Sunday, August 07, 2005

Peanut Ice Kacang

Peanut-Ice-Kacang Last week, I was lunching with a couple of colleagues at Far East Square, and while hunting down the famous prawn and pork rib noodles stall (which will be the subject of a future post), we chanced upon this stall called Annie's Peanut Ice Kacang, selling this wonderful mountain of syrupy shaved ice for only S$1.80. Before I expound on Annie's stuff, first you need to know what is the 'norm' for ice kacang...

Ice-Kacang 'Ice Kacang' is the Malay word for 'peanut ice', and generally describes shaved ice that is doused with coloured syrup and evaporated milk and at the base of this mountain of shaved ice, one would usually find cooked red beans, peanuts, sweet corn kernels, and black/grass jelly bits. The normal variety is shown in 2nd photo with its rainbow-colored hues, although there are also versions which douse the shaved ice in gula melaka syrup ('gula melaka' is brown palm sugar tapped from the coconut tree and wonderfully fragrant) and fresh coconut milk, making the entire concoction absolutely calorifically sinful. This popular dessert can be varied in so many different ways by the addition of different ingredients to the red beans-peanuts-sweet corn combination, in fact, I've had some which added pomelo pulp (adding a slight tartness to the sweet dessert).

For me, the only way to eat this mountainous ice is really to start at the top, whilst praying that each spoonful will not result in my ice mountain collapsing outside of its bowl (which has happened before, much to my chagrin). The problem with this method - I get to the ingredients at the base much much too late after plowing thru' half the syrupy mountain.

Now, if you look at Annie's Peanut Ice Kacang, you will understand why I much much prefer this version. Some of the ingredients are still at the base but there's also cooked red beans (in a slightly mushy form) and ground peanuts covering the ice which allows each spoonful starting from the top to be chockful with ingredients and lovely syrupy ice. Annie's ice-shaving machine is also much more superior - the ice shaving is finer (with no ice crystals) and melts instantly on the tongue. The ground peanuts are an absolutely wonderful touch to this dessert, adding the fragrance of roasted peanuts without too much of the crunch to detract from that melting sensation in the mouth!

Unfortunately, after a very satisfying lunch, we were rushing back to our office and I didn't have time to note the stall unit number for Annie's Peanut Ice Kacang, nor the name of the building in which it is located. Far East Sq being the maze of eating places and shophouses that it is, I will have to navigate myself back to the hawker centre somewhere in the center of this square.. or was it northeast..?


Blogger dave said...

This really looks good but when I read about what is at the bottom and, in this case all along the sides I wonder. I have found that I usually like new things once I try them; most interesting thanks.

8/07/2005 09:13:00 PM  
Anonymous gwenda said...

oooh! i love annie's icekacang too! used to go to tanjong pagar to eat her icekacang, had no idea it's moved...

8/07/2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger farmgirl said...

Great post about something I've never heard of before. It is so wonderful to be able to e-travel to the other side of the world and experience new cuisines with just a couple of clicks! Thanks for sharing. : )

8/08/2005 03:07:00 AM  
Blogger boo_licious said...

wow, the annie's one looks so interesting. Don't think I have seen that version in KL before.

Cath, I also like to take the ice first as I think it's the best part. Sometimes, I wish they'll just give me the ice ball instead.

8/08/2005 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

hi dave, a really good ice kacang is quite refreshing on a hot day - you should try it should you ever be on this side of the world :)

hi gwenda, not too sure whether Annie's has moved from Tanjong Pagar or whether this is another branch - will find out.

hi farmgirl, glad you enjoyed it!

hi boo_licious, I take the ice first cos' I'm afraid of the whole ice mountain collapsing on me but what I really like are the bits and pieces of ingredients that go with the shaved ice.

8/08/2005 10:18:00 PM  

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