Singapore sits right on the equator and if you’ve never been there then you might not realize exactly how hot and muggy it is. During the day you end up sweaty and wanting something refreshing. After finishing eating at Outram Park Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh, which you can read about here, I decided ice kachang sounded pretty good and walked over to check out Annie’s Peanut Ice Kachang.
Almost every country in Asia has their own version of shaved ice, but they all are the same basic premise of a mound of shaved ice with sweet toppings. In Singapore and Malaysia, it’s called ice kachang. Ice kachang is a mound of ice that usually has colorful sweet syrup (sometimes even gula melaka), condensed milk and a variety of toppings that can include red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly, cendol and attap chee (palm seeds that look like weird eye balls) among other things.
Annie’s is a hawker stall located in Tanjong Pagar Market and Food Centre, which is a small hawker center located on the 2nd floor of a huge residential building in Tanjong Pagar close to Chinatown. This hawker center is kind of old school as its cramped, run down and quite hot; definitely a very local vibe. At the stall you’ll immediately notice the amount of media clippings and awards she has as it’s a fairly well heralded stall.
The lady (presumably Annie) who runs the stall is really friendly and was very happy that I liked her ice kachang. Not sure how well she speaks English, but the whole menu is in English so you’ll have no problem.
The ice at Annie’s is quite fine; it’s not total powder like the best shaved ice desserts I’ve had, but it’s definitely more fine than average, which is great. Now as I mentioned before ice kachang can have a lot of ingredients in it, but Annie’s keeps it’s pretty simple with ground peanuts, red beans, sweet corn and the little green worm shaped jellies you get in cendol. So what’s the twist? The twist here is that she adds ground peanuts, which is not common at all, in fact this is the first time I’ve ever had it on ice kachang. According to some blogs Annie actually started this (I don’t know whether that is true or not). Anyhow, the peanuts are not factory made and are roasted and ground at the stall. You can really taste the difference as they are very fragrant, have great crunchy texture and really add a nice dimension to the ice kachang. The other thing is that while it looks really sweet because of the syrup, it’s actually not that sweet, which I like. You almost felt like you ate nothing after finishing this. While it’s not as good as the best shaved ice I’ve had in Taiwan (I think they make the best shaved ice) it was very good and certainly an above average ice kachang. 8.5/10
Overall, I enjoyed the simplicity of the ice kachang here and it was very refreshing on a hot day. I don’t think it’s a destination type place, but if you in the area I’d definitely check it out.
Tanjong Pagar Market and Food Centre, Stall #02-36
6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza