Better than bingsu, much cheaper than bingsu too. I understand the Korean wave but not everything Korean is better than what we have. Our local food is much tastier and even our desserts are so much more interesting than just plain artificial colourings. Our local desserts may not be very instagram-worthy but they are definitely able to cool us down or warm us up depending on the weather, and yet still remain pocket-friendly.
Being tasty yet affordable, these sweet snacks listed here will definitely be here to stay, and will be great for your overseas friends to try:
Source: Marco Verch
1. Ice Kachang
Singapore's favourite local dessert is undoubtedly the Ice Kachang! There will usually be red beans, attap chee, grass jelly and other agar agar included in the condiments. Top them up with shaved ice and coated with sweet syrup such as rose syrup or sarsi syrup, end off the top layer with condensed milk for a wonderful bowl of delicious dessert. All for only $1.50!
There are also modern versions that have ice cream, durian, peanuts or even aloe vera toppings that you can add to it to get maximum shiokness.
I will choose this over bingsu anytime.
Where to get a good bowl of it: Jin Jin Hot / Cold Dessert
2. Chendol or Cendol
Mix together green rice flour jelly, coconut milk and gula melaka, and you will get a cooling bowl of chendol when topped with a full bowl of shaved ice. The green rice flour jelly is derived from pandan leaves and taste wonderful with red beans and gula melaka. Good chendol is not easily found, especially those with handmade ingredients but you can always get them in restaurants selling peranakan cuisine.
Where to get a good bowl of it: Dove Desserts
Source: Kyle Lam
3. Cheng Tng
Cheng tng means clear soup and is a very nourishing dessert compared to the others found here. It can be taken hot or cold, depending on the weather and some key ingredients include lotus seeds, white fungus, dried longan, barley, gingko nuts, red dates and sago.
They usually taste refreshingly sweet and definitely able to quench your thirst anytime of the day.
Where to get a good bowl of it: Ye Lai Xiang Hot & Cold Cheng Tng
4. Soya Beancurd / Grass Jelly
Soya bean is loved by many, particularly because they offer lots of health benefits, such as high calcium content and dietary fibre. However, you need to take note of the sweet syrup content added into soya bean drinks and beancurd too!
In Singapore, we love to take soya bean desserts with grass jelly. The white colour of the soya bean drink and black colour of grass jelly give rise to the colloquial name "Michael Jackson". Some modern version now include rose syrup and even tapioca pearls, which are able to give bubble tea a run for its money!
Where to get a good bowl of it: Whampoa Soya Bean and Grass Jelly
5. Ah Balling Peanut Soup
Ah balling is the locals' way of calling this dessert snack, the name stemming from the size of the balls looking as big as duck's eggs. Of course nowadays, they have become more bite sized for ease of consumption. There are usually 3 flavours, like peanut, sesame and red bean. Sales will generally spike during the tangyuan season, also known as Dongzhi, which is the Chinese Winter Solstice.
These rice glutinous balls are usually submerged in peanut soup, which is really fragrant and delectable.
Where to get a good bowl of it: 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup
Thankfully, all these sweet desserts cost less than $2 and are great to counter our hot, humid weather!