Leng Leng Ice Cream (冷冷) oozes all the nostalgic retro charm that will bring you back to when this Sunny Island enjoyed a slower pace of life, where your parents and grandparents can delight in reminiscing their carefree, youthful days.
Started by two sisters who have “Leng” in their names, Leng can also mean “cold” in Mandarin and Hokkien.
Hidden within the neighbourhood of Eunos, the hole-in-the-wall shop is minimally decorated, with its purposeful vintage-looking branding plastered on the walls and every container possible.
It’s filled with nostalgic paraphernalia, such as floral-printed canisters to hold water, trays and other items. The cheery, evergreen songs playing in the background will make you want to cha-cha to the tunes, even if you’ve got two left feet.
When you’re there, feel free to ask either of the Aunt Lengs, “Got what flavour?”, “Can add what thing?” (as seen on the menu), and they’ll happily let you sample the different ice cream flavours available.
Some flavours include Pistachio, Speculoos, Holicks, just to name a few. If you’re still unsure of what to get, they’ll be more than willing to suggest what pairs better with the Pandan Waffles (+$1.50), Sugee Waffle (+$3.50) or Rainbow Bread (Free).
These childhood favourites are also available as toppings for your ice cream, at no additional cost!
I don’t know about your neighbourhood but over the past year, the ice cream man seems to have stop coming to my estate.
So when I saw that there was an Ice Cream Sandwich served with the fluffy rainbow-coloured bread, I was stoked! I needed to have one, which I gobbled down in a jiffy.
I had mine with a scoop of Speculoos ($3.90), which was buttery and just as fragrant as the cookie. You’ll be happy to know that the drizzle of chocolate sauce, and a scoop of Want Want 小馒头 is absolutely FREE! In a world where you’re being charged for every minute thing, this is certainly a refreshing change in the dessert scene.
Moving on to trying Leng Leng’s waffles, we went with the Sugee Waffle (+$3.50) since it’s a fairly uncommon flavour in waffles.
The sugee batter is homemade, with its recipe refined by a good friend of the family. Thick and velvety in texture, the aroma filled the entire shop when the batter touched the griddle.
We had it with a scoop of Salted Caramel and Thai Milk Tea ($7.20 for two premium flavours), topped with crushed peanut candy and iced gem biscuits, which were my favourite snack as a child.
The waffle is crisp on the outside and fluffy within, offering a slight chewiness just as sugee cake would. I thought that the flavour was balanced and presented itself as a good base to soak up the melted ice cream.
The Thai Milk Tea flavour was outshone by the Salted Caramel, and would have tasted good on its own, in a cone or cup instead. While the Salted Caramel slanted towards being more savoury, which gave the sweet waffle a pleasant contrast.
Not on the menu yet, the Pulut Hitam Milkshake (TBA) is made with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, mixed in with a generous amount of Pulut Hitam, then served with a dollop of whip cream.
Each gulp was luscious, and filled with bits of the black glutinous rice porridge that you could still bite into. A tad too jelak to have with the other desserts, try it first before digging into the ice cream and waffles.
The Root Beer Float ($4.20, regular scoop) will rock your boat for all you A&W fans who’ve missed this iced cold drink. I’m not sure if you can get this elsewhere, but it seems to be vanishing off the face of this island.
I knew I needed a glass to wash down all the sweet treats. I know you’re wondering how a sweet Root Beer Float is supposed to help with that, but its tartness somehow works like magic. Stir it and you’ll get a creamy yet fizzy soda that never fails to quench thirsts.
You’ll find Aunt Leng stepping out of the shop to ring the bells, attracting the attention of passersby to cool down with a scoop of ice cream. The retro signboard, alongside the ringing of bells brought back so many good ol’ memories.
Not that I’m super old — if you have to know I’m born in the 80’s — but I’m glad I managed to experience that little part of Singapore’s history, before dessert shops become late-night dating haunts in obscure, upcoming fancy neighbourhoods.
When you’re done, you’ll be presented with a card that gets you one free scoop of ice cream with every five scoops purchased on separate visits. Steady Lah! I’m coming back for more “Leng Leng” (cold) treats.
I can’t get enough of the effort put into coming up with the shop’s branding, and the brains behind it is none other than Aunt Leng’s daughter, Sam. She told us that with this, she hopes to rekindle the fond memories of the generation before ours, to honour the “forgotten” women who supported behind the scenes and to provide a platform for them to share their own stories when the business grows.
For a blast from the past, Leng Leng Ice Cream (冷冷) is a place to seek refuge from the sweltering heat in Singapore. Located amongst shop houses, it sure adds up to the atmosphere it’s trying to achieve. And while it’s still fairly new, I’m hoping that in the near future they’ll start making their own ice creams with homemade recipes to add up to the authenticity, instead of getting them from suppliers.
Oh, and maybe include attap seed flavoured ice cream please?
Expected damage: $3.20 – $8.20 (Cash Only)