Cream of the crops: Ice cream trends in Kuching

Anyone who’s experienced pangs of hunger and cravings when looking at an ice cream cone can attest that the sugary, creamy treat is near irresistible. When you break down the chemistry behind ice cream, it’s easy to see why: It’s been engineered to have the perfect combination of elements — sugar, fat, frozen water, and air — that make up the mouthwatering concoction. As the variety of ice cream in Sarawak grew, so did the unique and interesting flavours of the icy, cold treat.

A haven for ice cream lovers

Anytime is a good time to have ice cream, whether you are craving desserts or just down from having a bad day. And, with the growing trend of various types of ice cream, Kuching has become a haven for ice cream adventures.

These days, ice cream has evolved from the typical vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavours. New flavours are now available, with different toppings ranging from ground nuts and cereals to even durians. The trend started with the introduction of gula apong ice cream a couple of years ago. At the time, the bubble milk tea trend was at its peak.

Today, an array of exotic-flavoured ice creams has replaced the bubble milk tea trend as trendsetters compete to discover the next best thing. While bubble milk tea continues to have its place, more ice-cream parlours have emerged on the market, turning into popular spots to hang out. Since ice cream is loved by all ages, these parlours are often thronged by children, teenagers, and adults, all wanting to have a taste of the sweet treats. 

Among the many new ice cream trends, these are some of the most popular ones among ice cream lovers:

Gula Apong ice-cream

Most would agree that the pioneer of this trend is RG Aiskrim Gula Apong, located at the Open Air Market, Jalan Gertak. This ice cream stall has been in business for over two decades and was the original trendsetter. When they introduced the flavour, many quickly followed suit, creating their own unique version of gula apong ice cream.

 Recently, a new ice cream parlour opened in Satok. It houses another popular brand, IG Aiskrim. With their speciality being gula apong flavoured ice cream, topped with either cornflakes, pearls, or Oreo crumbs, the joint provides a modern ambience, which entices many to flock to the cafe for a photo with their best sellers.

A perfect gula apong ice cream is smooth and has a balanced sweetness. Gula apong-flavoured ice cream is distinguishable regardless of its style. Since gula apong is known as a local specialty in Sarawak, it is a classic flavour familiar to many. We used to think gula apong was only used in Teh C Peng Specials or cooking — but now it’s in our favourite desserts.

Honeycomb Ice Cream

Honeycomb ice cream is a popular trend nowadays.

This is the latest craze to hit the shores of Sarawak. Though honeycomb ice cream is not something new, the trend picked up steam when the late celebrity Siti Sarah and her husband Shuib Sepahtu introduced the variety under their brand name, Bubble Bee. Their version of honeycomb ice cream was made of layers of goodness. The bottom layer consists of cornflakes, which are then covered with vanilla ice cream, topped with honey balls and a honeycomb. The whole cup is then drizzled with honey.

This year, many local businesses attempted to imitate the ice cream and, in the process, created their own versions of it. So, even though Bubble Bee is not available in Sarawak, we are fortunate enough to be able to get a taste of the ice cream variety through the efforts of these entrepreneurs.

 It was, indeed, a novel way to eat ice cream. When one first tries it, one will notice a burst of honey in every bite. By chewing on the honeycomb together with a spoon of ice cream, one can taste the merging of flavours from both as it melts in the mouth. Each bite turns into an addiction of its own that warrants more.

Cornetto Love Rose

Eating a cone of ice cream, we are familiar with the swirls created by the ice cream machine. Similarly, when we unwrap an ice cream cone from the chiller, we would expect a flat piece of cream on top. However, Wall’s Cornetto recently created an ice cream that looks like a rose when unwrapped. How romantic, one would say.

 The brand new Love Rose is pink and flavoured with peach. A bite is addictive as it is quite refreshing to the taste buds as peach-flavoured ice cream is not something you see everyday. The flavour is not overwhelming, yet you can still taste the scent of peach.

Aside from enjoying the ice cream, it has become a trend on social media to take a picturesque photo of the ice cream. The Love Rose is definitely a clever marketing gesture by Wall’s Cornetto. Every day, there will always be someone posting a photo of this ice cream on social media, tempting many others into buying it. There’s nothing to be disappointed about, though, because the price is standard for a Cornetto, the taste is good, and it’s also very pleasing to the eye!

Three Tea Ice Cream

There are different toppings that can be added to the Three Tea ice cream. Among the ones available are pearls, with their ability to sweeten the ice cream.

When I first tasted this ice cream, it was no wonder the queue for this ice cream could be long. During peak hours, the queue stretches quite a distance behind. This ice cream parlour is conveniently located at the Kuching Waterfront, and many people will share photos of themselves enjoying this creamy goodness with the Kuching Waterfront in the background.

 Available in two different flavours — coffee and tea — this soft-serve ice cream has a neutral taste of sweetness. Those who are familiar with Three Tea Teh C Peng canned drinks will find the ice cream flavour a little less sweet. However, what caused the addiction of many was how smooth the texture of it was, alongside the interesting flavours.

What piqued my interest was the coffee flavour. It has a balanced taste of bitterness and sweetness to it. Among the two flavours, coffee is the more popular, but for those who want a more neutral flavour, the tea flavour will do just as well.

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