SINGAPORE - Bubble tea pearls in a sandwich may be trending on social media now, but classic desserts will always have a place in our stomachs.
Chendol is one of the most popular imports from our neighbours and just the mention of it - or the likes of ice kachang, cheng tng, bobur chacha - and we get misty-eyed with memory.
If cravings have kicked in, here are a few I’ve tried and liked:
1. Old Amoy Chendol
Address: #02-008 Chinatown Food Complex, Singapore 050335
Opening hours: 10.30am to 9pm
Founded in 1950, but folded in 2004, the brand has been revived by two youngsters: the owner’s grandson, former model Zhao Youning and celebrity chef Justin Foo (recently of Provisions).
They’re keeping it real with the original recipe and making sure details matter (such as getting the gula melaka from an artisanal producer in Sarawak) and the result is a refreshing bowl of coconuty goodness.
I also like that the default level of sweetness is not insane but they will check how sweet you want it.
Address: Andaz Singapore, 5 Fraser Street
Opening hours: 10.30am to 10pm
Working with Bjorn Shen, one of the judges in the upcoming Masterchef Singapore, Icehaus came up with one of the most delicious interpretations of chendol.
Andaz Pop is a palm sugar-coconut ice cream and red bean-caramel filled popsicle, coated with pandan-flavoured white chocolate.
The coconut flavours are rich, and the pandan white chocolate added aroma.
3. Malaysia Boleh
Address: #03-28 Jurong Point, Singapore 648331
Opening hours. 10am to 10pm
The best chendols are found in Malaysia, but a close representation is available at Jurong Point.
Malaysia Boleh is a foodcourt that is almost always packed. The draw? Almost authentic comfort food from our neighbour.
The chendol here is beloved for its soulful gula Melaka. It is unapologetically sweet and a little goes a long way, which is why few people complain about the tiny portion.
4. Four Seasons Cendol
Address: 210 Lor 8 Toa Payoh, #01-07, Singapore 310210
Opening hours: 8am to 9pm
Don’t be fooled by the unattractive appearance, the chendol here is good.
My favourite element here is the almost creamy coconut milk. And they are generous with it.
5. Chendol Melaka
Address: Soy Eu Tua Coffee Shop, 15 Upper East Coast Road, Singapore 455207
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm; weekends 9am to 5pm.
Housed within a popular coffee shop, this humble looking stall is a firm favourites with nyonyas, which augurs well for quality.
The chendol is excellent, as expected. It is not as sweet as the others but the creaminess is winning.
Besides the chendol, if you’re there early enough, you can also order the nasi ulam and make a meal out of your visit.
6. Makan Melaka
Address: 1 Changi Village Road #01-2046
Opening hours: 8.30am to 10.30pm
The idyllic neighbourhood this restaurant is located at is perfect for this laidback dessert. The sea stretches into the distance, there is more greenery than humans (on a weekday) and the breeze is gentle. Eating a bowl of chendol here feels like you're on a mini-break vacation.
The version here is lighter than the rest, but the pale green “worms” has the strongest pandan taste.
Book a meal at IceHaus with Chope.