Some foods were meant to be tinkered with, and as Gerard Ward finds, made in all sorts of new ways.
Chocolate-coated Waffle Cone Coffee Cup
MavRx Coffee Apothecary
1A Duxton Hill, 089587
While we’ve all pondered what could work as edible plates and cutlery, there are coffee cups that can hold your drink, and be your post-coffee snack. What looks like the bottom half of an ice-cream cone are waffle cone cups, coated in chocolate and built to withstand an espresso and steamed milk. At $10 each they aren’t exactly a cheap option for caffeine, but considering these cups are flown in from the US – and can take weeks to replenish once stock runs out – it’s worth giving it a go at least once.
Alchemist Beer Lab
South Beach Avenue, 26 Beach Road, #B1-16, 189768
Making a shandy with beer and lemonade is one thing, but combining a stout with marshmallows, vanilla pods and mint leaves seems a bit excessive. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, they say, which rings true for this microbrewery in South Beach Avenue. Teaming up with Changi Village’s Little Island Brewing Company, Alchemist Beer Lab has a laboratory-looking bar setup of 16 beer towers – half are your standard craft beers, and the other an amalgamation of different ingredients.
Drinks like Passionista (cider, passionfruit and pulasan) and Hopzilla (ale, Motueka New Zealand hops and mandarin orange) are tested and tweaked according to drinkers’ opinions. Tell them there’s not enough guava, and you might notice a change in the next brewed batch. The bar also has some good bar snacks and tapas to grab while you sample the selection of beery concoctions – we featured the Thai chicken wings recipe last month.
Puff Pastry Ice-cream Cones
124 Tanjong Pagar Road, 088533
If you’re wondering what happened to the old-fashioned ice-cream cones, those tasteless, papery vessels are a thing of the past. Waffle cones have been the cone of choice nowadays. So how does an ice-creamery go one step up? A mix between a crispy, flaky croissant and pie pastry, the ‘puffone’ makes a mess and it’s delicious – tables have transparent plastic coverings for this very reason. You’ll be asked whether you’d like to coat the inside of the cone with chocolate – this is when you notice the tap of chocolate flowing like a beautiful fondue – which is a free top-up.
There’s a dozen flavours to choose from, from speculoos and mint to blue pea sea salt. Stack on top of your puffone ($1.50) a single scoop ($4.80) or double ($7.80). As you come to the bottom of the cone, you’ll find a pool of chocolate not unlike a Cornetto – though this chocolate is still in liquid form. These guys also make bowls out of waffles.
Liquid Nitrogen Ice-cream
6 Eu Tong Sen Street, 059817
Made-to-order ice-cream is not something you hear as a request, but now that science and technology has become almighty, ice-cream maker 320 Below have opened ice-creameries around town with a unique technique – liquid nitrogen. A dangerous substance to meddle with during high school science experiments, the makers at this shop have no qualms working with the substance. The benefit of liquid nitrogen bringing the ice-cream mixture’s temperature down to under -320°F – roughly -195°C – is having made-to-order ice-cream in mere minutes. Using a tank of LN2 pumped into the mix, your dessert is made within minutes – cancelling the need for any preservatives, flavourings or emulsifiers.
This quick-freezing process also means the amount of sugar can be lowered, and there are no ice crystals, making it smoother – something I noticed when ordering the Thai Coconut ($5.80 a cup). The signature ice-cream also contains pieces of juicy coconut too. The almost two dozen flavours on offer – a few of which can be turned into sorbet or yoghurt too – range from friendly chocolate, vanilla and strawberry to apple cinnamon, black forest and tiramisu.
Salted Egg Yolk Potato Crisps
The Golden Duck Co
The salted egg yolk trend isn’t new – in fact, it’s been around for decades. Usually paired with black pepper or chili crabs back in the 1990s, salted egg yolk sauce doesn’t sound too appetising at first – though neither is Vegemite if you try explaining what it is. If you were around last year, cafes and bakeries were jumping on the bandwagon of adding the golden yellow creamy sauce to various foods – like Drury Lane’s salted eggs benedict and BreadTalk’s salted egg yolk croissants. Avoiding the messiness of the viral trend of 2016, the flavour is now in potato chip form by Singaporean snack company The Golden Duck Co.
Originally these Gourmet Salted Egg Yolk Potato Chips ($7.30) were only available by ordering in bulk online – I know this because when these were first announced I tried getting some for the magazine. Now you’ll find these in tons of locations, from Pasarbella to 7/11. These particular chips have hints of chilli and curry leaves, leaning more towards the salt than the sweet – sweet potato chips don’t work very well. If you’ve got a taste for this Singaporean favourite, perhaps the resealable top of the packet will never be used for its intended purpose.