Sunday, October 12, 2008

Local Delectable Ice-cream shops - Read, Homemade!

Hello everyone.
I Haven't blogged in a while, and the foodie in me is singing loudly. In fact, I usually eat pretty well, but it's just that blogging is really not that enjoyable sometimes, especially the 'typing'. I guess I could describe lavishly to you all the wonderful sensations of food and all that, particularly my use of the words 'robust and flavourful', but sigh, writing it down is much more of a chore particularly since my typing is rather...error-prone, as you could already tell.

Anyway, I'm here to introduce to you some of my favourite Ice-cream shops. In hot sunny Singapore ice-cream is a perfect pairing; It is REFRESHING, COLD, YUMMY, SWEET, and gives u a sugar high and cools you down. Having read so many food blogs about these home-made ice cream shops popping around Singapore, I decided to go down to these places to check things out.

First stop:
Udders is an Ice-cream parlour located at Goldhill, next to United Square. It has alot of flavours, and new flavours are constantly in the works. They have a board where flavours are scribbled down and you write down what new flavours you want, or vote on the existing flavours - so that they can create new flavours for you. Anyway, there are three ranges of flavours, Classic, Premium and Connoisseur, each with increasing price tags (Classic to Connoisseur in increasing order). The flavours for Classic range from stuff like vanilla bean, vanilla-almond-marzipan, etc, while Premium flavours include Rum and Raisin, D24, Cempadek, and Connoisseur Flavours include 'Mao Shan Wang' etc.

I've tried alot of the flavours, and the consensus is that they generally tend to be rather creamy and milky (that's the impression I get). Some of the flavours need working on - read, not strong enough. (but maybe I'm too spoilt by Tom's Palette - read on).

Mao-Shan-Wang was indeed very duriany, it had a strong pungent durian flavour - D24 was less strong (bittersweet); the good flavours were the Tiramisu - which featured alot of coffee liqueur, a nice Chocolate with Triple Sec which ended up like Orange-chocolate, with the orange adding nice tart notes to the rich chocolate, and probably the best was the Rum'n'Raisin: there was so much rum, and the raisins infused with so much liqueur, that it was really potent and yummy. Absolutely brilliant.

On the picture you can see: Tiramisu + Rum and Raisin.

Score: (7.5/10)
Some flavours need work;
The rum and raisin is a (9/10).

Truth be told, Haato is better for its ambience. The cafe at Ridgewood features immaculate furniture, a very relaxed ambience, board games to play, and colourful pastel-shaded walls overlooking a swimming pool. What's there not to like?
But I admit i'm really not that fond of the ice-cream. It's a bit too milky, too creamy, the taste not robust/full-bodied enough. The green tea ice cream was not bad - it had the requisite matcha taste of tea leaves, etc; the milk ice cream is not bad, very creamy and has this japanese milk flavour of subtle sweetness; However, the chocolate and chocolate banana leaves much to be desired since the flavours were very muted.
When you are at Haato, go for their waffles; it is very good; Stick to their asian flavours for maximum impact. The milk is very good.
Ice cream: 6.5/10
Ambience: 8/10

Daily scoop is located in Clementi Arcade, Sunset Way. The place is lively, full of buzz, and with friendly staff in a setting of pastel light blue walls and cheerful murals. It is a lovely friendly homely atmosphere perfect for a tea-time tete-a-tete. The ice cream is "created" in a open pan machine just in the middle of the store so everyone can take a look at how they make it. It is quite intriguing, the stirring and whisking and the moulding that comes to making ice-cream.

They have alot of flavours, alot of them very uniquely Daily Scoop. The Pure Chocolate is super addictive, very rich, dark, bitter enough and sweet; The Bailey's is not too bad; Coconut is also pretty good, and so is the Durian - with alot of rich sweet pulp; one of their specialties is the Lychee Martini which is really almost a lychee sorbet, very sweet (lychee) with only a hint of Martini.
Ice cream: 8/10
Ambience: 8/10

The Ice-Queen is located at Golden Mile Food Centre and it's just a corner stall opposite the Ah-Balling stall on the first floor (the higher floor). It serves only a few flavours (6, last count). Don't bother about the "western" flavours, the Caramel, Chocolate, etc. The flavours are rather weak because perhaps they do not use top quality chocolate. But the Asian flavours are superb. The Black Sesame is really really good, very nutty, heaty, oily, and done very well (8.5/10); the Durian is also very rich and good (8/10); Green Tea also good.
Ice cream: 7/10
Ambience: huh what ambience.

Lastly, we come to Tom's Palette; As expected, I have saved the best for last. This is one hole-in-the-wall ice cream shop located in Shaw Leisure Gallery (off Beach Road), which serves the most fantastically delicious ice cream available anywhere. Moreover, the two owners (Eunice and Chronos) are really really friendly and nice and affable, wearing smiles on their faces every moment of their lives and being really friendly, genuine, and warm - you can talk to them about anything, and they often tell you what new flavours they might be doing for the future. And they allow you to try all the flavours - and often zealously offer them to you for you to try.

But all of that would be of no use if the ice cream was bad - but fortunately, it is superbly delicious. Each of their flavours possess such depth of flavour, such finesse, such robust tastes - kudos to them for developing such rich flavours. The Chocolate Stout is great - ri
ch chocolate balanced by a hint of bitterness from the stout (7.5/10); The Chocolate here is the de-facto standard for chocolate, made with dark chocolate, rich, bitter, sweet, robust, and very very luscious and exquisite - top quality chocolate used here, no shortcuts (9.5/10); The Butter Pecan is just as fantastic - they roast the Pecans themselves and it is partnered by fragrant rich butter ice cream (8.5/10); Granny's favourite is also really quite brilliant, made with cookie dough and other things (i forget) (8/10); I really love their Salty Caramel Cheesecake, that is a brilliant piece of flavour art, really exquisite and brilliant. Salty caramel with just a hint of "saltiness" - but makes it so palatable - is paired with a creamy cheesecake where the cheese is oh so rich-and-creamy. Lovely. (9.5/10).

So, if you are in the area, please come to Tom's Palette. You wouldn't regret it.

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