Brownice, Singapore

i was skeptical when i heard about the vegan ice cream that brownice serves – what could ice cream possibly be without any cream/milk/eggs?!?! but i’m glad i gave this shop along sin ming road (they have another branch in balestier) a chance and paid it a visit, because the ice cream they serve is a great alternative that’s healthier and more guilt-free than regular ice cream.

you’re probably wondering how exactly vegan ice cream works. i was equally baffled because i just could not imagine how ice cream could be made without any dairy products! at brownice though, they prove that it can not just be done, but be done well. they do not use any animal products in their ice cream at all – they pride themselves on making all-natural foods without any artificial flavours or colouring, and use organic brown rice milk, fruits and nuts instead. this makes the ice cream perfect for the lactose-intolerant or the super health-conscious!20131220_172430

i visited on a friday afternoon, and it was really quiet which made it a great spot for great conversation with great friends 🙂 service was very good and i loved how they are so willing to let you try as many flavours as you want. (this is despite the fact that they don’t use disposal spoons, and have to wash each spoon that you use to sample the different flavours!) there were 12 flavours available when i went, but they have many more flavours than that. the full range of flavours can be found on their website: http://www.brownice.com/flavour.html . the shop is spacious and bright, giving off a nice casual vibe with simple furniture and cute little handwritten signs like these:
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here’s the menu with what you can order:20131220_145824a single scoop costs $3.80, but it gets much cheaper if you order more (the more the merrier!). toppings can be added at $1 each, while brownies and waffles are available at $4 and $3.50 respectively. there are options for specials such as the sundae (2 scoops + 1 topping served sundae-style) and the ice cream bowl (4 scoops + 4 toppings).

since the ice-cream was less unhealthy/calorific/fattening, we decided that we could have heaps more than we normally would, and that is how 2 girls ended up with an ice cream bowl to share between us:
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ice cream bowl (clockwise from white scoop: banana oats, cranberry hazelnut, black sesame, green tea with caramelised almonds x2, roasted walnuts, roasted almonds) – $12.50

my favourite out of the 4 flavours was without a doubt, the black sesame. the green tea and cranberry hazelnut were both also really good, and my least favourite was the banana oats. the black sesame was so wonderfully fragrant and thick and smooth and bursting with amazing black sesame flavour!!! i am a complete black sesame fan so this was heaven for me. the texture of the ice cream is a little different from regular ice cream – i would say its a bit less creamy and more sorbet-like almost? – but its not very noticeable, especially with the black sesame and green tea flavours, i felt! the green tea was equally fragrant and smooth, while i thought the cranberry hazelnut was an interesting combination that actually worked. as for the banana oats, i didn’t quite enjoy it as i thought the oats made the texture of the ice cream rather odd and kind of icy/rough? but its one of their most popular flavours, so don’t let this deter you from ordering it; it might just be a case of personal taste that i didn’t really enjoy it. the caramelised almonds were amazing and came highly recommended by our server, hence the double portion 😀

we enjoyed the black sesame and hazelnut so much that this is what happened next:
20131220_1549262 scoops (black sesame, cranberry hazelnut) – $5.90

some other flavours that were available that day and i think are worth mentioning are chendol and coffee hazelnut. i really felt like i was having chendol when i sampled the chendol-flavoured ice cream – its texture was very sorbet-like but i think it works well that way because it really resembles the dessert! as for coffee hazelnut, i have to say that i’m not a fan. it sounded really enticing so i very excitedly gave it a try, but was very disappointed to find that it tasted like the snow skin of mooncake?! to me, at least! but once again, its a popular flavour, so to each his own!

the great part about brownice is that they understand that their ice creams might taste a little different from the equivalent flavour of regular ice cream and are therefore extremely willing to let you sample all the flavours before ordering. and i really think this is important to make sure that you really love what you are getting! because in my case for example, i didn’t like banana oats or coffee hazelnut as much as i thought i would! oh and interestingly, i thought the ice cream tasted better in scoops than in the little bits i sampled of the flavours. i thought its texture resembled that of regular ice cream more when it was had in scoops.

besides ice cream, they also serve some hot vegan food:
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oh and i heard the mudpie is worth trying too! and they also do ice cream cakes, and ice cream tub deliveries.

healthy low(er)-fat ice cream that tastes just as good as regular ice cream? what’s there not to love? 🙂

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Brownice 

8 Sin Ming Road
Sin Ming Centre #01-03
Singapore 575628

Llao Llao, Singapore

llao llao is one of the newest kids on the frozen yogurt block in singapore, and is probably my family’s current favourite place to get our froyo fix! since discovering it about a month ago, we go by whenever we’re in the marina square/city hall area.

llao llao is a spanish frozen yogurt chain, and chose singapore as the place to open their first store in asia! thank goodness they did because they have brought some amazing frozen yogurt to our sunny island that i felt was lacking really good pinkberry standard froyo. before discovering llao llao, red mango and yoguru were my go to places for froyo (especially the green tea flavour that yoguru has at their lucky plaza and great world outlets!!!). now however, llao llao is definitely the one to beat!

