If you’ve been struggling to quite literally keep your cool these past few weeks, you’re not alone. Singapore’s humid, eternal summer is hard to beat unless you have a cold treat in hand of course. Sure, you could get a cold cup of bubble tea or a scoop of gelato, but we believe a bowl of Singapore’s OG icy dessert, chendol, is the best remedy for an impending heat stroke.
Chendol – or cendol as it’s originally written – can be considered Southeast Asia’s humble cousin to the trendy Korean bingsu, but instead of a mountain of shaved ice topped with chocolate and fruits, the gluten-free dessert features a medley of green rice flour jelly, coconut milk and gula melaka. While many claim the best chendol comes from Malaysia, we know for a fact that Singapore has versions that can rival our bordering neighbour.
These days, the best chendol spots in Singapore often also include a generous topping of red bean paste and sweet corn, coupled with the occasional attap seed hidden at the bottom of the fragrant, invigorating bowl. Some even offer a dollop of fresh durian paste, which we’re always up for.
7 best chendol spots to cool down at in Singapore:
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Yatkayan (which means a whole family in Cantonese) Dessert opened at the end of 2019 as a way of bonding with older family members of the Tang household together. The humble locale feels very much like a blast from the past, complete with a menu of old-school favourites like the Walnut Paste, Black Sesame Paste and of course, Chendol. All the ingredients in the icy bowl are prepared from scratch, and you can even get an elevated version topped with durian paste or homemade Orh Nee too.
Opening hours: 1.30 pm – 10 pm (closed on Tuesdays)
(Image credot: @eldredoo/Instagram)
Nyonya Chendol has only four items on the menu. If you’re not too fussy, get the original chendol, crafted with a packed ice ball drenched in fresh, creamy coconut milk, a scoop of sticky, aromatic Gula Melaka and a generous sprinkling of green rice-flour jelly. If you’re feeling adventurous, include additional toppings with yours, such as red beans, sweet corn, or the D24 durian paste.
Opening hours: 9.30 am – 9.30 pm (closed on Mondays)
(Image credit: @fred.and.chloe via Instagram)
Old Amoy Chendol really sets the standard for some of the best-tasting chendol in Singapore, period. Each item of the dish is tediously prepared by hand here, including making their own cold-pressed coconut milk daily. That, coupled with a beautifully fragrant paste of charcoal-cooked Japanese adzuki beans and a thick, pure gula melaka drizzle, and we’re salivating at the thought already.
Opening hours: 10.30 am – 6 pm (closed on Sundays)
(Image credit: @chuepachups via Instagram)
If this chendol made you do a double take, you weren’t alone. Here at Chowzan Dessert, you’ll find a mound of shaved ice topped with white coconut strips and a milder red bean concoction, best enjoyed with an additional ball of durian paste on top. The dessert establishment prides itself on making Singapore’s first white cendol, which tastes just as good as it looks.
Opening hours: 1.30 pm – 11 pm daily
(Image credit: Chow Zan Desserts)
Tucked in a little corner on the fourth floor of Beauty World Centre, Ye Tang Chendol serves up quality chendol bowls without any of the bells and whistles. Fresh coconut milk, fluffy ice, supremely thick Gula Melaka and aromatic pandan jelly — we’d say it doesn’t get better than this. Unless you’re a durian fanatic of course, because the durian version comes with a generous dollop of pungent flesh that’s sure to satisfy.
Opening hours: 11 am – 8.45 pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
(Image credit: @_tingsilike_/Instagram)
Few things are as glorious as a generous bowl of chendol after a satisfying plate of nasi lemak. You might scoff at its price tag here, but we promise it’s worth every cent. Here, the local dessert sees a classic mix of mung bean jellies, palm sugar, fresh coconut milk and evaporated milk, all heaped atop a mountain of finely shaved ice for. maximum enjoyment, especially in the sweltering heat.
Opening hours: 11 am – 10.30 pm (closed on Mondays)
(Image credit: The Coconut Club/Facebook)
Another old-school favourite that’s bound to impress, Makan Melaka’s Cendol Melaka uses only ingredients that are made from scratch, with light coconut milk for those who prefer something a little more refreshing. The homemade pandan jelly here is fragrant while the gula melaka adds depth to the dessert, making it one of the best in Singapore. Opt for the traditional version here, or go wild with the Durian, Glutinous Rice, or Red Bean options.
Opening hours: 8 am – 10 pm
(Image credit: @makanlagi__/Instagram)
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This story first appeared here.
(Hero and featured image credit: The Coconut Club)
Related: 8 Best Traditional Dessert Stalls In Singapore To Cool Off At