Is This The Best Ice Cream in Puchong? Inside Scoop @ IOI Boulevard, Bandar Puchong Jaya

Nothing beats cold, creamy ice cream on a hot day – especially in Malaysia’s tropical weather.

In Puchong, there’s Inside Scoop, a well-known local chain offering fresh, artisanal ice cream with a distinctive local twist. Founded by a husband and wife team in 2013, the company started off with an outlet in Bangsar, but it has since expanded to over 20 all across Peninsular Malaysia. With flavours such as Gula Melaka, Cendol, Teh Tarik and Durian that appeal to the local palate, it’s no wonder they’ve been able to hold their own against internationally renowned chains such as Baskin Robbins and Haagen Daz.

20200628_160242

Their Puchong outlet is cosy, sporting the brand’s signature bright and cheery yellow. Adhering to the new normal, diners are required to check in with their details via QR code. They also no longer give out free tasting samples, for hygiene purposes.

20200628_160253

Inside Scoop offers over 70 flavours on rotation, and they carry both creamy gelatos and refreshing sorbets. During our visit, there was a good mix of local flavours(cendol, mango sorbet) and more traditional offerings (mint chocolate, peanut butter jelly, Nutella, vanilla, dark chocolate).

20200628_160257

A single scoop in a cup costs RM8.30, while the double is RM14.60. Certain flavours go for an additional RM1.90. You can also get them in a cone, or with their buttermilk or signature waffles.

20200628_160225

As a creature of habit, if I find something that I like on the menu, I tend to gravitate to the same choices every time I visit (because you can’t go wrong with them!). I also prefer the classics, so it was a combo of Vanilla Bean and Valrhona Dark Chocolate for me.

At Inside Scoop, all of their ice creams are handcrafted from scratch in small batches with no artificial flavourings or preservatives – and you can really tell from the taste. It’s creamy but not cloying, and definitely not too sweet. Lovers of dark chocolate will like the Valrhona because it’s thick, dark and rich, and pairs perfectly with the sweeter Vanilla Bean.

20200628_160524

G and Max had Mint with chocolate chip and Mixed Berries with Cheesecake. I’m not a big fan of mint, but Max loved it.  The mixed berries flavour was excellent as well – felt like we were having actual cheesecake.

Too lazy to go out or just cautious due to the pandemic? You can get ice cream pints and cakes delivered right to your doorstep. Order here. 

INSIDE SCOOP (Puchong Branch) 

E 26-G, IOI Boulevard,Jalan Kenari 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: Mon – Thurs (1PM – 11PM), Fri – Sat (12.30PM – 12AM), Sun (12.30PM – 11PM)

Phone: 03-8074 0139

insidescoop.com.my

Suzukien X Nanaya @ Asakusa, Tokyo – The World’s Strongest Matcha Ice-Cream

What do you get when you marry a venerable tea house with over 150 years of history, with a popular confectionery chain? If your answer is the world’s most intensely flavoured matcha ice cream, then you’d be right.

20190908_154524

Suzukien, located in the Asakusa neighbourhood of Tokyo (just across the road from Sensoji Temple), prides itself in serving Premium No.7, aka a gelato so packed with the flavours of matcha, your tastebuds will do a stop, drop and roll.

20190908_153143

20190908_153404

There are seven ‘degrees’ of matcha flavoured gelato served here, each more intense than the last. You can tell by the colouration itself, with the no.7 boasting a rich, almost dark green hue. The store can get pretty crowded, but they do have a small space at the back where you can indulge in your ice cream for a bit (standing room only).

20190908_153601

I was a little apprehensive to go all the way, so I picked something in between – probably a 2 or a 3. The matcha flavour was pretty pronounced, but mildly sweet, cool and refreshing – perfect for the summer heat.

20190908_153621

Aside from ice cream, you can find a variety of matcha products and tea souvenirs for sale here.

Suzukien @ Asakusa

3 Chome-4-3 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan

Opening hours: 10AM – 5PM (daily)

 

Make Your Own Chocolate @ Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie & Ice-Creamery, Flinders

 

Tucked by the sea on the Mornington Peninsula, the tiny town of Flinders (population: 905) is a two-hour drive south of Melbourne. Charming and idyllic, there are virtually no tall buildings here, and the main street is a wide expanse lined with beautifully manicured lawns and quaint shopfronts, some (like the post office and general store) of which date back to the 19th century, when the town was founded.

That is not to say that there isn’t anything to do in Flinders – it’s quite the opposite. I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite being away from the city centre, there is lots to do in town for visitors, from art galleries and golf courses, to nature trails, beaches and scuba diving sites.

20190216_153244

If you’re a chocolate or ice cream lover, then more reason to visit as Flinders is also home to the Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. Opened in December 2018 by husband and wife team Ian and Leanne Neeland (who are also behind the highly popular Yarra Valley and Great Ocean Road Chocolateries), the shop was a packed with customers during our visit on a Saturday, as staff bustled about handing out free samples and introducing the best flavours. The store offers a whopping 180 different chocolate varieties!

20190216_153426

 

20190216_153359

20190216_153512

Aside from ready-packed boxes you can get as souvenirs, the chocolaterie also offers handcrafted artisan chocolates, which form a colourful tapestry on display – each looking prettier than the last! The team behind these mini masterpieces are European chocolatiers, and you can watch them in action at the store and get an insight into the art of chocolate making.

20190216_154143

Better yet, try your hand at making chocolates, by joining one of the chocolaterie’s private Chocolate Discovery Classes. While you won’t be a master chocolatier anytime soon (that takes years of hard work and diligence!) it’s a great way to learn more about the art, and also take some of the chocolates you ‘make’ home.

Our session started off with tastings, and there were a variety of flavours to sample from. I like super dark chocolates, so the single origin cocoas were right up my alley, but I also liked the floral with its sweet, flowery scent, the spicy notes of the Buderim ginger, as well as the tangy hint from the Violet Forest Berries.

20190216_155836

More truffles for sampling!

20190216_161243

Our chocolatier, a pretty French lady (whose name slips my mind – I think it was Anne) guided us to create two chocolate items – chocolate bars (which we could fill up with our favourite toppings), as well as a chocolate lollipop to decorate. It felt like play-cooking at times! For the bar, after we made the ‘base’, we had to pour the chocolate over to seal up the toppings, which was easier said than done as we had to be quick with our hands, or the chocolate would spill over.

20190216_163707

I have the artistic capability of a five-year old. I think some five-year olds can probably make something better than this lol. Nevertheless, we had lots of fun and we left with plenty of chocolate (and some extra, to boot).

MORNINGTON PENINSULA CHOCOLATERIE & ICE CREAMERY 

45 Cook St, Flinders VIC 3929, Australia

Opening hours: 9AM – 5PM (daily)

mpchoc.com.au

 

Follow me on social media!

Ben & Jerry’s Opens First-Ever Scoop Shop In Malaysia @ Sunway Pyramid

WHO WANTS FREE ICE CREAM? 

Well then you gotta be at Sunway Pyramid tomorrow (2 September), as world-famous ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s (of course you’ve heard of them) will be giving away 10,000 free scoops from 12PM to 8PM, in conjunction with their grand opening.

The Launch of Malaysia's First Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop - [L-R] Koh Tsu Lynn (Category Lead for Ice Cream), Woody (Ben & Jerry's mascot), Shiv Sahgal (Food and Refreshments, Marketing Director of Unilever Malaysia)

I have fond memories of Ben & Jerry’s as a university student in the UK, where I’d stay up late nights eating an entire tub of Chocolate Fudge Brownie (yes, my metabolism still allowed this back then, lol) while binge watching shows on the net. So I’m pretty excited that they’ve finally opened a specialised outlet here, where everyone can enjoy their delicious, mouth-watering chunks and swirls!

