Type of Institution: Vegan
Address: Sin Ming Centre, 8 Sin Ming Road, #01-03, Singapore 575628
Tel: +65 6456 6431
Opening Hours: 1pm – 11pm
If there is in existence a local eatery that all vegans living in Singapore will unanimously be grateful for, my guess is that it will be Brownice. Singapore does not have that many cafes or restaurants serving delectable vegan desserts, so the opening of the country’s first vegan ice cream parlour featuring ice cream made from organic brown rice was like a godsend (not to mention a very progressive step forward in our local veg scene). The place is quite spacious and is cleverly opened till 11pm so you can save space for some ice cream after dinner.
To be fair, I was less than impressed the first time I sampled Brownice ice cream at Real Food [as reviewed here]. My impression was that the ice cream was sufficiently creamy but lacked a richness in flavour. However, my main gripe was the pathetically small scoops that Real Food doles out. Fortunately, none of my complaints manifested itself in Brownice’s stand-alone ice cream parlour – all the ice cream flavours I’ve ordered were adequately (if not always perfectly) rich and came in joyfully large scoops. Aside from ice cream (and its derivatives, such as ice cream popsicles and ice cream cakes), Brownice also features other desserts like waffles and brownies. In addition, the servers seemed knowledgeable about what they were selling and were helpful to point out the nuances between the different ice cream flavours.
Obviously, Brownice isn’t only for vegans. After all, who doesn’t love some delicious ice cream? Besides, it’s far better for everyone to indulge themselves with a low-fat, organic version free of cruelty, cholesterol, cancer-promoting factors, pesticides, hormones and other nasty things commonly found in cow’s milk and eggs combined.
Posted above are the Ice Cream Bowls I ordered on two of my visits so you get a sense of their commendable serving size. Basically, an Ice Cream Bowl means you get 4 scoops of ice cream with any 4 toppings of your each for just $12.50, with an add-on of $1.50 for each additional scoop. I would highly recommend that you order an Ice Cream Bowl on your visit, particularly if you’re not alone, since one scoop of ice cream on its own costs $3.80 (it gets progressively cheaper but it still works out more favourably to get the Bowl).
Brownice offers quite an extensive list of flavours [take a look here], and while I haven’t tried most of them I would venture some recommendations. Chocoholics like me should opt for the Dark Chocolate flavour, which is rich but not too intense. I wasn’t as impressed by the French Chocolate or the Hazelnut Chocolate flavours, both of which recalled an ordinary milk chocolate flavour. I like the Madagascan Vanilla flavour but the taste of the organic evaporated cane juice is stronger than that of the vanilla beans. Other favourites include Peanut Butter Caramel and Banana Oats, as well as the less conventional Pumpkin Coconut. Take note that not all flavours will be present on any single day. Just ask the friendly servers for some samples if you’re undecided.
Aside from the fact that scoop sizes are extremely generous, the toppings make an ice cream bowl all the more worthwhile – all the toppings used are of the best quality. Think fresh crunchy walnuts, plump raisins, large tangy cranberries, caramelised almonds… In fact, my mum said what she enjoyed the most at Brownice were the ice cream toppings.
($12.50 for an Ice Cream Bowl, which comes with any 4 flavours and any 4 toppings)
I’ve heard of many people gushing over the mudpie. Personally, I’ve always found it nice yet rather ordinary on all three occasions that I’ve tried it (twice at the vegan eatery Loving Hut, where Brownice sells its mudpies). To be fair, I love the decadent top layer, which consists of Hazelnut Chocolate ice cream topped with caramelised sea salt almonds and drizzled with dark chocolate ganache. However, as I’ve mentioned, the French Chocolate ice cream, which is below the layer of Hazelnut Chocolate ice cream and which makes up most of the mudpie, tastes like run-of-the-mill chocolate ice cream – this makes 80% of the Mudpie boring for me. Finally, the bed of brown rice “crisps” that the mudpie is resting on has always been rather soggy and reminded me of biscuits that have been left out in the open for way too long. ($9.80)
On its own, the thin and slightly crispy waffles tasted of maple syrup and are drizzled with chocolate syrup. It turns cold pretty fast so you should finish it quickly. I asked for plain waffles because I was already having a gigantic bowl of ice cream on the side, but naturally I’ll recommend that you eat the waffles with some ice cream. ($3.50)
Chocolate Cake (no longer on the menu)
The soft and moist chocolate cake was indeed, like the server warned us, more brownie than cake. It suffered from a lack of richness in chocolate flavour. On my second visit, the chocolate cake has been substituted by a brownie which I didn’t try but which I assume would be similar to the chocolate cake. ($3)
Conclusion: I’m not crazy about the non-ice cream scoop items Brownice has on their menu but, really, who cares? Brownice virtually guarantees great ice cream and awesome toppings, and that’s enough! I’ll definitely be back to check out their more unconventional flavours.