The other day, The Fiancee and I decided to explore Changi Village. We saw a banner for ice cream and waffles and decided that we had to have some. Unfortunately, the shop with that banner didn’t have any waffles left to offer. So we walked around – with a great appetite for waffles – until we found this shop:
I will be honest and say here that I initially wasn’t impressed by this shop. There was nothing impressive about it, nor was there anything to really attract me to it. We went in because it was the only other shop offering ice cream and waffles, and we had a craving to fulfill.
But, only after tasting their waffles was I very impressed by it.
Their waffles were so good that I think it’s actually worth my time and effort to write a review about them.
This is an ice cream place with a lot of potential waiting to be unleashed. And I do hope that this ice cream place will go far. Waffles as amazing as theirs are rare and hard to come by. For a place to get it right means that someone there really really knows how to make great waffles.
Review Summary – A Spoonful of Sugar
|Contact Details||A Spoonful of Sugar
4 Changi Village Road, #01-2072
|Accessibility||Easily accessible if you are already in Changi Village. Within walking distance from the Changi Village Bus Terminal|
|Quality of Service||Staff are friendly and welcoming, making up for the fact that they are inexperienced with customer service.|
|Design / Ambience||Playful design with a very coherent theme, suitable for the casual mood of enjoying ice cream with family and friends. The interior looks very DIY but it is very tastefully done. There is indoor and outdoor seating. Indoor area is comfortable enough to hang out for a long period of time with friends/family. The warm lighting makes this a nice place to enjoy ice cream in the evenings.|
|Quality of Food||Waffles are mind-blowingly awesome. They have two types: (a) thick and fluffy, and (b) thin and crispy. They have some novel flavours of ice cream as well. The chocolate ice cream was good. It matched the taste and consistency of the waffle. Everyone on the Internet is raving about the lavender flavour (which I didn’t try). I guess I’ll try that the next time.|
|Price||Very affordable. For below $10, you can get a scoop of ice cream and waffle, enough for at least two people to share.|
|Overall Recommendation||If you live near Changi Village, or if you happen to be in the area, do give their waffles a try. If you are a big fan of dessert, it might be worth making a trip down.|
|Disclosure: This review was written freely by me. There was no remuneration or gifts of any kind.|
Great Tasting Waffles
Well, let’s start first with the waffles! They have two types of waffles to choose from: (1) the thick and fluffy waffle, and (2) the thin and crispy waffle.
We chose the thick and fluffy, and ordered a scoop of chocolate ice cream to go along with it.
Here’s what we got:
Wow… That’s a generous amount of toppings. I was surprised by the toppings because most places would usually charge you for toppings. Here, the toppings were sprinkled freely to decorate our dessert.
The little marshmallows they gave were very nice. Not too sweet (thankfully!), yet soft and chewy. It complements the ice cream very nicely too.
As the name of the waffle suggests, it is thick and fluffy alright. I particularly like how the outside is crispy (but not crunchy), enough to give you the satisfaction you get when you munch chips or nuts, but not too hard as to scratch the insides of your mouth. As you sink deeper beyond the crisp exterior, you begin to feel the soft, moist and fluffy interior of the waffle. The mix of crispy and fluffy presents a pleasing experience as you bite and chew on it. What I like about this waffles is that it isn’t too sweet, nor does it have an oily taste (nor an oily aftertaste) found in many mediocre waffles.
The chocolate ice cream was a good match to the waffle, and together they make a mind-blowingly awesome dessert.
Initially, I felt that the ice cream could have been creamier. It felt a little too light. But as it turns out, the lightness of the ice cream made the waffle more enjoyable. The problem with many ice cream and waffles is the combination of rich creamy ice cream with oily, fat-saturated waffles. It’s too much richness and sweetness in a dish that will leave you feeling very uncomfortable and disgusted with yourself. There’s a Malay word to describe this awful sensation: jelak.
The fact that the ice cream here wasn’t so creamy made the waffle very enjoyable right till the very last bite. We were able to leave the shop feeling comfortable and good about ourselves.
However, this lightness of the ice cream is a double edge sword. While the ice cream complements the waffle very well; there is a feeling of something lacking if you were to eat the ice cream all by itself. This was something I felt consistently when sampling a few other ice cream flavours. I went with chocolate because it didn’t feel as empty as the other flavours.
