Discover how five homegrown brands attract customers through distinctive local flavoursPublished on 2 March 2022
There’s no better way to beat the tropical heat than to indulge in cool and refreshing desserts. Thankfully, Malaysia has a growing number of amazing brands that can fulfil our cravings. Forget the typical chocolate and vanilla-flavoured goods. Try these scrumptious frozen treats that will keep you coming back for more, thanks to their comforting and familiar ingredients.
Polar Ice Cream Puchong
Malaysian brand Polar Ice Cream is easily attainable from ice cream vendors on motorcycles. Now you can even get it delivered to you directly from its appointed agents. One agent, Yael Khailan, who is based in Puchong and goes by @PolarIceCream_Puchong on Instagram, has taken things up a notch to drive her sales. She sells her ice cream products with rainbow bread. It is the perfect match for the small blocks of ice cream. Customers can also create their own ice cream sandwich, popularly known as roti ais krim.
Sourcing out for a baker to make the fluffy rainbow bread is solely based on her own initiative and effort. Each block is wrapped in soft cardboard paper and comes in six flavours namely vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, durian, taro, and corn. You can request for the flavours to be mixed and matched according to your personal preference.
Johny’s Ice Kepal
Most of us are accustomed to the local favourite ais kacang. However, in the last decade, the old-school ais kepal has been making waves in our local food scene. To those who aren’t familiar with ais kepal, this refreshing dessert is made of finely grated ice packed into a ball and drizzled with syrup. Unlike the traditional way of preparing this icy treat, many have given it a different twist like coating it with thick and creamy MILO.
One such vendor is Johny’s Ice Kepal that has been making waves for its version of MILO Ice Kepal since 2018. Based in Ampang, the owner, Ahmad Zulhelmi, was inspired by vendors from Kuala Kangsar who started this popular ais kepal trend. Johny’s Ice Kepal offers other flavours including Horlicks and Oreo cookies.
Sangkaya is undoubtedly the most popular coconut ice cream brand in Malaysia right now. With over 30 outlets spread out across the country, it’s hard to believe that Sangkaya’s story started with humble beginnings. In 2014, the founders opened a small stall selling coconut ice cream at the bustling Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang. They gained a huge following for the Thai-inspired street coconut ice cream served in a coconut shell.
Overall, Sangkaya ice creams are healthy treats as the products are dairy-free and preservative-free, making them the perfect choice for vegans too. Ice cream is the base of this brand’s array of dessert offerings like the Sangkaya Cendol Signature which consists of cendol, sweetcorn, kidney bean, and gula melaka-flavoured coconut ice cream. Just like Sangkaya’s ice cream treats, this is served in a coconut shell topped with fresh coconut flesh.
Inside Scoop has grown to be a household name for premium local ice cream since its launch in 2013. Inspired by their love of ice cream, this ice cream paradise is owned and created by Edmund Tan and his wife, Lim Shiew Li. Inside Scoop’s products are made in small batches to allow them to create a wide range of tasty concoctions.
Their locally inspired flavours are a big hit with the crowd. Some of the customers’ favourites include Durian, Cempedak, Teh Tarik, Cendol, Kopi Peng, and Salted Gula Melaka. One of the most in-demand products is durian-flavoured ice cream, which comes in variants such as snow skin mooncakes, and Bombe Alaska cake with D24 Durian and Valrhona Chocolate.
Mokti’s Ice Cream Gula Apong
Believe it or not, Mokti’s Ice Cream Gula Apong started out by selling its products from a car boot. Today, the brand has 54 branches in Peninsular Malaysia, and aims to open 24 new stores in 2022. Mokti’s gained its popularity through its unique use of Sarawak’s gula apong or nipa palm sugar. The best-selling item at Mokti’s is Mixed Pandan Apong.
There are three staples on Mokti’s menu — Apong Asli, Apong Baby Bob and Apong Honeycomb. Apong Baby Bob, another offering that’s one of a kind from the brand, is gula apong ice cream with boba pearls, cornflakes and gula apong drizzle.