When it comes to dessert in Singapore there are so many options, that it’s surprising I’m not a fatty boomba already. Between the many local options, including Chinese, Malay and Indian desserts, to the variety of western desserts available, there is surely something for everyone. Today I will be looking at two of my local favourites, the good old ice cream sandwich which is available on street corners everywhere, and the classic Ice Kachang, which comes in many varieties and is a perfect treat on a hot day.
Now my friends in Australia, may be familiar with the ice cream sandwich their, as a serve of ice cream smooshed between two soft chocolate biscuit pieces, but in Singapore it can be a little bit closer to a real sandwich than what you might expect.
An ice cream sandwich, made of a slice of Raspberry Ripple (Stroberi) ice cream served in a piece of Rainbow coloured bread. This delicious dessert is sold on street corners everywhere in Singapore, by smiling Uncles and Aunties who usually have a large ice chest attached to the side car or a motorcycle or bicycle, filled with a variety of flavours of ice cream. The ice cream is cut from big rectangular blocks by a knife or cleaver and comes in a variety of flavours ranging from your standard chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, to more interesting options such as sweetcorn, durian and redbean. The bread is coloured to make it more appealing as a dessert but for those who aren’t keen on bread and ice cream together, you are able to have it served in a cup or between two wafer pieces. The most you should pay for this wonderful treat is $1.
Ais Kacang is another local dessert found in food courts throughout Singapore and Malaysia, the name literally means Ice Beans, and in its regular form this dessert is a bowl of red beans, attap chee (delicious palm seeds) and agar-agar (jelly cubes) covered in a mountain of shaved ice, then drizzled with three colours of syrup and finally topped with sweetened condensed milk. Different stalls will include different ingredients and so sometimes you may find sweetcorn, cendol, grass jelly, nata de coco or aloe vera also in the mix. A basic Ice Kachang will cost you a $1.50 – $2.00, but there are many alternatives which may cost up to $3 or $4 such as Durian Ice Kachang (shown below), Peanut Ice Kachang or even Ice Cream Ice Kachang.
This bowl of Durian Ice Kachang was from a dessert stall in Ang Mo Kio, and came topped with a serving of sweetened Durian Custard. If you’re not already aware of Durian, it is a sweet but extremely pungent fruit sold throughout S.E. Asia, and in fact its smell is so strong that it is illegal to carry it in many places in Singapore including taxis, public transport, and indoors in many buildings. Durian is a fruit with no middle ground, people either love or hate it with a passion, and once you taste it you will know about it for hours afterwards. This is one is definitely only for the very brave, so if you’re a little unsure I recommend you stick to a regular Ice Kachang instead.