From watermelon soju sorbet to gelato inspired by the frosty taste of Vietnam’s own Hoa Vien beer, Southeast Asia Globe takes you through some of the region’s tastiest ice cream parlours
Latteria Gelato, Jakarta
Jakarta’s Latteria Gelato has pledged to make your longawaited cheat days worthwhile, and by God are they doing their best to make you stretch those days into weeks. Flavours on offer run the gamut from classics such as Rocky Road and Tiramisu to more inspired combinations, including Perfect Match (chamomile and cherry), tantalising Titanic tribute Rose & Jack (pistachio gelato served with rose water meringue and pistachio crumble), the diet-busting Ba Da Bing (milk chocolate, brownie and fudge) and the Oreogasm (probably best not to ask).
Ralf’s Artisan Gelato, Ho Chi Minh City
Dedicated to serving handcrafted gelato in the true Italian tradition, this relatively recent addition to Ho Chi Minh City’s sweets scene comes all the way from Germany, where the eponymous Ralf – Italian on his mother’s side – left behind his Munich-bound career as a public relations consultant for the cold embrace of authentic artisanal ice cream. Despite his quest to build familiar flavours such as amarena and stracciatella from scratch, Ralf also draws inspiration from local delicacies – most delightfully, Vietnam’s own Hoa Vien beer.
FATCAT Ice Cream Bar, Singapore
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys ice cream, waffles and utterly shameless puns, then FATCAT Ice Cream Bar (“Made from scratch”) is the place for you. This Singaporean ice cream parlour prides itself on its rotating roster of flavours made fresh from seasonal ingredients. Earl Grey Lavender? Of course. Hay and honey? Why not? Charcoal waffles topped with white peach sangria and watermelon soju ice cream served with lashings of salted egg yolk sauce? Don’t be silly. Of course they have it.
Gelato Lab, Siem Reap
Nestled in the heart of Cambodia’s Temple Town, Gelato Lab sources ingredients from across the globe: hazelnuts from Vietnam, chocolate from Venezuela, vanilla beans from Madagascar and coffee from Guatemala and Ethiopia. If that last one piqued your interest, you’re in luck: in addition to its state-of-the-art kitchen stocked with world-class gelato-making machinery, Gelato Lab hand-roasts its own coffee. If the clamour and chaos of Siem Reap’s neighbouring Pub Street has your head in a spin, Gelato Lab is the perfect place to chill out.
Inside Scoop, Kuala Lumpur
No trip to Malaysia is complete without a chance whiff of durian thoroughly washed from your palette with a piping-hot cup of teh tarik. Now, travellers hoping to fill their bellies with local luxuries during hot season can wend their way to Inside Scoop to sample local sorbet sensations such as cempedak (think jackfruit with attitude), cendol (a sweet green rice-flour jelly) and gula melaka (Malaysia’s take on coconut palm sugar). With more than 70 flavours in rotation, Inside Scoop surely has something to tempt even the most fastidious foodie.
This article was published in the July 2018 edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.