Singapore was the first place I got to sit down at a fancy restaurant that was designed just for the purpose of serving ice cream, like the Haagen-Dazs restaurants that are so common here in Singapore.
There are, of course, places like this in the US, but they’re mostly in major cities like New York City. I wasn’t aware of them, so I never went to visit one. I thought the ice cream you get in the grocery store was only available in the grocery store.
There were ice cream places I went to like Baskin Robbins, Brewster’s and Marble Slab Creamery, but these places are set up as fast food ice cream parlors. The seats, if there were any at all, are the hard plastic kind that encourage you to enjoy your ice cream, but to do it quickly and make room for the next person.
Since I’ve never been to a Haagen-Dazs restaurant in the US I have no basis for comparison but the experience here was a good one. The seats were cushioned and comfortable, the table we chose was low-set, and the dishes and silverware were good quality. The ice cream was served with presentation in mind too. So, eating Haagen-Dazs ice cream in Singapore can be a very luxury experience.
Unfortunately, it comes with a luxury price tag as well. The two plates shown in this post came up to around 42 SGD (about 29 USD) and I remember being stunned at the bill. In the US you can get a half-gallon of premium ice cream for about 13 or 14 bucks. Or at least you could the last time I was there. I’m finding out that a lot of foods I took for granted as being cheap in the US are a lot more expensive abroad. I think it has a lot to do with how the corn industry is subsidized by the government in the US. Ya, that’s kind of a weird stretch, right? Watch Food Inc. and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Anyway, it’s still a nice way to pamper yourself from time to time, if you have the money to spend.
Manpuku at Tampines 1 has a stall called Aoba Ramen (I think) that sells some really kick-ass dishes. I hadn’t noticed it before, probably because I always associate ramen with that cheap, instant stuff I’m used to seeing in grocery stores. After reading some blogs about Japan though, I stopped to give it serious consideration and decided to try it out.
My wife and I both fixated on the shoyu ramen that had pieces of pork set on top of it. It was a great choice! I didn’t have my camera on me so I snapped some photos with my iPhone.
We also got a side order of gyoza with our ramen. I think there was a discounted price that day so we decided to give them a try. They were also very good.
We finished the meal off by trying the green tea ice cream, which was listed as ‘macha’ ice cream. It has a unique taste and is pretty good. I think the taste would get old if I ate it too often. It can also play games with your stomach, so be careful of that.
Looking at the picture of the ramen, blurry as it is, makes me hungry. I think I’ll try to convince my wife that we should go back there soon.