Ben and Larry’s in Singapore, thinking outside the ice-cream box

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro and Ben Chung, owner of Blic's homemade ice-cream parlour in Tampines, Singapore

With Ben Chung, part owner of Blic (Ben and Larry’s Ice-Cream) ice-cream parlour at Tampines, Singapore
Photo © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

Tucked away in the cozy heartland of Tampines in Singapore, not too far from Tampines SAFRA, I was surprised to find an ice-cream parlour with a sleek orange and cream interior called Blic. Following my instincts in finding good ice-cream, I went in. The place served up authentic homemade ice-cream and sorbets without preservatives, artificial flavours or fillers – a pure food philosophy that was right after my heart!

Ben Chung of Blic (Ben and Larry’s Ice Cream) is the creative force behind Blic and has created more than 40 ice-cream flavours of which some 20 flavours are rotatingly available at the counter at any one time.

Sea Salt Malt, Kahlua Cookies Caramel and Tiramisu from Blic, Singapore.

That gorgeous melt! Seasalt Malt, Kahlua Cookies Caramel and Tiramisù.

Ben’s first original creation was Seasalt Malt, inspired by Japanese ice-cream parlours and a variation of a popular Japanese Seasalt Caramel he once tried.

Personally, I have to admit I’m not too adventurous when it comes to ice-cream flavours, preferring all my life to stick with dark chocolate, rum and raisin and coffee flavours. Then several years ago when sushi bars were becoming popular and established in Singapore, I tried Matcha or green tea ice-cream which I thought was radical! I’ve personally never tasted an ice-cream flavour that was sweet-salty as in this Seasalt Malt flavour, so this was a first! Another first was Kahlua Cookies and Caramel, where I’ve only ever tried the conservative Cookies and Cream flavour prior to my visit to Blic.

A few of Ben's ice-cream creations at Blic, Tampines, Sinagpore.

Some of the over 40 rotating flavours that you can find at Blic.

What makes Blic a rave with me is the philosophy behind the making of ice-creams and any sort of food in general. I’ve long been a fan of Tuscan cooking where ingredients used are so basic, one would hardly think of it as anything special and yes, ice-cream is essentially only a handful of ingredients that include eggs, sugar, milk and cream with whatever (natural) flavour you like such as fruit, coffee, chocolate etc. Ice-cream at Blic is as au natural as one can get it. In fact, each flavour is so unique as to have its own melting point which means that flavours on sale at the Blic currently need to be grouped in such a manner that they share a similar cooling range, with the cocktail and liquor flavours requiring a lower freezing point than others such as chocolate or coffee for example. The ice-cream counter has in effect, two different temperatures to store current flavours of ice-cream.

Tiramisu at Blic in Tampines, Singapore.

Tiramisu served up with savoiardi soaked in coffee.

As Ben puts it, “What I make here, you can do at home.” And sure, as with everything else, if you just know how and have passion enough to actually try your hand at it. But Ben’s point is still that the ingredients are basically available to all, no pre-fab factory mystery jugs needed. Then again here you can have the pick of the day when it comes to flavours. And if my favourite flavour is not in sight, I could ask for it a few days in advance and have a batch of it made to order – awesome!

Ben told of how Blic customizes ice-cream flavours for customers, so creations such as “Peanutella”, a combination of peanut butter and Nutella, is a customer request that he caters to once in a while, when the customer calls in. So, catering for a party and want your own brand of ice-cream flavour? Not a problem if you just speak with Ben.

As one of Ben’s passions is experimenting with flavours, Blic’s creations are sometimes singular such as a Ribena, Vodka and Sprite confection that was created about 4 months ago that was never made again, but still have customers requesting for it today!

Picture gallery at Blic, Tampines, Singapore.

A happy wall – Blic’s picture gallery.

With three tubs of ice-cream in hand before I left, I asked about the future plans for Blic and was absolutely thrilled to hear that they’re looking to expand. In the sketchbook of recipes are more than 40 original flavours that at the moment, haven’t had parlour space to see the light of day. But more than that, both Ben and Larry want a dining experience for their customers, where people can come visit them and enjoy not just ice-creams but gorgeous cakes (Larry’s specialty and interest) and a good cup of coffee.

From inside, looking out into the heartland of Tampines at Blic, Singapore.

Nothing like fresh made ice-cream on a searing tropical day!
From inside, looking out into the heartland of Tampines at Blic ice-cream parlour.

It took Singapore quite a while to have its very own homemade ice-creams, it being so tropical and humid, so I couldn’t help but smile broadly at the idea of Blic expanding to more than just its Tampines threshold.

Personally, I can’t wait for Blic to show up at another location in Singapore and oh, if and when you get a chance to visit Blic at Tampines, don’t forget to try their Tiramisù ice-cream. It comes in its very own cup, with espresso soaked savoiardi. Like all other ice-cream flavours, their Tiramisù is the real deal, and in this day of pre-fab foods, I find Blic’s ice-cream a sweet relief to tuck into.

————oOo————

You can find Blic at:
Blk 802 Tampines Ave 4 #01-23
Singapore, 520802
Phone: +65 67860860
Mon – Thurs: 12:00 – 23:00
Fri – Sat: 12:00 – 23:30
Sun: 2:00 – 23:00

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