I’ve lived in Singapore over nine years, but I can only vaguely recall ever buying ice-cream from a cart on the street maybe one other time. This time, there’s proof!
See below for more on this local street treat.
My visit to the ice-cream uncle on Orchard Road
He charged me SG$1.20 and took a large block of paper-wrapped ice-cream of the selected flavor out of his freezer cart and cut the end off with a knife as though the ice-cream were a loaf of bread. That’s when an actual loaf of bread came into play.
The bread typically available is this colorful stuff. It tastes like normal white bread. If it’s too weird-looking for you, you can choose “wafers” instead. (I’m pretty sure that’s what I did the other time I bought an ice-cream sandwich on the street.)
The wafers are those tasteless crunchy, crumbly things that have the consistency of styrofoam, and the ones the uncle has are not quite the same size and shape as the ice-cream slice, so don’t be imagining the kind of fully-integrated, chocolate, spongy ice-cream sandwich cookie layers that come in the packages you can get at grocery stores.
I chose the traditional bread this time, and I was glad, both because it’s traditional and because bread does a better job of gripping the ice-cream slice and absorbing the melty bits.
Because the bread wraps around the bottom of the ice-cream slice, you could argue that the Singapore ice-cream sandwich is actually more like a taco than a sandwich.