We can never get too much of ice cream! Rabbit Owl Depot, another indie parlor specializing in these icy delights has opened its doors a week ago at North Bridge Centre, right across where our National Library is situated (nearest mrt station: NE12/DT14 Bugis). Very convenient! Also, I like its close proximity to my favorite chicken rice place Yet Con at Purvis Street, which makes it the perfect spot to chill out after my regular indulgence for more indulgence! Lol!
Rabbit Owl Depot (ROD) is opened by a pair of lovers, Joseph and Alena, who are sweeter than the ice cream they sell. Being their friend, I've always thought their endearing nicknames "OotOot" and "BitBit" for each other are downright mushy haha! And it came as no surprise that they named and built the theme of their first business venture together around these animals.
Check out the custom-made stools, inspired by rabbit ears! And the numerous owl ornaments and coasters dotting the cosy café. So cuuuute!!! Aiyah, but my bum is a tad too big for those tiny cargo container-like seats which felt uncomfortable after sitting on it for a while.
It has been quite some time since we last made mooncakes together, and now Alena has graduated to making ice cream. Yes, all the flavors selection at ROD are prepared by Alena and Joseph themselves, result of numerous trial & error and feedback to achieve the desirous texture and flavors. The key elements that goes into an ice cream might be more or less the same, but it's the individual recipe that makes the difference.
For one, ROD do not use any preservatives for their ice cream, and essential additives such as stabilizers are kept to a minimum. Two, instead of relying heavily on concentrated flavoring, 'real' ingredients like vanilla beans, roasted nuts and fresh mangoes are used.
There's no lack of flavor choices at ROD, with no less than 15 varieties behind the display freezer screaming, "Try Me!" The focus is very much on safer classics such as Vanilla, Minty Chocolate, Cookies & Cream, Sea Salt Caramel and Green Tea (single scoop $3.90 / double scoop $6.90 / cone +$1) and premium flavors (+$1) of Dark Chocolate, Rum & Raisins, Pistachio, Hazelnut Roche and Coconut.
I wish some fancy toppings can be added to prettify my scoops, or to see some unique flavors on top of the usual (maybe seasonal Halloween Pumpkin or Christmas Eggnog?) but ROD does not want to get experimentally crazy at this point yet. Their foremost concern is to get the basic execution of their ice cream's texture and flavors right. Even the slate stone-like black plates used are of thoughtful gesture, which is said to sustain the ice cream shape better (compared to ceramic ones).
Standouts for me include the Coconut, utterly refreshing with bits of coconut flesh, Strawberry Cheesecake for its creamy sweetness, Hazelnut Roche for its intense nuttiness and Black Sesame, distinctively bold with a gritty contrasting texture. The ice cream were rich, smooth and doesn't melt too quickly.
The most "wu hua" price worthy order could be the Ice Cream Platter ($9 / +$1 for each premium flavor), where we get 3 scoops together with 2 homemade love letters. I almost dismissed the love letters as mere sidekicks, until I bite into its lovely crispiness filled with eggy and white sesame fragrance.
I would also highly recommended their SnowFlakes Waffles ($6.50 / $9.50 with 1 scoop of ice cream / +$3 for additional scoop). Beautifully shaped like snowflakes with a sprinkling of icing sugar, wonderfully aromatic with whiffs of buttermilk, delightfully crispy and fluffy, this is one of the best waffles around in town!
For one who love both ice cream and coffee, the Affogato ($7.50) is one of my favorite perk-me-ups. Rum & Raisins with a shot of strong espresso made a real potent combination. It left me feeling heady and high on happiness.
ROD uses a blend of Sumatra and Columbia beans locally roasted by Bettr Barista for their coffee. Though the latte art of our Flat White ($5) was barely passable, the full-bodied taste makes up much for it.
The local café scene is becoming rather saturated, but Rabbit Owl Depot could be one of the stronger contenders to survive. Their ice cream and snow flakes waffles are definitely worth a try. Go quick, the owl and rabbit are calling you :p
Rabbit Owl Depot
Address: 420 North Bridge Road, #01-06 North Bridge Centre, Singapore 188727
Contact: +65 6336 4075
Opening Hours: Daily 12pm-10pm