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walk through marina link and their bright green signboard as well as the brightly-lit shop are hard to miss! besides the froyo itself tasting really good, i love how there are seats in the shop for you to have the option of chillin’ and properly enjoying your froyo while seated instead of buying a cup and having to eat it while walking around.

they have the usual range of toppings available – a good mix of healthy fruit toppings (on the left in the picture below) and the unhealthier option of the normal chocolate/biscuit dry toppings (on the right):20130908_144240

besides toppings, llao llao also has a range of sauces to be drizzled on top of your froyo! i thought this was quite interesting as most other yogurt places just have the usual hershey’s chocolate/strawberry sauce etc. i didn’t try any because i prefer my yogurt sauce-less but will consider getting some next time, especially the more unusual ones like the raffaello and chococrock; they sound pretty interesting! they also only have original-flavoured yogurt, so i suppose the sauce is a way to “flavour” your own yogurt?20130908_144233

here’s the medium cup + 3 toppings that we got for $5.50:20130908_144405

the froyo here at llao llao is definitely the creamiest and smoothest i have had in singapore. i LOVE pinkberry and snog froyo in london, and to me, this comes pretty close! their frozen yogurt has not a hint a of iciness and is perfect froyo in my opinion! it is thick but not heavy, and besides having a really great consistency, it tastes good too – not too sweet but not too sour like plain yogurt can sometimes be. they were also generous with the toppings which were fresh, and the medium cup contained a very substantial serving of yogurt so i felt it was really worth the price we paid! all of us had nothing but praise for it.

oh and they also have really cute spoons that are very long and made of very sturdy plastic! i love how they’re so streamlined in shape such that when you dig deep into your cup of yogurty goodness, no yogurt gets stuck like in the groove on the back of regular spoons!

even more extra points for a super cute and delicious-looking menu:20130908_145547

the sanums looked very good and seemed to be a popular choice among the steady stream of customers that patronised the shop while we were there, so that’s definitely what i’m going to try next time. (they are the layered cups shown in the bottom row of the leftmost panel of the menu below)20130908_145412

llao llao is currently my pick for the best frozen yogurt in singapore. if you are a froyo fan, this is the place for you!!! and even if you’re not, this is still the place for you to possibly become a froyo convert 😉

UPDATE: i have since returned to try their sanum and it was really a case of love at first bite. craving for more and really need to pay llao llao another visit soon! i know i have a ready companion in my mother, who is as hooked to the froyo there as i am. (i really hope they open another branch somewhere closer to me soon; having to make a trek to the marina area whenever i’m craving some amazing froyo is very unoptimal! 😦 )20130923_150310
sanum: froyo + 2 crunch toppings + 3 fruit toppings + more froyo + 1 sauce – $5.90

i tried my best but just could not get a good picture that showed all the layered toppings. i picked crushed walnuts and oreo crumbs for my 2 crunchy toppings, and blueberries, strawberries & kiwis for my fruit toppings. absolutely love how 5 toppings + 1 sauce allows you to pick a wide variety of stuff to have your froyo with – this is customisation at its very best! the serving was huge and i very happily lapped up every bit of it. i thought it was really value-for-money especially since a medium-sized cup with 3 toppings is $5.50. just $0.40 more for 2 additional toppings and a sauce!

for my sauce, i picked the raffaello which the girl at the counter described to me as white chocolate with coconut and cookie crumbs. i am normally not a huge fan of coconut but decided to give it a try anyway, and i was really pleasantly surprised to find that it was really really delicious. definitely going to get this the next time i go; there’s no question about it 😉

here’s a picture of my half-demolished sanum:20130923_150745sorry i know its not a particularly appetising picture but trust me, it was seriously YUM. you can also see how generous they are with the serving size from the picture; the cup is so deep and it isn’t just filled full but way beyond the rim of the cup! the toppings are all very fresh too; my only qualm is that i wish i they had granola as a crunchy topping. but that’s most definitely not going to stop me from returning to llao llao again and again. and again.

and more sanum pictures from a 3rd visit with my momma just before i left for london:
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YUMZZZZZZ

open a branch in orchard/somewhere i frequent more than the marina square area soon please??? 🙂

Llao Llao
Marina Link # B1-04
(Marina Square Basement link to Esplanade MRT)

