When it comes to desserts in Singapore, our palates should be very thankful that we have so many places to choose from. One of our favourites has got to be ice cream, especially given our humid and warm climate (but who are we kidding — even in winter we’d gladly have a scoop or two!).
Apiary‘s location along Neil Road is rather unusual given that its neighbours include clubs, wine bars, and trendy restaurants. But we like to believe its success is due to its late closing hours, serving peckish patrons who feel like a treat could be just the thing to complete their day.
Walking into any ice cream shop, the first sight that always draws one’s attention is the wide selection of colourful ice cream available, and Apiary is no different. From the get-go, you can tell just from the flavour names that these ice cream flavours stand out from your run-of-the-mill ice cream stop.
There has been quite a buzz surrounding their Blue Milk ($3.90, and an additional $1 for a cone) flavour, so I knew I had to give it try for myself.
Blue Milk is made with blue pea flower, milk and sea salt. Flavour-wise, the blue pea flower did little in that department, but the sea salt and milk created a very balanced, not-overly-sweet profile. The texture was very milky and creamy, and I’m glad that it didn’t melt too fast.
I had already decided to try out the top three most interesting flavours, so for my second scoop, I went with Pink Peppercorn ($3.90).
I learnt that pink peppercorn itself is actually a dried berry from a plant commonly known as the Peruvian pepper tree. Its name came to be due to the fact that it resembles peppercorn, and has a peppery taste as well.
No prizes for guessing what this tasted like; it was simply like eating a spoonful of cream with a generous sprinkling of ground pepper in it. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was unpleasant, but if you’ve ever tried chilli ice cream, I would say this is probably its less fiery cousin.
I took a breather after two scoops, because you know, even a glutton like me needs to take five from eating. I was curious about their bottled drinks as they’re labels I’ve not come across before.
The Tapping Tapir is a Malaysian brand that sells natural sodas using real fruit juices, spices and herbs, which made me really wonder what the Lemonade & Lengkuas ($6.90) would taste like.
Expectedly, it was fragrant, had a very potent taste, was slightly acidic and left a sour note on the palate. On its own, I probably would be turned off by it, but because I was already enjoying something very sweet, this was a welcome relief.
I also tried The Great Hornbill’s Osmanthus Black ($6.90). This was much more pleasant and light and served as a much more palatable thirst quencher that you could easily down on a humid day.
For the last scoop of ice cream, I decided on Sicilian Pistachio ($3.90, and an additional $0.70 for the brioche bun).
After some basic research, I discovered that Sicilian pistachios are considered a gem, and are grown at the foothills of Mount Etna under government protection. They are meant to have a richer, more concentrated flavour than say, the Californian variety.
Indeed, the flavour spoke for itself as I was wolfing down the slightly crisp warm brioche that cradled the smooth and flavourful Sicilian Pistachio ice cream. I think the use of the brioche bun as a vehicle for the ice cream made the entire experience even more satisfying.
Compared to the numerous ice cream shops dotted around our island, Apiary makes a name for itself with its use of premium ingredients. It’s clear that it has won over the tummies of many a-passerby who were inquisitive enough to push open the glass entrance and taste the quality of the goods themselves.
The place is bright, yet cosy and would make a great date spot or a casual pit stop before you head down the road for drinks and some calorie-burning dancing.
Expected damage: $3.90 – $12 per pax