A Japanese soft-serve and gelato maker known for using Hokkaido raw milk as its main ingredient has opened its second outlet in Singapore, with new non-ice offerings on the menu.
Naganuma Ice – the only Hokkaido company that’s Hokkaido government-certified to use raw milk as an ingredient – unveiled its second outlet at Don Don Donki’s newest and biggest Singapore branch at City Square Mall outlet on Friday (Jan 11).
While the first store (which was opened in December at Carlton City Hotel) has no seating area, the new outlet is located within Don Don Donki’s Japanese-themed food court so customers here can actually sit down and enjoy their desserts.
When we arrived at the store on Friday afternoon, the food court was packed and there were hardly any available seats. But that didn’t stop the crowd from getting their icy treats.
The opening of a second store also marks the first time Naganuma Ice is introducing cream puffs on the Singapore menu.
We tried the Hokkaido Milk Custard and the Aomori Apple – made from apples originating from a typhoon-hit area in Aomori, Japan. Instead of seeing the apples go to waste, Naganuma Ice engaged the apple farm’s owners to create this limited-edition flavour.
The fragrant “Shoe Puff” pastry was filled to the brim with sweet, flavourful custard that smelled like fresh apples. Definitely a hit with us.
The gelato shop refreshes its flavours every two weeks, but the popularity of its anchor stars does not seem to be diminished.
When we were there, the Creme Brulee soft-serve was the obvious crowd favourite – we saw at least eight sold within a short period of time.
The creamy custard base is topped off with a crispy layer of sweet goodness, sprinkled with sugar bits. We weren’t big fans of the regular-tasting cone though.
The other soft-serve flavours include rich milk (which was sold out), chocolate, apple and matcha, which we tried.
It was rich and creamier than expected. Many well-known shops in Singapore serve icy, dark matcha soft-serve with little hint of cream or milk, but Naganuma’s makes good use of the raw milk it is known for.
And of course, the dessert shop also sells gelato in a dozen flavours. Some of the most unique ones include fresh milk, strawberry milk, azuki (red bean), melon, chai, double cheese and huscup yoghurt.
While it might sound like marketing fluff, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Naganuma Ice did indeed stand out from many of its competitors – and it’s probably because of the fresh Hokkaido raw milk used.
If you’re a fan of Hokkaido milk, flavours such as fresh milk and double cheese were the best at bringing out the silky taste of milk.
But first, you’ll have to battle the crowd at Don Don Donki.