UPDATE: really exciting news – llao llao has since opened a 2nd branch at somerset 313! its been quite a while (nearly a year!) since i first wrote this post about llao llao and today (28/6/14), i am proud to say that i still love it as much as i did then 😉 i can never pass on the opportunity to get a sanum whenever i’m in the vicinity, and it still never disappoints though i have to say the serving sizes have decreased quite significantly of late, and the range of toppings has also been more limited the past few times i visited! also, for sanums, you are also now only allowed 1 crunch (which is added twice – i honestly do not really understand the logic; what is the difference between getting 1 crunch as opposed to 2 different ones if the same total quantity added is maintained?) 😦 nevertheless, i am still addicted to this creamy goodness and as the following pictures will show, still take pictures of the towers of goodness every single time i’m there… #somethingsdon’tchange
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check out how they’ve really shrunk in size from the early days 😥

Creamier, Singapore

checked this place out on a whim (had an ice cream craving that needed to be satisfied) and left feeling very pleased with myself and this hidden gem i had found heehee!

tucked away at the base of a sleepy block in toa payoh, Creamier is now top on my list of local ice cream shops, along with Daily Scoop (my other favourite). its nondescript location gives it a very laidback and homely vibe, and the staff are cheerful and friendly, perfect for the neighbourhood joint that it is. the decor is simple, but tasteful and quaint. i popped in on a friday night around 10pm, and it was packed! we waited about 10 minutes for a table; it is a pretty small shop, and many people ended up taking away their ice cream and having it at the tables at the playground which the shop faces.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAchecked out their website (http://creamier.com.sg/) before heading down and got all excited as there were many interesting flavours that caught my eye – figs honey, lemon blueberry yoghurt, lime mojito, raspberry rose, chocolate cinnamon orange etc! unfortunately, many of them weren’t available and i was a little disappointed as the ones that were seemed to be more run-of-the-mill flavours (like horlicks, green tea, dark chocolate) that were available either commercially or at other ice cream shops.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit was probably just the day i went down though… there are so many other flavours that they make and its the perfect excuse for me to return again and again (and again)!!! 😉 

i knew i was going to have to order the waffles once i stepped into the shop and 1) i was greeted by the amazing smell of freshly-made belgian waffles 2) i spotted many waffle + ice cream towers being brought to tables.
smelt heavenly, looked heavenly, and after trying it, i can safely say: TASTED HEAVENLY TOO. we went with what we thought were the 2 most interesting flavours that were available that day – earl grey lavender and sea salt gula melaka, and they sat proudly atop 2 extremely delicious freshly-made belgian waffles. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
waffles with a single scoop of ice cream costs $7.50, and each additional scoop costs $2.50.

earl grey and lavender turned out to be a really light and refreshing combination. i loved how they really complemented each other, yet remained somewhat distinct such that you could taste the 2 components individually.
as for the sea salt gula melaka, it was the perfect mix of sweet and savoury, much like the more common sea salt caramel but with a local twist.
both flavours had not a hint of iciness, and compared to what i’ve had at some other locally-run homemade ice cream shops (i find that island creamery ice cream can sometimes be a little icy, especially their take-home tubs), they truly lived up to their name – creamier.

now on to the waffles – they were some of the best waffles i’ve ever had in an ice cream shop. #truestory. they were hearty and served fresh out of the waffle maker, warm, crisp and dark brown on the outside but soft and fluffy inside, surrounded by a generous serving of maple syrup and chocolate sauce. so good that finishing the serving (they come in pairs) was a breeze 😛

we enjoyed the waffles so much that the 2 of us decided to get an additional scoop of ice cream to round off our impromptu ice cream date. we had a single scoop of horlicks choc chip in a cone:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
a single scoop of ice cream is $3.

the taste of the horlicks was rather light and the ice cream was thus not too sweet. the chocolate chips were also very well-mixed in quite a generous quantity such that nearly every bite contained a few choc chip bits, which i liked.

creamier is a funky little neighbourhood hangout that i am definitely going to return to. they also serve coffee besides ice cream, and i’m looking forward to heading down one afternoon to try it! 

if you are worried about not being able to find the shop on foot since its quite a distance away (about a 12 minute walk) from the more bustling toa payoh central, fear not! i believe there are buses you can take from the central. otherwise, creamier is within walking distance from both caldecott and braddell mrt stations. the trek is worth it! and if you drive, you have even more reason to come since parking is plentiful.
the shop isn’t hard to find at all once you get to the right block, especially if you go at night. most of the shops are closed by then, and so the warm yellow lighting that spills out from the glass windows fronting the shop and customers milling around outside and at the playground it faces are hard to miss! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Creamier handcrafted ice cream & coffee
Blk 128 Toa Payoh Lorong 1
#01-835
Singapore 310128