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Food Spy

Ice-cold ways to beat the heat

These shops are the reason why there’s never a bad time for ice cream in Singapore.

TEXT: RAYMOND TAN

The bad news: Singapore’s weather typically ranges from warm to … well, warmer.

The good news: That’s great if you’re an ice cream lover.

Gone are the days when your only options for frozen desserts were mass-produced supermarket treats. Over the past decade, homegrown ice cream brands have proliferated all over Singapore, and there is now a wide variety of ice cream shops in Singapore with different niches and specialties. We suss out some of the best ones to check out.

BIRDS OF PARADISE

Photo: Raymond Tan

Birds of Paradise quickly shot to fame when it opened in Katong in 2016. It has since opened a second outlet in Jewel and even garnered a recommendation from Michelin Singapore. They are the only ice cream concept that specialises heavily in botanical-inspired flavours, using spices, herbs and even flowers, as ingredients for their frozen treats.

Their bestselling flavours are the light, floral White Chrysanthemum and the fruity-minty Strawberry Basil. We recommend ordering your ice cream with a cone instead of the cup – their cones are thyme-infused and hence, extra fragrant.

Just a warning, though: Expect extremely long queues on the weekends.

CREAMIER

Photo: Raymond Tan

Sometimes, less is more. Creamier doesn’t really bother with newfangled or esoteric flavours, instead keeping to more tried-and-tested favourites. But their classic flavours are done perfectly. Bestsellers here include Earl Grey Lavender, Salted Gula Melaka and Blue Pea Vanilla. Their Roasted Pistachio flavour is a must try – creamy, nutty, and sweet without being cloying. Get your ice cream with their fluffy and fragrant waffles.

DOPA DOPA

Photo: Raymond Tan

The flavours at Dopa Dopa are often on rotation, but the one that we almost always end up going for is Roasted Pistacchio, which is appropriately nutty. Their Hazelnut ice cream is also delicious – if you find it too sweet, wash it down with one of the many flavours of tea they offer, preferably with something light and floral like Osmanthus.

Dopa Dopa offers the option to have your ice cream wedged in the middle of a croissant so if you’re not in a rush, ditch the cup or cone and get your ice cream fix in the form of a sandwich.

ISLAND CREAMERY

Photo: Island Creamery

Local flavours can be luxurious too. Case in point: Island Creamery’s many distinctly Singapore-inspired concoctions. Their signature Mao Shan Wang durian ice cream stands out from other durian ice creams with its creamy texture, rich flavour, and unapologetically durian-esque fragrance. The durians used in the recipe are sourced from a well-known store in Ghim Moh and are very fresh – hence the strong aroma. Other must-try locally inspired flavours include Chendol – coconut ice cream sprinkled with red bean, pandan jelly and swirls of gula melaka –  and Teh Tarik, made with freshly brewed black tea blended with evaporated milk.

BUTTERKNIFE FOLK

Photo: Raymond Tan

If you’re looking for nostalgic flavours such as Milo Dinosaur or Teh Tarik, you can’t beat Butterknife Folk. Of all the ice cream shops on this list, none offer as many local flavours – more than 40! – as them. The gelato specialist serves an eclectic range, including savoury and boozy creations, but we recommend you try one of their uniquely Singaporean flavours, such as Ondeh Ondeh, Rojak, and – wait for this – Chicken Rice, which contains dark soy sauce and chicken rice chili swirled into the gelato base.

THE HUMBLE SCOOP

Photo: The Humble Scoop

Going local is the name of the game at The Humble Scoop, a modest ice cream parlour tucked away in the basement of Katong Shopping Centre. The ice cream here is all homemade and many flavours feature a local or nostalgic element. Popular flavours include In-Kueh-dible, a salted coconut and gula melaka creation; Cereal Killer, which is made with cereal and milk; and Milo. There’s also a range of sorbets available, including guava with sour plum.

KIND KONES

Photo: Raymond Tan

Kind Kones’ frozen treats are perfect for socially-conscious diners. They’re made without dairy, eggs, refined sugar, preservatives, and additives. Their entire array of ice cream is vegan-friendly; some are even keto-friendly. They even offer gluten-free options.

Their flavours are rich and robust, and certainly don’t come across as “diet ice-cream”. Stand-out flavours include the Keto Chocolate Sorbet, Coffee Chocolate Fudge Swirl, Pandan Gula Melaka, and Passionfruit Sorbet. Have your ice cream together with a vegan brownie for the ultimate guilt-free indulgence.

MOOSH SOFTSERVE

Considering how airy and light soft-serve ice creams are, it’s easy to dismiss them as mild, unsatisfying versions of their creamier and heavier cousins. Moosh Softserve breaks all the stereotypes of soft serves.

Light in texture but big on flavour, their soft-serve ice creams make for a satisfying cold treat. At any time, Moosh Softserve offers four to five flavours of soft serves, and bestselling ones include Ondeh Ondeh, Nutella Brownies Cheesecake, and Smores (pictured). Their soft serves are embellished with a generous toppings, such as marshmallows and cookie crumble, for added texture and fun.

UDDERS

This homegrown ice cream franchise is one of the brands responsible for bringing about Singapore’s  ice cream renaissance in the early 2010s. They have an array of unique flavours, such as the boozy Baileys & Bourbon, the locally inspired Champion Chendol, and the decadent Snickers Mars Honeycomb Vanilla. Have your ice cream together with their uber fluffy, ultra-crispy signature waffles, and you’ll find yourself in dessert heaven.