What do I mean by something lacking? The feeling that the ice cream has a little more ice and a little less cream than it should have. Perhaps there is room for improvement in the ice cream. But oddly enough, the ice cream, as it is, is what makes waffles great. Perhaps the ice cream was made with the intention of pairing with the waffles. There is a kind of relationship between the ice cream and the waffles. And one can only do justice to both by ordering them together.
All that said, I must give them a lot of credit for creativity. They have a range of very interesting flavours. While other reviewers online are raving over their lavender ice cream, I’d like to highlight their Christmas flavour: the gingerbread ice cream. It is the festive goodness of gingerbread with vanilla ice cream. I would have ordered that instead of chocolate, but The Fiancee isn’t a big fan of gingerbread. Next time, perhaps.
A Cosy Environment
While the ice cream and waffle were really good, another worthy question to ask is: is this a great place to enjoy ice cream?
If there are no screaming kids, then yes it is!
They have both indoor and outdoor seating. The indoor seating area is nice and cosy, though small. There are no problems enjoying a relaxing time here if the other customers are not loud. There’s a lot of bare concrete walls, so noise will echo and amplify. In which case, there’s always the outdoor option. We went there on a Saturday evening and it was generally nice and quiet both inside and outside. The warm lighting adds to the feelings of cosiness, and makes it really nice to spend an evening.
The design of the shop screams of nothing but DIY decorations without the aid of an interior designer. There’s nothing bad about this. What makes this particularly interesting is that the DIY decorations were so tastefully done. Kudos to the person (or persons) behind it.
For this reason, this ice cream shop looks like a simple, family-run business – a typical mom-and-pop shop – BUT with a dash of playfulness scattered in the design (I’ll come to that soon). While it doesn’t look as professional or sophisticated as other established ice cream places, its appeal is that it lacks the pretentiousness of a hipster cafe. The environment is casual and relaxed, and it feels like the kind of place where you could visit regularly while seeing the same familiar faces of the people running the place.
What I like about this place the most is the theme. It’s playful, it’s sweet and most importantly, it’s coherent. It’s some kind of magical fantasy world with lots of hot air balloons. The drawings are very pretty.
But they’ve gone the extra mile to decorate the ceiling as well. They’ve hung coloured “clouds” in the air, together with hot air balloons as lamp shades. It’s very cute. I imagine a great amount of effort went into this. Great job!
There’s a lot of creativity and play behind the design of the shop. And the “no smoking” sign is not spared from it either.
Areas for Improvement
Here’s some areas where I think this place can improve on. I’ll just point out the areas where improvement would make things great, I won’t make specific recommendations since I’m sure they can come up with creative solutions to improve on these areas.
While the staff serving us were very friendly and sincere, they did seem rather inexperienced. They seemed unsure of what to do or to say. But as a casual and relaxed environment, it wasn’t so bad. What they lacked in experience, they made up with their sincerity. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if they had a little more training so as to be more confident in what they do.
Where I think improvements are really needed is in the shop’s facade. First impressions matter, and unfortunately, this shop doesn’t present a very attractive first impression. Especially when the neighbouring dessert places look a lot more attractive, this place pales in comparison to them.
My last comment for improvement is in the way the waffles are served. While I applaud them for the creative use of a wooden baking pan for serving waffles, the pan is very impractical and made eating the waffles a lot more challenging than it should. For one thing, the pan does not have a flat base. The base is curved like a bowl. As you cut the waffles, the pan will move and rotate with the motion of your hands. This is a small matter which I am sure can be rectified very easily.
I have refrained from making other comments because what makes them unique is indeed in their DIY-simplicity of the place. There’s a certain charm there which should be preserved. Otherwise, A Spoonful of Sugar would become just one of those many pretentious hipster cafes out there. This charm is something that they can work on too – but with caution to maintain a balance. Too much of this family-business, DIY feeling would make it feel like a very cheap place; and yet too much of trying to look professional would cause it to lose that charm and may come across as pretentious. The playful theme of the eatery helps to negotiate between the two poles, and might be the key for polishing up its attractiveness while retaining its unique charm.
Overall, this was a very good experience, and one that exceeded my expectations.
I’ll come back to try the other type of waffles the next time I visit Changi Village. If you are crazy over waffles, “A Spoonful of Sugar” is a place you must visit.