Jonathan Wee is making the world a sweeter place, one scoop at a time.
By Nathan Calvert
It’s Saturday night. You’ve eaten your dinner but you’re still craving something. There’s a lingering dissatisfaction, a quiet but incessant niggling from your tummy that tells you “that’s not all”. Your taste buds tingle, and your sweet tooth awakens. You realize what your body wants: ice cream. Sweet, decadent ice cream.
Opened in 2007 (way before the mushrooming of hole-in-the-wall ice-cream places in the past couple of years), Ice Cream Chefs has made a name for itself by offering preservative-free ice cream made fresh on its premises daily. With opening hours stretching till 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, ICC’s two branches at East Coast Road and Upper Thomson are some of the busiest neighborhood joints for youngsters and families looking for a cozy evening out.
Ice Cream Chefs was founded and is co-owned by 25-year-old ice cream connoisseur Jonathan Wee, whose passion for the cold sweet treat spurred him to set up the business.
As a Christian and a member of City Harvest Church, Wee wanted to build his business based on the core values of honesty and integrity. As a Singaporean, he was inspired to create quality ice-cream that catered to both Asian and Western palates. And as an ice-cream connoisseur, he wanted everything in his store to taste great. Ice Cream Chefs is the realization of this vision.
Every day, 18 mouth-watering flavors are on offer at S$3.30 a scoop, which ensures that regular customers are never short of choice. There are 60 flavors on rotation, ranging from conventional choices like chocolate and vanilla to the more atypical ones like Earl Grey Tea. Natural ingredients are used as much as possible—durian from Thailand, strawberries from South Korea and vanilla beans instead of vanilla essence.
What sets ICC apart is its cold slab, which allows for ice-cream flavors to be blended with mix-ins—Kinder Bueno chocolates and gummy bears to cashew nuts and cornflakes. But that’s “normal” compared to its Durian Surprise—chocolate and durian ice-cream folded into each other on a cold slab, mixed in with Hershey’s chocolate chips and crispy Loacker wafers and drizzled with chocolate sauce. In case you’re still not salivating, it tastes a lot better than it sounds (unless you’re allergic to durian). Try it on a piping hot waffle, with, you guessed it—more chocolate drizzle.
Those who prefer something lighter can go for the signature Fuz series, which are akin to sherbet. The Mango Peach Fuz is soft and fluffy on the tongue—like snowflakes melting on the tongue, while the Passion Kiwi Fuz achieves a perfect balance of sweet and tangy.
So what should great ice cream taste like? “A good ice cream should be full of flavor and full-bodied. When you put it in your mouth it should be smooth on your tongue. You should feel a certain texture; it shouldn’t just collapse,” Wee says.
And what would he serve God if He walked into his shop, Wee smiles and replies, “Durian Surprise—to give Him a taste of Singapore.”
Ice Cream Chefs
520 East Cost Road, #01-06 (Ocean Park Building)
+65 64466 355
No. 12 Jalan Kuras (Upper Thomson)
+65 6458 4849
DIY Chocolate Ice Cream
Want to make your own ice cream? Ice Cream Chefs’ Jonathan Wee shares his personal recipe.
• 1 egg
• 60g sugar
• 120g milk
• 70g bittersweet chocolate
• 110g cream
1. Whisk the egg and sugar until thickened.
2. Melt chocolate over double boiler.
3. Heat milk and add the egg and sugar mixture.
4. Stir constantly.
5. Combine chocolate, egg-sugar-milk mixture and bring resulting mixture to 90°C over a double boiler before plunging it into cold water (exercise caution when using glass vessels).
6. Add cream after plunging (65°C).
7. Mix well before freezing the mixture.
8. Once frozen, serve with brownies or waffles with chocolate sauce for a sweet treat!