Midday ice cream breaks have always been a thing and someone needs to start an ice cream tour ASAP. We tried seven different ice cream places and came down with a mild brain freeze, but it was so worth it.
A firm favourite from this charming, small-batch artisanal gelateria is the pistachio gelato. Smooth, rich and completely worth the calories. Pair it with the strawberry basil sorbet for a bright, fruity hit. Brownie points to the latter for being vegan-friendly.
The flavours rotate often but you won’t be hard-pressed to find something that piques your interest. Gelato makers Jack Chan and Ingrid Lim have previous F&B experience and they take the familiar and re-introduce them in unexpected ways. For example, the savoury shoyu flavor transpired after dining at a Japanese restaurant.
Spend your bonus on the seasonal specials like the boozy eggnog, bourbon-infused apple pie, a spiced chocolate orange gelato concoction with cranberries and caramelised nuts, and Who Gives a Fig! (love the name) is whipped up using brandy and caramelised figs. For vegans, there’s mulled wine and A Gingery Affair, which is made using chocolate with ginger snaps and a ginger-caramel swirl.
238 River Valley Road; Tel: 6734-7855. Prices start from $5.
The Dark Gallery
One for chocolate lovers, The Dark Gallery has over 20 chocolate flavours on rotation, and they’re big on using single origin chocolate – chocolate made from a single variety cacao bean harvested from one region.
The new single origin 88 per cent Sur del Lago Dark Chocolate flavour takes it up a notch. At 88 per cent, it is more intense than the cafe’s signature 80 per cent dark chocolate. Balance out the flavours with vanilla or a milder, fruitier Tanzania chocolate.
Available in a cup or cone but if you really want to treat yourself, get a bowl-shaped waffle for an additional $1.
Takashimaya Shopping Centre #B2-29. Ngee Ann City 391 Orchard Road; Tel: 6935-2603. Prices start from $5.
Homegrown Leeu SG’s Singapore-inspired creations - The Esplanade and The Merlion – might just be the most patriotic desserts around. It’s helmed by husband-and-wife duo Jenn Wei Yeo, 32 and Valerie Liu, 31.
The Esplanade is an ice cream tart with fresh D24 durian ice cream at its core. Thick, creamy and sweet (with a slight bitter aftertaste), D24 durians have been touted as a gateway introduction to the king of fruits. So it only makes sense that that’s the pick for the ice cream centre, encased in buttercream icing and supported by a biscuit base.
Not a durian fan? No biggie. The Merlion ice popsicle draws from crowd-pleasing strawberry and vanilla flavours. The popsicle is decked out in red-and-white national colours and tastes like a strawberry cheesecake.
The Esplanade Mall, #02-07, 8 Raffles Avenue; Tel: 9489-7433. Prices start from $4.80.
Award-winning chef Janice Wong’s ice creams are as gourmet as her artistic chocolates and desserts. Unique flavour combinations like Rice Lemongrass, Pandan Gula Melaka, Blue Lavender and Sake Kasu are available at the Paragon outlet.
Rich in flavour and thick in consistency, the Pandan Gula Melaka will hit all your kuih sweet spots. The fragrance of the Pandan reduces the sticky sweetness of the palm sugar and combined with the creamy ice cream base, it tastes almost like a creamy ondeh ondeh.
Paragon Mall, 290 Orchard Rd. Prices start from $5.
Birds of Paradise
This petite gelato store is serving up big flavours, from an earthy Sea Salt Hojicha (roasted green tea) to a fresh Peach and Rose Sorbet, the flavours are all unique. There are 12-15 flavours, mostly fixed but with surprise additions every now and then.
Rose and lavender are common dessert flavours but at Birds of Paradise, owner Edwin Lim, 36, wants the white chrysanthemum to take centrestage. This gelato consists of a milky base infused with the aroma of the white chrysanthemum flower. Tiny cacao nibs spread throughout the ice cream add a slight bitterness that brings out the distinct floral flavour.
Their thyme-infused cones are a must try as they complement the botanical flavours and add an herbaceous layer to every flavour.
63 E Coast Rd, #01-05; Tel: 9678-6092. Prices start from $4.70.
Milk and Honey
Gelato stores nestled in the busy heartlands are where you’ll find flavour gems. Popular among Bedok residents, the flavours offered by this store are a twist on local and classic ice cream flavours. Located near the Bedok 85 hawker center, this is where you should head to after a greasy meal.
Their signature flavour, Milk and Honey, is a subtle milky ice cream with honey streaks. The milky flavour is present but doesn’t overpower the sticky sweetness of the honey.
A stand out flavour would be the Salty Malty, which is a Horlicks-based ice cream with sea salt. The sea salt cuts right through the richness of the malty Horlicks and you literally get the best of both worlds. Horlicks lovers, you’re bound to go back for more.
86 Bedok North Street 4, #01-179. Prices start from $3.50.
Sure, Shaw building may look a little dingy as of late but Tom’s Palette livens up the place with their multitude of flavours.
From earl grey to oreo ice cream, this store has it all.
Although a classic like rum and raisin has faded into the shadows of much more innovative flavours like spicy chocolate or thai tea in recent years, these guys serve a mean rum and raisin - you can actually taste the alcohol. Also, the raisins are plump and not rubbery.
Earl grey seems to be a crowd favourite as the tub is usually always scooped clean before the day ends. Like most earl grey desserts, the ice cream is fragrant and comes with a slightly bitter taste. Don't worry, the bitterness doesn't actually interfere with your sweet treat expectations so it's definitely worth a try.
Their latest addition is a mala chocolate ice cream - don't hate on it before you try it.
FYI: They make all their ice creams in house and from scratch.
100 Beach Rd, #01-25. Prices start from $3.50.
This story was first published in the Decemeber Issue of our magazine.