For some people, dessert is an entire meal unto itself. It is an art of mixing sweet and cold, savory and warm, sticky and crunchy — all for the search of the ultimate palate cleanser to satisfy the biggest sweet tooth. Singaporeans, without a doubt, take their dessert seriously. After all, coming from a country that prides itself for its cuisine shouldn’t expect anything less than the best.
Singaporean desserts echo its country’s multicultural background, deriving its flavors from the Malay, Chinese, Indian, English and Peranakan cuisine they are so rightfully proud of. Easily found in hawker stalls and small dessert shops around the island, it has never been easier to get your sweet fix.
Whether you’re living in Singapore or simply visiting for the weekend, Evolve Daily has rounded up 7 Singaporean Desserts You’ll Absolutely Love. If you have a sweet tooth, read on to see how you can satisfy your craving:
1) Es Kachang
The Singapore humidity just got friendlier thanks to a bowl of es kachang, a refreshing, shaved ice dessert that finds its origins in Malaysia. Topped with red beans, sweet corn, agar agar, attap chee (palm seed) and grass jelly, this dessert is definitely a favorite amongst locals. Don’t be surprised if your ice is rainbow colored, it’s just red rose syrup and sarsi syrup!
Available at: Lau Pa Sat, Raffles Place
2) Tau Huay
As you’ll notice with many of the desserts mentioned, most are chilled or served with shaved ice. Tau huay is soya beancurd, which can be served hot or chilled. Made with boiled soybean milk, sugar and coagulant, it is cooled until it forms a pudding-like texture. Found practically all over the island, this creamy silken pudding can be enjoyed any time of day.
Available at: Lao Ban, Maxwell Food Centre, Tanjong Pagar or any Mr. Bean outlet islandwide
3) Pushcart Ice Cream
Many Singaporeans wax poetic about this nostalgic childhood treat. After school in the afternoons, a bell would signal that the pushcart ice cream uncle was open for business. Pushcart ice cream carts offer ice cream that comes in a variety of local flavors such as durian, red bean to vanilla, chocolate or blueberry. Whether you want your ice cream sandwiched in bread, in a cup or between wafers, nothing is quite as satisfying as having this on a blazing, hot day.
Available at: along Orchard Road, usually in front of Takashimaya Department Store or Paragon.
4) Nonya Kueh
These brightly colored delicacies are painstakingly made by hand, following traditional Peranakan recipes passed down from generation to generation. The word “kueh” itself covers a wide variety of snacks, cakes, cookies, fritters and pastries all containing hints of coconut and pandan, sweetened with palm sugar.
Available at: Bengawan Solo, various outlets islandwide.
Although many versions of chendol are found throughout Southeast Asia, this refreshing dessert is known for its ubiquitous green, stringy jelly. Served with red beans, gula Melaka, coconut milk , pandan jelly and shaved ice, this is definitely a treat you wouldn’t want to miss out on!
Available at: Mei Heong Yuen, Chinatown Point Mall
6) Cheng Tng
Many Chinese believe in the cooling and heating properties of food, claiming that some foods have an effect on your body temperature. Cheng Tng is considered to be an especially “cooling” dessert because of the dried persimmon, wintermelon, white fungus, barley and sweet potato used in it. The shaved ice probably helps as well.
Available at: 88 San Ren Cold & Hot Dessert, Newton Food Centre
7) Tau Suan
If you prefer desserts that are both sweet and savory, Tau Suan is your best bet. Made with steamed mung beans, the beans are transferred to a pot with a sweet broth of pandan leaves, sugar and thickened with starch. Served with fried you tiao or fried dough fritters, this dessert is truly proof that opposites do attract.
Available at: Tiong Bahru Tau Suan, Tiong Bahru Market
When you’re done with dessert (and properly digested everything, of course), head on over to Evolve MMA for an intense martial arts workout. Not only will you burn those unwanted calories, it will also allow you room for more. What are you waiting for?