Ice cream parlours have blossomed across Malaysia lately, but let’s not forget the dessert places that practically watched us grow up. Those old-fashioned joints with old school flavours may not be as trendy, alternative or out-there as modern dessert shops today. Yet a single bite can send those childhood memories rushing back.
Here are 8 places where you can still get old school ice cream, handmade and much cheaper than the kind you get now, in local hidden gems where families would go back to for generations.
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1. Sunny Hill Ice Cream (Kuching, Sarawak)
Mention Sunny Hill Ice Cream and most Kuching folks would tell you that they have been going there for their dessert fix since childhood. Open since 1963, this nostalgic canteen-style parlour is the oldest ice cream joint in town, and many Kuchingites grew up with it.
Their creamy soft serve ice creams are always made fresh, and there are only 2 flavours sold each day. Vanilla is served every day, while the menu rotates for Strawberry (Monday – Tuesday), Pandan/ Corn (Wednesday – Friday), and Chocolate (Saturday – Sunday).
Most people go for the cone or cup, but you can also enjoy it in Banana Split, Sundae, Ice Cream Sandwich, Ice Cream Float or Pudding.
Sunny Hill Ice Cream
Address: 140, Lor Batu Kawa 1C, Sunny Hill Garden, 93250 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon – Thurs, Sun), 8am – 3.30pm (Friday), 7pm – 10pm(Sat)
2. Kow Po Coffee Shop (Bentong, Pahang)
One of the well-known food gems in Bentong is none other than Kow Po Coffee Shop, an old-fashioned ice cream parlour that has been serving homemade delights since 1956. You can choose from flavours like chocolate, vanilla, coconut, yam, banana, pandan and durian.
Their specialty is the delicious ice kacang topped with fruit cocktail and ice cream – a treat for sweet tooths. If you have been eating all day on a Bentong food tour, then maybe you might want to have a simple cone. Worth a stop when you are in town!
Kow Po Coffee Shop
Address: 2, Bentong Heights, 28700 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 6.30pm (Daily)
Join a Bentong Food Crawl to taste the best of Bentong, with the help of a local.
3. T.A.K. Ice Cream Corner (Bentong, Pahang)
If you are in the Bentong town centre, you may also come across T.A.K. Ice Cream Corner. Running since 1976, the local creamery serves them in several flavours like coconut, pandan, vanilla and yam.
Their bestsellers are the ice kacang and cendol, each with a helping of their signature homemade ice cream. There is also the T.A.K. Special, which tops it all off with local fruits like watermelon, longan and lychee – a sweet escape from the heat!
T.A.K. Ice Cream Corner
Address: 89, Jalan Chui Yin, 28700 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 11am – 7pm (Closed on Tues)
4. Uncle Bicycle Ice Cream (Seremban, Negeri Sembilan)
Uncle Liu is a familiar face in Seremban, as he is the town’s only handmade ice cream hawker. He can be seen selling his old-school ice cream at his mobile stall, attached to his tricycle. Held by toothpicks, his humble red bean, corn and chocolate ice creams are a delight for his long-time customers, including students, office workers and retirees.
Making the homemade dessert is laborious and time-consuming, especially at his age. However, Mr Liu still insists on continuing his trade of over 40 years, and selling them at a mere RM1 each. He doesn’t open at a fixed time – if you do spot him, give these nostalgic ice cream a try!
Uncle Bicycle Ice Cream
Address: Jalan Tuanku Munawir, Bandar Seremban,70000 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Opening Hours: From 11am or 12pm (Mon, Wed, Sat)
Join a Seremban food tour with a local from Negeri Sembilan.
5. Taluwang Super Ice Cream kiosk (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah)
Ice cream potong sparks childhood memories for Malaysians, especially in the 90s. In Sabah, this traditional coconut-milk-based dessert has captured the hearts of both locals and tourists alike. Since they are made using seasonal Malaysian fruits, some people buy boxes of them home as an alternative to the actual fruits.
Taluwang sells them at their kiosk in Kota Kinabalu International Airport, but you can also find these yummy sticks of ice cream in the city. Durian ice cream is the most popular, alongside other flavours like cempedak, yam, cendol, red bean, sweet corn, mango, and avocado.
Taluwang Super Ice Cream kiosk
Address: Lot L3C, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, 88740 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Join a Night Market Food Tour in Sabah, guided by a local.
6. Sidewalk Ice-Cream Lounge (Ipoh, Perak)
In Ipoh, locals take a trip down memory lane when they come to Sidewalk Ice-Cream Lounge. The vintage ice cream parlour is where couples and families gather to indulge in ice cream and “sundae fun day” since 1991, long before the modern establishments popped up with all the funky fusions.
The cosy setting takes you back to the good ol’ days, and it is still a favourite local hangout spot. There is no going wrong with the classics – ice cream and a selection of rainbow sprinkles, chocolate rice, wafer, candied cherries and fruits.
Sidewalk Ice-Cream Lounge
Address: 26 Lengkok Canning, Taman Canning, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 7.30pm – 11pm
7. Tai Chong Ice Café (Melaka)
For Melaka locals, Tai Chong Ice Café is a neat little dessert parlour that needs no introduction. Their ice cream ABC is an all-time favourite – imagine slurping up the syrupy ice, jellies and ice cream on a warm day!
Other desserts that would send your memories racing are the ice cream with peaches, and ice cream with jelly.
Tai Chong Ice Café
Address: 42, Jalan Bunga Raya, Kampung Jawa 75100, Melaka, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 11am – 7pm (closed on Tuesday)
8. Sin Kek Seng Coffee Shop (Penang)
While this is not strictly an ice cream parlour, Penangites have their share of old-school ice cream at Sin Kek Seng Coffee Shop.
Open since 1906, the star of the restaurant is their special ice kacang with homemade durian ice cream and jellies. Durian lovers take note: the ice cream tastes like the real thing! Besides that, they serve savoury dishes like chicken rice, fried rice and char kuey teow.
Sin Kek Seng Coffee Shop
Address: 382 & 384, Jalan Penang 10000, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (daily)