The Launch of Malaysia's First Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop - Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

The Scoop Shop will be serving an exciting menu of 16 ice cream flavours, including fan favourites such as Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chunky Monkey, New York Super Fudge Chunk, Triple Caramel Chunk and Tonight Dough, alongside new shakes, sundaes, ice cream cakes and a wide range of merchandise.

The Launch of Malaysia's First Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop - The Selection of Shakes offered at the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop

Perfect thirst quenchers and sweet treats to cool down after a hot day (or if you need a break from all that shopping!)

The Launch of Malaysia's First Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop - Guests with their Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

The Launch of Malaysia's First Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop - Ben & Jerry's Partnership with eat X dignity

Apart from just selling ice cream, the brand believes in giving back and evoking social and environmental change, so they’ve partnered with eat X dignity – a homegrown initiative that provides underprivileged students with entrepreneurial opportunities in the F&B industry – to create baked goods that will be readily available at the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop in KL. The shop will also embark on reducing single-use plastic in-store, by offering biodegradable paper straws and wooden spoons to customers.

Aside from the Scoop Shop, you can also get pints and mini-pints at major supermarkets such as AEON, Jaya Grocer’s and Sam’s Groceria.

benjerry.com.my

Best Gelato in Australia? – Gelato Messina @Fitzroy, Melbourne

If you Google ‘best gelato in Australia’, chances are that Gelato Messina is on the list. Established in Sydney in 2002 by a family with Sicilian roots, the highly successful ice-cream chain has stores all over the country, including in Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne. It was the latter, tucked in a corner of Melbourne’s bohemian/hipster neighbourhood of Fitzroy, that I visited recently on a press trip.

We got there at a good time, as there wasn’t much of a queue. There were several tables on the sidewalk where customers were enjoying their cold treats on a warm autumn afternoon.

There’s the cardinal rule of enticing one’s senses of sight and smell at food establishments – and Gelato Messina definitely had the first one down pat. As soon we stepped into the airy store, we were greeted by delightfully vivid mounds of gelati in all hues and shades, as well as towering cones of wafer sticking out like a magnificent countertop crown. Benches and beanbags lined the brick wall, left deliberately unfinished for a rustic, bohemian look.

A wonderfully messy playground of sweet and chocolate-y dreams. They have a whopping 40 flavours available, with five weekly rotating specials.

The glass case next to the ice-cream counter houses Gelato Messina’s signature items – gelato cakes – perfect for special events and celebrations. There’s the quirkily named Dr Evil’s Magic Mushroom (background), sure to be a hit with the kids (and the kids at heart!).

Made to look like a toadstool, the top dome is filled with dark chocolate gelato, peanut cookies and dulce de leche, topped with layers of vanilla cream, chocolate sponge, a red ganache and white chocolate buttons for the ‘spots’. Meanwhile, the ‘grass’ is crushed biscuit, white chocolate and almond praline and popping candy.

Evil indeed, for the waistline.

Another bestseller is their Hazelnut Zucotto (foreground), the brand’s first gelato cake which features hazelnut and gianduia gelato encased in a frangelico-soaked hazelnut sponge and cream/finished with mirror glaze (for that shiny smooth appearance).

We got behind the counter for some backstage action, where a kitchen staff was busy whipping up ingredients for a limited edition gelato cake. This involved dipping a beater into hot caramel sugar and whipping it around to create glossy, gossamer-like sugar webs; as fine as spun thread. It was a tedious process, but I understand now why people keep coming back to Messina – it’s their commitment for fresh ingredients and making as much as possible in-house. When you control the ingredients and how they’re made, you also control the end flavours to ensure that everything is top quality.

Messina Melbourne’s head chef, Michelangelo Vinci is as dreamy as his desserts oh cough ahem i mean ahem. 

