New York’s famous Van Leeuwen ice cream opens in Somerset
If you’ve ever been to Brooklyn or New York, you’ll know that Van Leeuwen is quite the household name. The brand is famous for their ice cream selection, which they prepare the French way: with double the egg yolks, so it’s extra creamy. For those of you who’ve always wanted to get your hands on their ice cream on home turf, then rejoice, as they’ve just opened their first overseas outlet right here in Singapore!
Opening today, 4 August 2023, the store is located on the first floor of Orchard Central, right above Somerset MRT Station. They’re launched by the same folks who brought in Mr Holmes Bakehouse and Luke’s Lobster.
Here’s some history behind Van Leeuwen: they first began in 2008, wanting to sell really good ice cream off an ice cream truck, and have since grown to 50 scoop shops across the United States.
Aside from the French-style recipe, Van Leeuwen takes tradition a step further by ensuring that their ice creams are all made with only natural ingredients sourced from small producers and artisans, and without any artificial stabilisers, thickeners or emulsifiers. This produces ice cream that’s ultra thick and rich, with an almost-sticky, chewy mouthfeel that’s reminiscent of great gelato.
Van Leeuwen Singapore is coming in clutch with a whole selection of their popular flavours, including Sicilian Pistachio, made with pistachios sourced specifically from Mount Etna in Italy, Mint Chip, and Earl Grey, steeped with leaves that are hand-picked in Yunnan, China.
They’re also bringing some of their true blue American flavours on board, including Honeycomb, Marion Berry Cheesecake, and Praline Butter Cake—which founder Ben tells us is the most costly flavour to produce, as it comes with pecan and chunks of real butter cake. All you have to do at the counter is decide if you want one ($6.50+), two ($10.40+), or three ($14+) scoops of ice cream in a cup or cone.
Some of these flavours are vegan too, great for plant-based diners or those who aren’t their best around dairy. These alternative scoops are made with cashews, coconut cream, and oat milk, and are priced at $1+ more per scoop.
You could also order a Waffle Cone (+$1+) to go with your ice cream.
These are made fresh and come in a thicker, sweet, and wide-mouthed cone with a caramelised flavour and crunch.
Choose from eight different toppings, including Hot Fudge, Salted Caramel, regular or Vegan Whipped Cream, Toasted Walnuts, Cookies & Cream Crumble, and even Rainbow Sprinkles. Each of these toppings is priced at just $1+, and you can have as many as you like!
We loved the Honeycomb, swirled not with honey, but with caramel candy. It was a close fight with Peanut Butter Brownie Chip, with its swirls of peanut butter doubling down on the PB action on top of a peanut butter ice cream base. If that wasn’t decadent enough, the addition of chewy chocolate brownie chunks surely maxes it out.
Purists should definitely go for Vanilla Bean, thoroughly speckled through with Tahitian vanilla beans that are cold-ground whole for maximum flavour. Else, there’s Strawberry, churned with Oregon-grown strawberries picked at peak ripeness. This trod the fine balance between sweet and tart, and serves a great balance to the other, sweeter scoops. And fans of chocolate, you won’t go wrong with Chocolate Fudge Brownie for double the indulgence.
Psst, Van Leeuwen’s got milkshakes on the menu too! Each ultra luxurious cuppa is priced at $13+, or $16+ for a vegan version. Otherwise, spoil yourself with a Root Beer Float ($9+/$10+).
If you can’t get enough of their ice cream, they’ve got pints for sale too—there are 23 different flavours available, priced at $17+ for a 14oz tub. Not only will you be able to bring home your favourite flavours, but there are also pint-exclusive ones, such as Malted Cookie Dough Shake, for malted ice cream with cookie dough and dark choc chips, and Buttermilk Berry Cornbread, which sees a buttermilk ice cream studded with honey cornbread and swirled through with raspberry jam. Another pint-only flavour is Black Cherry Chip, their bestselling flavour of 2021, with cherry ice cream, chocolate chips, and black cherries!
Alternatively, enjoy a box of their Ice Cream Bars ($17+ for four) in the comfort of your home. These come in four flavours: Toffee Brown Sugar, Vanilla Caramel Swirl, Vanilla Wildberry Swirl, and Triple Chocolate Swirl.
For more eats in the area, check out our Orchard Central food guide. If you’re looking for other places to satisfy your sweet tooth, we’ve got our guide to the best ice cream and waffles in Singapore.
Address: 181 Orchard Road, #01-19/20, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Opening hours: Wed-Sat 12pm to 12am, Sun-Tue 12pm to 11pm
Van Leeuwen is not a halal-certified eatery
Photos taken by Chew Yi En.
This was a media tasting at Van Leeuwen Singapore.
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