Saturday, 7 April 2007

Singapore - Newton Circus - Ice Kachang 红豆冰

Newton Circus - Ice Kachang
Originally uploaded by seraphim1970.

Ice kacang or Ais kacang (Chinese: 红豆冰; pinyin: hóngdòu bing; literally "red bean ice"), is a dessert served in Malaysia and Singapore. It is also known as air batu campur (ABC) in Malay. It is sweet-tasting and is ice primarily served with sweet flavoured syrup and jelly. The word Kacang (note that kachang is an old spelling) is a Malay word for bean, and the word "ais" is a translation of the english term "ice".

Formerly, it was made of only shaved ice and red beans. Presently, it generally comes with bright colours that often is said to sparkle on the ice, and with different fruit cocktails and dressings. Several varieties have also been introduced which contain aloe vera in some form or another, such as in jelly form. Often, a large serving of attap chee (palm seed), red beans, sweetcorn, grass jelly, cubes of agar agar and chendol form the base. Evaporated milk is drizzled over the mountain of ice. To cater to the palates of the modern customer, some stalls have even introduced novelty toppings like durian, chocolate syrup and ice cream. There are also versions that shun the multi-coloured syrup and are served with just a drizzling of gula melaka syrup instead.

Many Malaysian coffee shops, hawker centres and food courts offer this dessert. In Penang, the more popular places include Swatow Lane, Lorong Selamat and the Batu Lanchang Wet Market Food Court.

By tradition, all food courts in Singapore generally have at least one stall purely for desserts that would sell ais kacang by default. Ais kacang tends to be patronised by tourists and locals alike.