17 Best Soft-serve Ice Creams In Singapore To Help Beat The Heat
Light, airy, and sometimes embellished with heaps of toppings, these soft-serves are the perfect icy treat for our year-round tropical weather.
Ice cream is one of those foods that most people just love, especially when it is made extra creamy and dispensed soft serve-style into cups and cones. ‘Softies’ make ice-creams so much more rich, creamy and fun to eat. And they come in such a wide variety these days: from the oldie-but-goodie $1 McDonald’s’ vanilla soft serve, to exotic concoctions made with matcha, sweet potato and paired with indulgent toppings such as mochi balls and caramel popcorn.
The soft-serve dessert has come a long way, and we hope it is here to stay.
Step into the quaint little teahouse of Hvala to enjoy some refreshing Japanese soft-serve with a myriad of classic and special flavours. They have three different levels of Matcha Ice-cream which varies in terms of Matcha tea concentration. We think their Matcha 2 signature soft-serve is both rich and flavourful, with a subtle and sweet aftertaste. The Goma (Black Sesame) flavoured soft-serve is also a surprisingly delectable and fragrant dessert. And last, but definitely not least, is Hvala’s Hokkaido Milk soft-serve. It is exceedingly creamy with a palatable, milky taste and we simply cannot have enough of it. Each scoop is priced at $5.80 and their third, newest outlet is located in TripleOne Somerset.
First established by Riemon Tsuji in Kyoto, Japan, Tsujiri has since made their mark in Singapore with two outlets at Clarke Quay and Somerset. The stall has everything matcha from floats to soft-serve, parfait to shaved ice to cater to all your cravings. We tried the parfait, which included a few chewy Shiratama balls for texture and a scoop of red bean to give an added sweetness to the slightly bitter matcha soft-serve. Personally, we feel that the matcha soft-serve falls in lighter range and is suitable for beginners. The toppings were a good addition to the flavour of the soft-serve which we really enjoyed. The Parfait is priced at $7.80 and the soft-serve at $5.00.
Little Damage, the famous gothic charcoal soft-serve from Los Angeles, has arrived at Wheelock Place. The shop usually carries four flavours each season, with one vegan option available for those who are lactose-intolerant or prefer a dairy-free option. Customers also get to choose a complimentary topping that ranges from rainbow sprinkles, fruity pebbles, chocolate balls or coconut shavings. Little Damage is also known for their charcoal-infused black waffle cone that will cost an additional $1, essential for those looking for the perfect Instagram shot. The black waffle cone is quite thick and tasted like cookies which also gave the soft-serve an extra crunch – something unique compared to most other waffle cones available today. We also tried the Unicorn Tears flavoured soft-serve which carried a distinctively bold and blue appearance, great for an added colour on your Instagram profile. It is vanilla flavoured, denser and the portion given was more generous than regular ones. Priced at a whopping $7.00, it just might cause a little damage to your wallet but still worth the cheat day calories.
Chinese bubble tea brand HEYTEA has recently made waves in Singapore with the launch of their new Cheezo soft-serve in addition to their signature cheese teas and fruit teas. The Tea King Cheezo Crispy Cone was made using HeyTea’s signature cheese foam and oolong tea priced at $1.90 each for mini size and $2.80 for regular size. It was an interesting smoky-charcoal flavour – worth a shot if you have wondered how bubble tea flavoured ice-cream would taste like.
Yole, the Froyo brand that took over all Llao Llao outlets across Singapore, has now gained a sizeable amount of the Froyo market share here. If you’re someone who loves dessert, but also want to be healthy, check out their no sugar and low-calorie cups which come in seasonal flavours like Green Apple and Pineapple. We ordered a medium-sized cup in natural flavour with three crunches and were surprised at how generous they were with the portion for the price of $5.90. They also have a wide range of crunches, fruits and sauces to choose from.
