Friday, July 15, 2011

The Ice-ball challenge

Ice-ball, from the Singapore Food Trail.
Special thanks to Belinda Tan for giving permission to use this photo taken by her.

What was it like to eat an ice-ball? I have read about and heard of people reminiscing fondly of the days when they ate ice-ball. Yet I did not have a clue how the experience would be, until I visited the Singapore Food Trail (located at the Singapore Flyer) recently.

The Singapore Food Trail is a food establishment with an interesting concept to let its guests relive the nostalgic days of Singapore in the 1960s. One of the interesting food available at the dessert stall is the ice-balls. To enjoy an ice-ball against the backdrop of makeshift stalls along the roadside can make one feel as if one has taken the time-machine back to the 1960s' Singapore.

I learnt that in the 1960s, ice-balls were sold at 5 cents each. One of my friends, Eastcoastlife, told me that in those days, a 5-cents ice-ball was her half-a-day's pocket money. She shared that there were occasions when she secretly ate an ice-ball against the advice of her mother. Yet, many of the times, her mother still found out about her secret treats to ice-ball. How could this be so? The coloured marks left behind by the melting coloured ice-ball had betrayed her.

Chun See who writes the blog Good Morning Yesterday has a very interesting post, titled Ice Balls, that helped me to visualize how an ice-ball could be made in the past. Go and check out the photo of the first generation ice-shaver. Apparently, the ice-shaver was made up of a wooden block with nails on it.

Fast forward to the 2011, I could have the pleasure to witness how ice-balls are made. I have a hunch that the management who have made the Singapore Food Trail possible are likely people who have very fond memories of ice-balls.

Placing the filling into the ice-ball.

Adding the colourings.

My grandmother told me that the way to eat an ice-ball was to suck the icy liquid from the ice-ball. After which, one could eat the ice. During this interesting endeavour to savour the ice-ball, there would be an anticipation to find delightful 'treasures' inside the ice-balls. My mother told me that in the past, fillings such as red-bean and peanut could be found inside an ice-ball. The popular 'treasure' appeared to be the attap-chee.

I had my first hands-on experience taking up the challenge of eating an ice-ball on 7 Jul 2011. Eating a colourful ice-ball was a slightly messy affair that required the skillful act of sucking the ice-ball so as to drain it of the melting ice. In addition, I had to train my bare hands to tolerate the cold from the ice-ball. My verdict? Eating an ice-ball is a fun and challenging experience. I felt proud that I had finished enjoying one entire ice-ball without using a spoon!

If you like to have your hands on an ice-ball, please join me in the ice-ball challenge: Eat an entire ice-ball with the mouth and by holding the ice-ball with your bare-hands. No spoon please.

The reward is, the fun and excitement that comes with eating the ice-ball.

Singapore Food Trail
Singapore Flyer
30 Raffles Avenue
Singapore 039803

Opening hours:
10.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday,
10.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Also see: Singapore Food Trail: Reliving the good old 1960s once more  


kyh said...

nice treats! we still have these makeshift stalls here. :)

and it's hard to imagine how our parents survived on a few cents a day! lives certainly hv changed in a dramatic way!

oceanskies79 said...

kyh: It was quite a treat. :)

oceanskies79 said...

Thanks to Singapore Food Trail, here's a video of one of its customers eating a ice-ball the 1960s way: Eating ice-ball the 1960s way