Well, as they say, the proof is in the pudding (or in this case, the ice-cream) so we had to sample a couple of flavours. I love dairy, so I went for their dairy flavours (which are low in fat, coz they use less cream). We couldn’t try all 40, but my favourites were the Tiramisu, which was delightfully fluffy thanks to the egg, marsala and mascarpone, with lady finger biscuits soaked in espresso coffee, as well as the Vanilla which also had eggs, organic Tahitian vanilla bean and fresh milk for an awesomely creamy texture. Thick, rich and not overly sweet.

Adventurous souls can find some unusual pairings, like the coconut + lychee, poached figs in marsala and yoghurt caramel. The sorbet range offers flavours like salted coconut and mango salsa, blood orange, lemon and strawberry.

GELATO MESSINA (Fitzroy branch)

237 Smith St Fitzroy, VIC 3065

Phone: (03)94170488

Business hours: Sun- Thurs (12pm – 11pm), Fri-Sat (12PM – 1130PM) – for those late night ice cream cravings!

 

Nestle Tradisi Potong Launches New ‘Raya’ Flavours

 

Ais-krim Potong or ‘cut’ ice-cream (potong means cut in Malay) is a dessert unique to Malaysia and Singapore. As early as the 60s, they were a popular and inexpensive treat – usually made with local flavours such as red bean, durian, sweet corn and yam.

The name is derived from the technique used to make it. Before high-tech machines came, small businesses would make these by laying them out on a flat tray, pushing wooden sticks into the mix and then cutting them up – hence the square shape.

Photo 2-tile

Today, the potong is still popular and has a lot of sentimental value, especially for people my age and those who grew up with it. Tapping on to this, Nestle has launched two new flavours to reflect our Malaysian heritage: the Sirap Bandung and Coconut Gula Melaka, to complement its existing Red Bean flavour. Just in time to get into the Raya mood!

20160518_112231-tile

They gave it a modern twist with a roundish shape, as it is easier to eat. Got to try the Coconut Gula Melaka one during the launch…and it was good! Some potong ice-creams tend to have a higher ice-to-flavour ratio, but this was rich and creamy, infused with a strong taste of sweet, caramel-ly palm sugar and coconut. Could easily pop a few in one go.

20160518_103419-tile

The launch was held at Kompleks Kraf in KL. True to its ‘traditional’ theme, the event space had been transformed into a village-like setting, with booths where guests could play games like Congkak, Batu Seremban and have their caricatures done.

20160518_104346-tile

Adding to the feel was staff members and business associates, who came dressed in traditional wear.

20160518_104324-tile

Guests playing Congkak. In the Philippines, they call it Sungka. They pretty much share the same rules – get the most marbles (or stones, or whatever small items available) into your ‘homebase’ (the two big holes at the ends) as possible. To do this, one has to plan and strategise. Players pass by each hole by putting one marble in it, so one has to play smart in order to beat the opponent.

20160518_105231-tile

Other guests reliving their Batu Seremban game days. Batu Seremban or ‘five stones’ is a traditional Malay game that hones deft hands: you have to throw them into the air and catch them before they fall onto the table, or pick them up while still holding other ‘stones’. The game gets progressively harder, and is good for honing hand-eye coordination. The stones are usually small bean bags with rice in them. Back when we were kids, my mum would help me sew them using cloth scraps.

20160518_105253-tile

They also invited artist Vivian Lees, who is famous for her coffee art, to do caricatures for guests.

20160518_122702-tile

H and I got our caricatures done… I think they look pretty accurate! 🙂

YCH_0160-tile

Bumped into Kel at the event. The last time around I also bumped into her at the launching of Nestle’s Caffe Caramel. As she puts it: “I seem to keep  bumping into you at ice-cream events!” Credits to CH for the great photo!

The Tradisi Potong is available at hypermarkets and stores nationwide, retailing at RM7.90 for 8 sticks in three flavours – Red Bean, Coconut Gula Melaka and Sirap Bandung.