Van Leeuwen, the beloved ice cream brand hailing from Brooklyn, New York, has made its sweet debut in Singapore last month at Orchard Central.
What’s the hype around Van Leeuwen?
For the uninitiated, Van Leeuwen’s journey began on the bustling streets of New York City in 2008 when they started as a modest ice cream truck. Their mission has always been simple: to craft good ice cream that not only tastes delicious but also makes you feel good.
What sets Van Leeuwen apart is their commitment to authenticity, using double the amount of egg yolks in their ice cream, creating what they proudly call “French ice cream”. Additionally, they offer a delectable selection of vegan ice cream options, all made with real, natural, and wholesome ingredients sourced from top-notch small producers worldwide.
The brand has already established 50 scoop shops across America, making it a household name among ice cream enthusiasts.
Its Singapore outlet marks its first location outside of the USA.
The brick-and-mortar Van Leeuwen store can seat 32 guests comfortably and is on the ground floor of Orchard Central. When AVENUE ONE visited one afternoon, we noticed that it was already packed with post-lunch crowd looking for sweet treats. Despite how bustling it was, it still felt cosy when I settled down at a table with my ice cream.
Those looking for an Instagram-worthy moment will love that the store is adorned with vibrant green colours and a playful pastel pattern depicting ice cream scoops, a nod to the brand’s iconic and colourful branding.
I was told that Van Leeuwen has an unwavering commitment to using only the finest ingredients. They source these ingredients from reputable suppliers, local farms, and around the globe. For instance, the graham crumble featured in their Marionberry Cheesecake is made in-house, and the marionberries used in the jam are sourced from Stahlbush Farms, an environmentally friendly farm dedicated to sustainable agriculture.
I ordered three scoops – Peanut Butter Brownie Chip, Vanilla Bean, and Salted Caramel – served in a fragrant waffle cone.
Our first spoonful of the ice cream was pure decadence. I noticed how the ice cream was very thick and rich and has a “chewy” texture to it.
Of the three flavours I got, Peanut Butter Brownie Chip stood out immediately.
I love how indulgent Peanut Butter Brownie Chip was, with evident flavour of creamy peanut butter mixed with the satisfying texture of chocolate brownie chunks.
But Vanilla Bean turns out to be the flavour I could keep digging into after several spoonfuls. This features cold-ground Tahitian vanilla beans and unlike a lot of other vanilla-flavoured ice cream I’ve tried, truly let the taste of vanilla take the spotlight, instead of overwhelm it with milk.
Other must-try flavours recommended to me include Honeycomb, which boasts a creamy sweet base infused with gooey honeycomb candy pieces, and Praline Butter Cake, another irresistible creation laden with praline pecans and chunks of brown butter cake. The Black Cherry Chip flavour, is another worthy mention; this is the brand’s best-selling specia in 2021, and combines cherry ice cream with chocolate chips and succulent black cherries.
What I think is definitely worth highlighting is that Van Leeuwen offers many vegan options crafted from a blend of cashews, coconut cream, and oat milk, making it a great place for vegan foodies and those who are lactose-intolerant to visit.
Van Leeuwen Singapore offers a menu boasting 16 scoop flavours, available in cups or their housemade waffle cones (+S$1). Prices start at S$6.50 for classic and S$7.50 for vegan for a single scoop.
You can also enjoy any two scoops for S$10.40 or three for S$14.
If you want to be fancier, customise your experience by adding toppings such as hot fudge, salted caramel, whipped cream (vegan option available), cookies & cream crumble, and more for S$1 each.
For those seeking a DIY treat, there’s the DIY Sundae (S$13); choose any two scoops, classic and/or vegan, and three toppings. Milkshakes and Root Beer Floats are also on the menu.
If you’d like to savour the goodness at home, Van Leeuwen offers 23 different flavours of 14 oz Pints (S$17). These include exclusive options such as Malted Cookie Dough Shake, Buttermilk Berry Cornbread, Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake, and Vegan Brownie Sundae Raspberry Swirl.
For those looking for a convenient treat, there are Ice Cream Bars available in boxes of four (S$17) with flavours such as Toffee Brown Sugar, Vanilla Caramel Swirl, Vanilla Wildberry Swirl, and Triple Chocolate Swirl.
Van Leeuwen Singapore is located at 181 Orchard Road, #01-19/20, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896. It is open from 12pm to 11pm from Sundays to Wednesdays and extends its hours to 12am on Thursdays to Saturdays.