on using no artificial syrups, preservatives and gelatin, as well as only organic and fresh produce, Ng said. Its signature coconut mix is made from fresh coconut water and organic milk.

Beyond its newest location in Palo Alto, Tong Sui is a local chain with locations in Redwood City, Sunnyvale and San Mateo.

Popular items at the shop include the Mango Mochi Coconut and Earl Grey puddings. Tong Sui also features seasonal items for Halloween and other occasions that have become popular with customers.

Verde reviewed four of Tong Sui’s signatures and top sellers, including two coconut puddings and two drinks.

Mango Mochi Coconut Pudding ($7.95)

A staple among the Coconut puddings, this pudding features a relatively muted — yet sweet and refreshing — taste of mango and smooth coconut base. This simple yet delightful item is perfect for anyone looking to try one of Tong Sui’s signature items for the first time.

Photo: Andy Robinson

Black Sesame Coconut Pudding ($9.95)

Topped with two walnuts, it is easy to marvel at the ever-so-sweet black and gray black sesame placed atop the white coconut pudding base. The pudding is viscous and sturdy, almost similar to the texture of a hard-boiled egg, but rest assured this treat is worth a try!

Photo: Andy Robinson

Coconut Ice Bomb ($7.95)

The Coconut Ice Bomb, which Ng called Tong Sui’s “specialty drink,” is perfect for any fans of the tropical fruit. It’s topped with coconut meat, with crystal boba at the bottom, and has an impressively fresh and sharp flavor.

Photo: Andy Robinson

Peach & Plum Cheezo ($8.95)

Made with plum and white peach, this is one of Tong Sui’s most popular drinks, according to Ng. The fruit tasted fresh and sweet — and combined with gel and topped with cream — the drink came together into a unique, flowery and tropical mix.

Photo: Andy Robinson