Famous Japanese dessert guru Emma Soft-Serve has opened their doors in Singapore with two outlets at Plaza Singapura and 100AM mall. The stalls are welcoming customers to the launch of their two exclusive products – the Boba Taco Softie and the Charcoal Cheese-flavoured Soft Serve. We tried out the Boba Taco Softie and it came with a wafer base with milk and charcoal cheese soft-serve topped Okinawa brown sugar pearls with sprinkled nuts. It is rather creamy and carries a hint of cheese flavour. Priced at $6.80, we feel that the taste of the nuts are a little overpowering over the flavour of the soft-serve and recommend that you ask for it to be removed. However, the soft-serve, along with the brown sugar pearls, is a truly addictive affair – it will already be licked clean before you come to the realisation that it’s gone.
7. Aqua S
The dreamy-looking, pastel-hued sea salt soft-serve from Aqua S may have helped the brand become an Instagram darling, but we’re glad to report that their ice cream (starts from $5.70) isn’t just all style and no substance. No, this stall’s soft-serves are light, airy, and delicious, especially their signature sea salt flavour, which packs a delicate mix of saltiness and sweetness. The brand may have originated from Australia, but their Singapore outlet offers special flavours to cater to local palates, such as Lychee and Thai Tea. If you want to get the perfect #dessertporn shot, jazz up your icy treat with toppings such as cotton candy and toasted marshmallows.
Long before newer creameries like Tsujiri and Matcha House have been peddling their matcha-laced soft serve wares to trend-hungry Singaporeans, Azabu Sabo has been dispensing a matcha soft serve made with creamy and rich Hokkaido milk. Unlike those versions that sport prettier swirls and pack an intense green tea flavour, their soft serve is mild enough for the matcha newbie. The not-too-sweet but still decadent green tea flavour is their signature, the colour and flavours are both pleasantly mild ($4.50, served in a petal-style cone) If you would rather try their rustic, elongated scoops, we recommend the adzuki bean, milk chocolate, mint and mango. Choose two flavours and opt to have them in the square shaped dual cone ($5.80 onwards).
9. Brother Bird
While most other dessert cafes place their soft-serves in a cone, cup or atop a waffle, at Brother Bird you can have it alongside mochi balls. Placed lovingly around a delicate swirl of soft-serve, these mochi balls have a delicious surprise inside them. Though fried and crisp on the outside, the mochi balls are still soft and chewy in texture, with the added bonus of a molten filling that oozes from its glutinous rice shell. They come in a variety of flavour combinations; try the liu sha mochi balls with cookie butter flavoured soft serve or the assorted combo of earl grey burst, raspberry burst and Liu-sha burst balls with the mildly pleasant avocado soft serve. $15 per dessert of three balls and ice-cream. And yes, their soft-serves are incredibly instagrammable and pretty as well.
Trust one of the finest chocolate-makers around to create a chocolate soft serve ice cream that is truly heavenly. You will spend upwards of $9 per dispensed cone, but what you will get is soft serve ice cream with a dark chocolate flavour that is matched by no other. It is served in a crunchy waffle cone and topped with a drizzle of more Godiva chocolate sauce. There is also vanilla-flavoured soft serve and one that mixes the vanilla and chocolate flavours into a two-in-one soft-serve cone. However, since this is Godiva, we urge you to go all out with the all chocolate flavour. The chocolate crunch-topped cone is lovely, so bonus points for that.
This wouldn’t be a round-up of the city’s best soft-serves without a mention of the Swedish giant’s self-serve soft serve. The most affordable icy treat on our list, IKEA’s NEW soya ice-cream is $0.50 a portion and is well worth the price (and then some). If you are one of those who go to IKEA mainly for the food, you know that leaving without getting your ‘softie’ fix is impossible. Pay at the counter, grab a token and dispense your own ice cream into a crunchy, airy cone. Bliss!
P.S. Check out our guide on what to eat at IKEA!
