Udders Ice Cream in Singapore (Honeymoon Part I)

So much has happened since I last blogged. The most important thing being that I married a guy who makes me smile every day:

And following our beautiful wedding, K and I hopped on a plane to kick off our around-the-world honeymoon adventure! In less than three weeks, we visited five countries. The first destination was Singapore!

While the main reason we visited in Singapore was that it’s on the way to the Maldives (our second stop), I was really excited about visiting the city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. We had one full day to explore and, boy, did we fit a lot in! Despite the heat, we did lots of walking, window shopping on Orchard Road, taking in the impressive city views from the rooftop bar at Marina Bay Sands, and even enjoyed an original Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel (the birthplace of the popular cocktail).

Given the oppressive August heat, stopping for an afternoon ice cream was imperative. That’s where Udders Ice Cream came in. Udders is a popular Singaporean ice-cream chain with five locations around the city. While it’s best-known among locals for its “adult” (i.e. alcoholic) ice-cream flavors, I must admit that the store’s silly name is what caught my eye. But given that there was a line of customers on a workday afternoon, I figured there must be more than great marketing to the story.

The interior of the store was colorful and creative; I ‘d read that founder David Yim was a schoolteacher before venturing out as an ice-cream entrepreneur, and I could see evidence of this throughout the store. I was happy to see plentiful seating inside. My feet needed a rest! I especially liked the glass panels in the dining area, where customers can leave their own doodles using colorful paint pens.

I also saw a lot of creativity in the ice-cream case. While flavors do rotate, you’re not likely to see plain-ol’ vanilla or chocolate at Udders. The most “normal” (by American standards) flavor I saw was the Strawberry Fields, studded with dark red strawberry bits. Most flavors here are unique Asian flavors or alcoholic concoctions (which are only sold to customers over 18 years old). Sadly, many of the most-appealing flavors contained gluten and were thus off-limits to me:

Snickers Mars Honeycomb Vanilla – plain vanilla chock-full of candy bits
Horlicks Balls – malted ice cream with crushed Maltesers balls
Cereal Killer –  bourbon ice cream with cornflakes and caramel biscuits (I’d love to create a gluten-free version at home!)
How good do those sound?!?
The friendly people behind the counter recognized my indecision, and they offered to give me a sample. I requested a taste of the Sexy Me, Udder’s take on black sesame. It has a beautiful jet-black color, and I fell in love with its nutty, sweet, and earthy richness. It only took that one nibble for me to deem it the “best sesame ice cream I’ve ever had!”
And while I was tempted to order one of the sinful-sounding sundaes and shakes that Udders advertises, I settled on a double-scoop cup of Wineberries (port-soaked cranberries in port ice cream) and D24 Durian (made from the flesh of premium D24 durian).
Now, K had warned me about durian before. Popular in Southeast Asia, the fruit has a pungent, overpowering smell that most people find unpleasant. But durian supposedly tastes much better than it smells, and many people adore it in fruity desserts. I figured it was worth a shot! But as soon as the lady behind the counter opened the glass door behind the tub of durian ice cream, I was overcome by a strange, putrid smell that turned my stomach. I couldn’t believe how it was possible to love the taste of something that smelled so bad!

I must mention the interesting pricing structure at Udders. The “Classic” flavors, which do not contain alcohol, cost less than the boozy “Premium” and “Connoisseur” flavors. While it was confusing at first, I really like the differentiated pricing structure as those who order non-alcoholic flavors don’t have to subsidize the boozy flavors. Since the Wineberries is a “Connoisseur” flavor and the D24 Durian is a “Classic,” my double-scoop came out at $8.30SGD, or $6.64USD. (I did think this was a bit too pricey)

The verdict? This was one of the few cups of ice cream that I really had no desire to finish. While the temperature of the ice cream was good — not too soft and not frozen solid – neither flavor blew my socks off. Unfortunately, the D24 Durian tasted no better to me than it smelled. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste? K also couldn’t stand the taste, and we both agreed that we’d avoid the flavor in the future. Luckily, our taste buds got along better with the Wineberries ice cream. While the ice cream was not sweet enough, I did enjoy chewing on the bits of port-soaked cranberries and savoring the light taste of alcohol in the port-flavored base. Overall, the quality of Udders’ ice cream wasn’t incredibly impressive; the creaminess and flavor intensity were no better than regular store-bought ice cream. Needless to say, I’ll try a different ice-cream shop next time I’m in Singapore… or just stick to the sesame flavor 🙂

The Stats:
Udders Ice Cream
Five locations in Singapore (I went to the Novena store)

Review of “Ice Cream Magic” Maker: Too Good to Be True?

The temperatures may be freezing here in DC, but my ice-cream cravings know no season. Just this week, I finally got around to breaking out one of my favorite Christmas presents from my mom: Ice Cream Magic. You may have seen the commercial for this product on TV (perhaps many, many times), touting that Ice Cream Magic makes homemade ice cream in three minutes. While I tend to be skeptical of “As Seen On TV” products, I was excited to give this a shot. Heck, I figured, if Magic Ice Cream works, I could make single-servings of ice cream on weeknights (when I’m on my own with no one to share pints with).

Ice Cream Magic’s packaging is bright and cheery, enticing one to tear open the box and get into the fun…. Those kids in the pictures are having the time of their lives!

Inside the box, I found a small booklet with instructions and recipes for different ice-cream flavors. The formula was basically the same for each: some heavy or whipping cream, a dash of a flavor extract (usually vanilla), and some granulated sugar. If you’d like to add a mix in, you do so after shaking up the ice cream.

On this day, the Chocolate Chip Mint sounded great. I easily gathered the necessary ingredients around my kitchen:
– 1/4 cup whipping cream
– 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– chocolate chips

I measured out the ingredients into a mug and stuck it in the fridge (the booklet notes that ingredients should be very cold for best results) while I prepped the Ice Cream Magic contraption. After washing and drying the freezing bowl and ingredients lid (the parts which would touch the ice cream), I followed the instructions and filled the base with ice, four tablespoons salt, and four tablespoons of tap water. I then replaced the freezing bowl over the ice, poured in the chilled ingredients and secured the ingredients lid, and finally twisted the outside cover lid.

All parts assembled, I set my iPhone timer for three minutes and started shaking the Ice Cream Magic aggressively and continuously. And, wow, was it a good arm workout! But when my alarm went off, I shook the contraption for an extra minute for good measure. Then, I carefully unscrewed the cover and pulled off the ingredients lid…

That’s some sad-looking ice cream

The verdict? Ice Cream Magic is definitely NOT my idea of magic. Not only was it a fairly-tedious process to generate a measly half-cup of dessert, but the actual final product wasn’t even as thick as a milkshake — let alone real ice cream! I was disappointed, but I can’t say I was surprised. I advise any parents against purchasing Ice Cream Magic for your kids because — unless they like ice-cream soup — they will be sorely disappointed. Always the big kid, I was so frustrated with my lack of real ice cream that I pulled out my Cuisinart and made myself a full batch of mint chocolate chip ice cream. After the Magic Ice Cream fail, I nearly kissed my “big girl” ice-cream maker in gratitude.

The Stats:
Ice Cream Magic is sold online here and here