FAT CAT ICE CREAM BAR

Just as its name suggests, Fat Cat is a shop that wears its mischievous heart on its sleeves. They’re one of the most adventurous and experimental ice cream parlours in Singapore, with a wide variety of flavours that range from classic (Chocolate, Vanilla) and alcoholic (Butter Beer) to local-inspired (Durian) and floral (Osmanthus Honey).

Many flock here to try their smoked ice cream flavours, such as Hay & Honey and Smoked Peppermint, which have a savoury element to them. The ice cream bar is also well-known for their pillowy-light charcoal waffles, which can be crowned with toppings of your choice, including salted egg yolk custard sauce and maple syrup.

COOLMAN FROYO

Image: Coolman Froyo

From the signature all-time-favourite parfait to a scrumptious Nut-Tell-Lah Waffle, chill out with Coolman Froyo on a sunny day, and enjoy 20 per cent off your desserts! Refresh your palate with their amazing variety of smoothies, milkshakes, fruit juices and frozen yogurt.

To unlock the promo code, download the HomeTeamNS mobile app, then download the Coolman Froyo app to place your order. Don’t forget to enter the promo code before making your payment! This promotion is valid till Dec 31, 2021.

Don’t miss out on HomeTeamNS promotions! Get first dibs on our Amazing Treats, from dining to wellness.

Categories
Lifestyle

Scaling new heights at Adventure HQ

Run, climb, hang: We talk to an Adventure Specialist to discover how you can prepare to be the GOAT at Adventure HQ

TEXT: NICHOLAS TAN

PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS

If you’re planning a visit to Adventure HQ at HomeTeamNS Khatib, it’s only natural to want to make the most of your time there. This involves being able to confidently tackle its many challenges! 

No fear, we’re here to help with some insider info on what it’ll take to be the king of the hill at Adventure HQ. Who knows? You might just find this as a fun catalyst to the start of a new fitness journey!

THE DEMANDS OF A TRUE ‘NINJA WARRIOR’

Adventure HQ's Urban Climb allows Adventurers to explore natural competitiveness and love of adrenaline in a safe environment.

For starters, expect plenty of moving about at Adventure HQ; you’ll be in for a good cardio workout. That’s not all – mastering the various stations also requires the use of practically all your major muscle groups.

Take rock climbing at obstacles like the Urban Climb, Rock Wall and Boulder, for instance. According to Mr Syahmi Azmi, an Adventure Executive at Adventure HQ, these activities can help you burn up to 900 calories in an hour, activating your forearms, back, shoulders and core leg muscles.

Each rock-climbing wall features sport climbing ‘routes’ that range from being highly accessible for beginners to satisfyingly challenging for wall veterans – giving regulars a clear progression of one’s skill and strength over multiple visits.

Mr Syahmi says each of the venue’s attractions tests your fitness level differently.

 “Adventure HQ helps one develop flexibility, strength and mental resilience in a safe, enjoyable and gratifying way. It’s a great way to exercise without you even realising it!” he said. 

 With this in mind, you might want to start hitting the treadmill and getting some strength training done before heading down. These might be the deciding factor in impressing your peers on the big day. Just drop by Fitness Workz (Premium) at HomeTeamNS Khatib, while you’re at it!

MASTERING THE ART OF THE ADVENTURER

Sky Venture includes 16 obstacles spread across a two-tiered, 15m-high course.

Mr Syahmi emphasises that it isn’t all about strength and endurance when it comes to conquering obstacles at Adventure HQ. Well-developed flexibility, agility and balance also remain key assets to securing those bragging rights.

“When an Adventurer is too stiff, the next rope or hand-hold may always feel out of reach. Successful Adventurers should be able to stretch, reach and climb nimbly over any tricky obstacles,” he said.

This comes into play at attractions like the Adventure HQ kaleidoscopic installations, which test one’s balance and agility. These include feats like navigating narrow beams 15m off the ground at Sky Venture or scaling the Sky Scraper climbing installation at Urban Climb.

Train up with exercises like yoga or pilates which can help boost flexibility and balance. They also promote the development of more supple muscles for the trickier obstacles at Adventure HQ.

Don’t forget to warm up before diving headfirst into the fun with friends and family! To get your blood pumping and muscles primed, start your session with some light cardio and stretching.

GOOD, CHALLENGING FUN AT EVERY TURN

Adventure HQ’s Rock Climbing section features eight climbing lanes offering varying levels of difficulty – and a challenging full-body workout.

With all that prep work out of the way, it’s just as important to remember to embrace the exciting experiences and explore each attraction while you’re there.

For those looking to one-up mates, check in at the Urban Climb with a buddy. Go head-to-head in a timed run up the Speed Wall and live out your best Olympic sports climbing fantasies.

Other than that, experience a unique ride that you won’t find anywhere else with Adventure HQ’s Roll Glider, Singapore’s first and only indoor aerial rollercoaster. Strap up and get a thrilling bird’s eye view of Adventure HQ as you zip overhead in your descent. That is, if you dare to look down.

For those who want something more relaxed but don’t want to give up on the thrills, check out Singapore’s longest 14m Indoor Spiral Firemen Slide. It also has 6m and 8m versions connected to the Adventure Trail to warm up on before taking the plunge. Simply sit at the top, push off and experience that feeling of adrenaline and freedom reminiscent of childhood adventures.

Enjoy the great outdoors, indoors, at Adventure HQ.