12. Llao Llao
It seems that this ever-popular frozen yoghurt chain now has an outlet in every city and heartland mall, so that our frozen yogurt-loving population are never too far away from a ‘Sanum-fix’. Prices for the gluten-free, skimmed milk yoghurt starts at $2.50 for the Petitllao with the option of additional toppings such as fresh fruits, nuts and sauces. It is their Sanum parfaits ($6.50 onwards) which are the most popular though. It’s either a guilt-free or decadent dessert depending on what kind of ‘crunch’ or sauce you choose. There are three layers of seasonal fresh fruit, two kinds of crunch bits (caramelised cookies, coconut, Kit Kat, Oreos, walnuts and more) frozen yogurt and a sauce (out of which, dulche de leche and the cookie sauce are our favourites).
This cafe by Four Seasons Durian is just about the only one in Singapore that features durian in everything it serves on the menu.
The Mao Shan Wang Ice Cream Delight(S$15.80), which is a signature of the cafe, is good for two. This dessert, which consists of pale yellow soft-serve on rich, chewy brownies, is best had in-house, since it is served on a bed of dry ice, which results in smoke billowing out — perfect for that #foodporn shot.
When it comes to soft-serve ice cream, most are mainstream. Not Matchaya though — this one is all things hipster and artisanal. The hippest takeaway spot in the Tanjong Pagar area goes green with all manner of matcha drinks and dessert. After gaining a steady fan following from numerous pop-up food events, Matchaya’s zen-like outlet at Icon Village serves up a matcha-flavoured soft serve ($5.90) where the raw ingredients are organic-certified and no preservatives are used. The matcha flavour is strong and intense with a potent bitterness, but if matcha is too mainstream for you, try the genmaicha soft serve of roasted brown rice with green tea, or their kinako (roasted soy) flavour. They also serve mystery flavours on occasion; these are usually inspired by their travels to Japan. If you are a hardcore matcha lover you could also top up your matcha soft serve ice-cream with an additional shot of matcha to intensify the flavour. Their latest soft serve flavour is the houjicha (roasted green tea), which has a deeper, more intense flavour than the standard matcha.
Check out their newly renovated outlet at The Cathay, Dhoby Ghaut!
15. Mr Bean
Soy milk specialists Mr Bean’s numerous outlets across the island make it incredibly convenient to get your soybean milk and tau huay fix. Their ice cream too is a convenient guilt-free snack we often treat ourselves to, since it’s lower in sugar and fat than other milk-based ice creams (13.4g of sugar and 2.9g of fats per serving). Their affordable price tag is a huge draw too ($1.50 onwards).
We have seen our fair share of rainbow-hued desserts and green-coloured matcha treats. But strikingly purple sweets? Not so much. So the vividly purple soft-serve ice cream made with Japanese purple potatoes from Kumamoto at Small Potatoes Ice Creamery took us by surprise. Weird? Yes. Yummy? Also Yes! This Hong Kong brand has kiosks in 313 Somerset and Novena Square 2, and the icy treats can be had with toppings like green tea or soy bean warabi mochi, azuki beans, purple yam sticks, and Japanese red bean Dorayaki pancakes. Prices begin at $5 for a small-ish cup and the flavour of the purple soft serve is a creamy taro-like flavour (not too sweet, just right). We do prefer the milder, more pleasing sea salt caramel flavour. You can even asked for a mixed cone to sample both flavours at once. They’ve even jazzed up their soft serves now; you can order the sea salt caramel flavour adorned with a 24-carat gold leaf ($12), and the purple potato soft serve with a silver leaf ($10).
17. Sunday Folks
Because the ice cream offered by Sunday Folks, which is founded by the people behind Creamier, is so good, we’ll drop technicalities just this once. Yes, their freshly churned homemade ice cream may not technically qualify as soft serve — they’re way more dense — but they certainly look the part. So we’re giving them a mention on this list anyway. We recommend you pair their ice cream with their signature crispy-fluffy square waffles ($11.80 for two waffles; $8.80 for one). Choose from a variety of different soft serve flavours, our favourites being Summer Strawberries, Roasted Pistachio, Earl Grey Lavender and Sea Salt Gula Melaka. For those who prefer things ‘vanilla’, they even have Madagascar Vanilla and Dark Chocolate. The flavors may rotate, but they are all good. There is also a stellar menu of seasonal cakes and desserts, some of which are paired with a serving of soft-serve.
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