Friday, June 14, 2013

What's the Deal with Hokkaido Ice Cream? (A Singapore Food Post)

One notices the tons of Japanese food places here in Singapore.  From sushi to ramen restaurants (among others), there's just an abundance of them here.  But what really caught my interest is Hokkaido ice cream.

So on one particular trip to Ngee Ann City mall, one of my ultimate favorite shopping centers along Orchard Road (more on that in a future post), curiosity finally got the best of us, so the Husband and I bought 2 scoops at Azabu Sabo Hokkaido Ice-Cream.

Azabu Sabo Hokkaido Ice-Cream

From Tokyo and Beyond!

Azabu Sabo is a dessert shop and tea house originating from Tokyo.  Serving "authentic Japanese desserts and tea in a stylish contemporary setting" (SOURCE: Azabu Sabo website), the place has always strove to provide good quality Japanese fare to patrons of its outlets located not only in the home base, but also in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

The thing that this restaurant is known for would perhaps be their large selection of light desserts, most notably their Hokkaido ice cream of which its main ingredients are sourced from the Japanese prefecture itself. 

Now based on my research, the area of Hokkaido, which is located in the northern part of Japan, is the country's foremost producer of agricultural products -- dairy (i.e. raw milk) included.  And this is what apparently makes their ice cream so special.  The raw milk from the prefecture is said to be really creamy and fragrant.  Well, that remains to be seen as we take a lick from our cones.

But before we do, I think it is worth mentioning their line of unusual flavor concoctions.  From Banana chocolate to Green tea with red bean to Sweet potato; it's a definitely good change from the old regular offerings.  But I digress, let us move on to the taste test.

The Taste Test

Hazelnut and maple biscuit

Flavor #1: hazelnut and maple biscuit.  Ice cream infused with maple and hazelnut pieces.  Has an interesting texture but no crunch (the ice cream may have softened the nuts a bit.)  It's light and not too overly sweet.

Cashew nut chocolate

Flavor #2: Cashew nut chocolate.  Rich chocolate ice cream with bite-sized cashew pieces.  Unlike the first flavor, this one if slightly sweeter and has a bitter bite to it, leading me to think they use dark chocolate in their recipe (yey!)

The Verdict

So is it creamy?  Hmmm... in a way.  Although I've had creamier ice cream from other stalls.  Azabu Sabo's concoctions sort of have this soft-serve-like texture, almost similar to a Wendy's Fosty.

Now considering that this is considered gelato (as stated in their website), I was actually pleasantly surprised that it was not as sweet as what the other similar stores were offering.  And that's a good thing.  It's light and makes for a good treat.

I think next time I'll try 2 flavors in a cone, just because I'm digging the way it's served.  J

SOURCE: Azabu Sabo website


Azabu Sabo Hokkaido Ice Cream 
391 Orchard Road
#B208-05 Ngee Ann City
T     63338509 

Please visit the Azabu Sabo website (click here for the site) for more information on menu items and branch locations.

Planning to visit?  Drop by my "Getting Around Singapore" post (click here) for more details on how to get around the Lion City.


  1. I've tried plain Hokkaido ice cream from a Japanese dessert shop in MOA, and while I like the taste and texture, it was pricey for a small cup >.< I'd love to try Azabu Sabo when I visit SG though, love that there are various interesting flavors :)


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