March 17, 2016
We’ve all felt the pain of having to shell out $15 for a bowl of bingsu, and dropping $10 on ‘luxury’ café desserts is unfortunately becoming second nature. (I’m paying for the ambience and overall dining experience after all, you tell yourself.) But contrary to popular belief, fads and good food don’t have to be expensive – even when good food is the fad. And right now, in this era where sweet, cold Asian desserts lord over all other food groups, you’d be surprised to find that there are actually many other less hyped, heartland options which are a lot easier on the wallet. So the next time you find yourself wrecked by a craving, try satisfying your sweet tooth for under $10 at a nearby mall – ambience be damned.
Bishan, Serangoon, Hougang, Yishun, Sembawang, Choa Chu Kang: Dessertstory
Small but to the point, you might remember dessertstory from when Taiwanese snow ice had first washed onto our shores and was first blowing up on the island, a few years ago. But thankfully for that, the trend manifested into a chain of stores dishing out hearty snow ice desserts that’s both good and cheap (most items on the menu are priced below $5) – and located in malls that don’t require you to make a sweaty trek all the way down to Chinatown.
Junction 8, #B1-K12
Hougang Mall, #02-18
Sun Plaza, #01-26
Lot One, #B1-K10
Clarke Quay: Sweet Dynasty
And if you’re more of a town-dweller, you can get your snow ice fix at Sweet Dynasty in Central, as well as other traditional Taiwanese desserts like yam and glutinous creams and sago puddings. The food easily goes for under $5 too.
Address: Central, #B1-25
Ah, the perennial favourite. As much as we’re all for splurging on quality bingsu, it’s a little detrimental to our finances when you’re dealing with a bingsu addiction as severe as ours. The solution? Giving up more “famous” bingsu for their half-priced relatives hidden discreetly in heartland shopping malls.
Jurong, Punggol: One Ice Café
Impressively sized portions that taste decent and cost only $9 and below. Most notably, an Oreo Bingsu is price at an unbelievable $6.80. At this rate, you can have an entire bowl of this Korean shaved goodness to yourself – if you can manage it – and still have money for seconds! (Goodbye diet.) There may only be five flavours, but when you’ve got a price point like that, you don’t complain. Bonus point: no darned queues.
Punggol Waterway Point, West Wing, #01-K16
Fried Ice Cream Rolls
This Chaktuchak fave has made its way from bustling Bangkok to sunny Singapore, and it’s both novel and yummy enough to justify splurging on. But there’s no need for that, seeing as most cups go for under $6. And you’ll be pleased to know that most of the places selling this treat are located in easily accessible residential areas. It might be the fact that it’s still packaged as a primarily “street food” kind of dessert, or that the cooking method of using a large iced grill (minus points for #aesthetic) doesn’t warrant a fancy café setting – but hey, as long as it doesn’t break the bank.
Jurong and Boon Lay: Happy Rollies
Good news for NTU kids – you can get your pan-fried ice cream fix without even having to venture too far away from Pulau NTU. A night market and bazaar regular, Happy Rollies is all about premium ice cream flavours and unexpected toppings like Kinder Bueno, which all go for $5 a cup. Very student-friendly indeed.
Address: Bazaar next to Jurong East MRT Station and Boon Lay MRT Station
Well well, looks like Sembawang is shaping up to be quite the dessert haven. The new outlet in Sun Plaza is definitely a more accessible alternative to its maiden outlet in East Village in Changi. At $7.90 a cup, these rolls definitely are a little steeper than the average price, but then again these aren’t your average, everyday ice cream rolls. Coyoro makes its rolls with yoghurt soft-serve so frozen yogurt freaks get the best of both worlds – the fried ice cream roll experience in a froyo consistency!
Address: Sun Plaza, #B1-41
Featured image from instagram.com/oneicecafe.