THE warm sun and the increasingly hot weather in our country are good enough reasons to indulge in ice cream. A perfect scoop is all that we need to cool us down.
However, there are an abundance of ice cream parlours in almost every shopping mall, offering a wide range of flavours to tempt us to taste the creamy deliciousness even in cool weather, and at the same time, there are also online businesses selling innovative flavours.
Further, there are different types of desserts like soft serve, rolled ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet, snow cream, ice bars or kulfi (an Indian dessert) and healthy option like vegan, dairy free, gluten-free, or keto ice-creams.
If it’s hard to make up your mind on what kind of ice cream to take a bite, we suggest you to get adventurous in terms of flavours or toppings, and try something new or healthier that could tantalise tastebuds.
Recently, we came across Nasi Lemak flavoured spicy ice cream with chilli flakes, peanuts, and anchovies as toppings. Though the idea of tasting ice cream was weird and cringe-worthy, we must say, it was an unusual taste!
So, here we have rounded up some of the cool and tasty ice creams in Malaysia (in no particular order) for you to explore.
Started at home in 2017, the handcrafted vegan ice cream uses natural ingredients in the kitchen instead of thickeners, preservatives, colourings, flavourings and other additives.
Those with allergy conditions would appreciate the variety of dairy- and egg-free, refined sugar-free, additive- and preservative-free ice creams offered by Kind Kones, including a gluten-free option.
“When my elder daughter was born six years ago, I developed a mild form of dairy intolerance. I bought a small ice cream maker so that I could make dairy-free ice cream for fun in my home kitchen,“ said founder, Serina S. Bajaj.
At that time, there were hardly any plant-based frozen dessert alternatives in Malaysia.
“We decided to get a pastry chef on board to help elevate the ice cream. We also invested in a commercial batch freezer and, Kind Kones was born,” said Serina, who added that Brittle Fudge and Salted Chocolate Chip are their best-selling flavours.
“Almond Brittle Fudge , a unique flavour and loaded with good-for-you ingredients, including crushed almonds, chia seeds, cacao nibs, and dairy-free chocolate. Salted Chocolate Chip, on the other hand, is a yummy chocolate ice cream that is not cloying and loaded with chocolate chips, and almost everyone loves chocolate,” said Serina.
“We are also an inclusive ice cream brand as our ice cream caters to all. We strive to provide an option for everyone to enjoy.”
Those with lactose intolerance or gluten allergies can enjoy the ice cream and that their creamy and light ice cream is not packed with unhealthy fats like commercial ice cream.
“Our ice creams are creamy without being loaded with sugar, cholesterol and artificial ingredients. We have different textures, some are creamy while others are nutty and crunchy. Some even contain cake,” she said.
But the best complments came from customers. “Our customers have told us that they can’t tell the difference between our plant-based ice cream when compared to dairy ice cream. It’s that good.”
Minus 4 degrees
A mother and daughter duo, Kim Ngoh and Sarah Tan, started to make ice cream for family and friends. However, through ‘word of mouth’ it grew to the business it is today.
At Minus 4 Degrees, located in Petaling Jaya, sell both alcohol-infused and non-alcohol ice creams using natural ingredients and minimal additives and their innovative flavours would surprise you.
“At minus 4 degrees, our flavours are natural and seasonal. They also contain little to no added stabilisers,” said Tan.
Their signature ice creams are Rum Raisin and Turkish delight. “Rum Raisin has a very nostalgic flavour for many, while Turkish delight’s flavours and texture contrast from the Pistachio and honey barberry jam that we fold in,” said Tan.
Other unique and innovative flavours are smoked salmon, spicy longan fish sauce, lemon Kesom black pepper and miso chocolate, which are sold in 650ml tubs. “Our ice cream is less sweet and full of flavour ad our flavours offered are whacky but good.”
Tanuki by Crustz
For Xiaoly Koh, the owner of Tanuki by Crustz, ice cream is her personal favourite dessert, and it brought back childhood memories she shared with her family, so she wanted to re-create it for her customers.
“Our ice cream is made not only into ordinary scoops but into mini decorative desserts and cakes. It’s not just ice cream because it comes with other components like ganache, coulis, sponge, and crips to give it multiple textures,” said Koh.
The beautifully designed ice creams cake appears like a real cake and their best sellers are Apple Yuzu and red ruby. Apart from selling cakes in two sizes; whole and mini cakes, Tanuki also sells ice creams in tubs in four different flavours: chocolate hazelnut caramel with chocolate crunch, exotic mango passion with vanilla, rasperry vanilla yogurt with almost crumble and rum raisin flavours.
They also have alcohol infused ice cream cakes such as the Queen of Hearts, which has Yuzu strawberry infused with Roku Gin, Lumiere with Black sesame ice cream cake infused with cognac.
