vanilla bean, kovan

surprisingly quality, super delicious waffles at this coffeeshop in kovan, a space shared with astons specialty. I have heard murmurings that this place has closed – which is regretful but unsurprising: the first because the waffles are crisp but tender, and the fruit toppings are freshly cut (and oh my god, macerated cherries?!); and the second because despite the skill so apparent in the dishing, the store doesn’t invite confidence, with a barebones interior and slightly grouchy-looking people waiting for business.

it’s a serious waste if the place is closed – but I urge you to seek it out (and get back to me), as it’s a serious product classy in its serving, no waffle about it.

Vanilla Bean
1014 Upper Serangoon Road
Singapore 534752
$: less than ten a person

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azzura gelati cafe, katong v

so, I don’t like ice cream. I’m a cake kind of girl, a dense chocolatey block of something-or-another over a melting scoop of iced something any day please, thank you. but I’m discussing semantics here – where ice cream is that too-ephemeral dessert that melts quickly and leaves nothing behind but the sad tightening of trousers and quite a lot of guilt for very little pleasure.

gelato, however, I can get behind. in the hands of an expert, it churns out thick, dense and with deeper flavors and a full mouthfeel, and stays both colder and smoother than its quick-melting, icy cousin.

we’ve seen a slew of one-off, hipsteresque ice-cream places open up – but good gelato isn’t easy to find. enter azzura then, with its mix of traditional flavors and modern iced confections – and I might have just found my new favorite.

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lick: little ice cream kafe, katong

if you’re up for a scoop of ice cream this weekend, and pass by this place, well. move on.

there’s a branch of the very-good ice cream gallery just a couple storefronts down, and I recommend that wholeheartedly – it’s great on its own, but especially so relative to this place.

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creamier handcrafted ice cream, braddell

okay ice-cream, though not quite worth the hype (nor queue, nor the inconvenience of locating). this place is the latest stop on our conquer-ice-cream tour about this too-sunny island, which (unfortunately for it) resulted in a less favorable comparison.

it’s not bad by any means, but the ice cream gallery almost definitely has smoother ices (this here is a tad icy, slightly ironic given its name), flavours on the muted side, and portions small.

and for its hipster pretensions (small shop breaking the peace of an obscure old estate), it’s crazy packed: cramped inside and teenagers forming a noisy queue.

but, it is the cheapest scoop on our list-of-such, and worth a look-try if you’re in the area (the butterscotch was the best we tried that day).

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maccha house, somerset

meh dessert at the basement of orchard central – okay in a pinch, but tsujiri‘s much better. we’re in the midst of a massive rain-plus-heat wave in singapore, with gushing gales of wind dancing rain across the island – but not really bringing much respite from the heat – so ice cream indoors is a pretty good thing.

but maybe not here exactly, unless you have an abject and consuming japanese dessert craving while in the area. although to be fair, their vanilla oft serve isn’t too bad.

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dolce tokyo, somerset

alright-ish desserts at the crowded orchard somerset 313. this open-air cafe is part of the ministry of food chain, and I think their riff of a more upmarket european take on cafe dining. I’m not sure it succeeds in the more exclusive air it attempts to portray here: the food was acceptable at the more casual m.o.f. but seems a little lacking in this shinier environment – and the place suffers from new-establishment problems.

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nydc, orchard

unsophisticated american cakes at this chain-cafe in wheelock place. this place, as my partner describes it, is a “secondary-school hangout”; and while I didn’t have the sort of youth where I patronised these places (strict upbringing, ya know) – I can see what he means: the food doesn’t aspire to gastronomic innovation, the median age of service appears to emulate their demographic, and the general atmosphere is very casual.

but, it’s pleasant enough in a very unsophisticated sort of way.

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ice cream gallery, tiong bahru

great gelato-esque ice-creamery in the rather abandoned suburban mall that is valley point. this place was strongly recommended by an aunt, and it’s a shame we haven’t come before this: the ice creams are dense, not-too-sweet, inexpensive, and come in a spectrum of familiar-to-exotic.

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