Little Boy Ice Cream
Little Boy ice cream makes custom-made ice cream flavours for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, private parties and corporate functions and serves them using ice cream carts.
They have 27 milk-based flavours such as Mint Straciatella and six sorbets that are dairy free.
“My partner Jason and I love ice cream, and we always try out different brands and flavours when we travel overseas. So, one day we were thinking- Why don’t we try to create our own and experiment with some flavours that don’t exist in the market? That is how our own brand Little Boy Ice Cream was born,” said co-founder Jacqueline Yap Yin Yee.
Instead of having a premise, they came up with the idea of bringing their handcrafted ice cream to events where people get to gather and enjoy it during their big day or special moments.
“From start to finish, every flavour is imagined, churned and taste-tested in our home kitchen. To ensure its freshness and quality, our ice-cream is churned in small batches, daily,” said Yap.
Customers love their not-too-sweet ice cream, which is why they keep coming back for more. “Our philosophy of good ice cream revolves around fresh and raw ingredients, and it is crafted with nothing more than fresh milk and cream. It’s equally smooth, decadent, simple, and creamy.”
The crowd’s favourite and best-seller is Belgium Dark Chocolate. “It’s one of the iconic flavours that cannot be missed out! Our signature dark chocolate ganache takes the chocolate base to a deeper level,” she added
They also have Honey and Fig, Earl Grey, Lotus Biscoff, and Yogurt base ice cream, which is not usual in the market.
“We are not afraid to get creative in pursuit of the perfect scoop. Till now, we have had a wide range of flavours (25 to 30 to choose from. For events, we usually serve in cups or cones. We love experimenting with new flavours, and rotate our flavours seasonally to ensure customers never get bored. Hence, customisation of flavours is available too, upon request.”
If you would like the refreshing taste of real fruits, try cool Pops Malaya ice bars. Pops Malaya was born when one of the founders, Yasmin Karim, had a craving for ice pops when she was pregnant and decided to make cool ice pops with fruits.
“When I was pregnant, I started to make my own popsicles using real fruit because the store ice creams were too sweet. Years later, when I thought of starting a business, popsicles were the first thing that came to my mind,” said Yasmin.
Yasmin and her high school friend Zuraini Zulkifli got together and started Pops Malaya in 2016 and have been making ice bars, ever since. They have six flavours: strawberry, mango, passionfruit pineapple, grape, lychee peach and chocolate.
“Our chocolate is a hit – a triple threat of indulgence, gooey chocolate, and milky goodness. My personal favourite is mango, which is made from Alphonso mango, which is said to be the best mango in the world.”
Pops Malaya Ice Bars are a freeze-at-home sorbet, unlike other sorbets that are sold in liquid form packed in a sachet. To eat the ice cream, just freeze it, and once frozen, you can enjoy a fruity, smooth, and refreshing sorbet. It’s made from real fruit with no preservatives, artificial colours or fake flavours.
The super smooth texture and lightly sweetened ice bars are made from ripe fruits because they are at their sweetest stage. So, biting into a Pops Malaya Ice Bar is like biting into a juicy fruit, but better. Pops Malaya retails at RM10 for a box of six ice bars.
The idea of making homemade ice cream started due to a health-conscious lifestyle.
The three co-founders love to exercises and do their best to eat healthier food. “But whenever we craved for something sweet, which happens a lot to me personally, there weren’t many options for affordable and healthy ice creams,” Jen Naik, one of three co-founders of the Wolf Pints brand.
“It is a total waste if we burned 300 calories from a workout, only to eat 500 calories worth of desserts after. Even a chocolate bar can be 300 calories,” she said.
They constantly challenge themselves to create more interesting flavours and to convert people’s guilty pleasures into low calorie ice creams and ensure that they maintain the standard they have set.
“We don’t sell what we ourselves won’t enjoy. We try not to limit ourselves to doing one dimensional flavours even though we’re doing low calorie. There are different setbacks for low calorie ice creams. We have to be mindful of what goes into our ice creams. “We try to do more interesting flavours that are not so commonly found in low calorie ice creams,” said Jen.
They have total of 20 flavours in rotation on the menu. Flavours like apple crumble, pulut tai tai, Oreos cookies and cream, and Biscoff are sold in 475ml pints.
Their signature flavours are pistachio (made from fresh roasted pistachio), triple chocolate - made with chocolate and their in-house chocolate swirls, sea salt caramel, seasonal flavour pulut tai tai – which is made in-house, from the pulut to the kaya – tea leaf, and the crowd-favourite matcha.
Customer feedback is very positive and, in fact, they claim it’s an easy pick due to its familiar flavours, good price point, and the fact it’s low calorie. “We are truly appreciative of all our customers as it helps us focus on quality and improve week by week.”