Van Leeuwen Ice Cream has opened their very first overseas branch here at Orchard Central. Van Leeuwen, founded by brothers Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen and Laura O’Neill, started out as a yellow ice cream truck on the streets of New York City in 2008, and since then, has grown into an ice cream chain with over 50 scoop stores around the United States.
It all started when the Van Leeuwen brothers were ice cream truck drivers when they were in college. When Ben was graduating, he realised, while standing in front of an ice cream truck in New York City, “Why doesn’t anybody sell really good ice cream off trucks? Everybody loves ice cream and everybody loves ice cream trucks, I’m going to start an ice cream truck that sells good ice cream!”
From that day onward, they wrote up a business plan, trying out different ideas and recipes for ice cream, and even designing a truck. A year later in the summer of 2008, the first Van Leeuwen Ice Cream truck was born.
So what makes Van Leeuwen’s ice creams special? They are made with real natural ingredients from small producers around the world, without any artificial stabilisers, thickeners or emulsifiers.
Using double the amount of egg yolks for their regular ice cream and a traditional method for their vegan ice creams, Van Leeuwen is able to enhance the ice creams’ texture and mouthfeel. Not just that, but its cones are all made fresh so they won’t be soggy.
Flavours include Praline Butter Cake, Honeycomb, Marionberry Cheesecake, Earl Grey, and more. For vegans or those who are lactose-intolerant, try the vegan selections, created with oat milk, coconut cream, raw coconut oil, cocoa butter, and pure cane sugar: Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Peanut Butter Brownie Honeycomb, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Cookies & Cream Caramel Swirl.
Our verdict? They all lived up to the hype. Every scoop was a flavourful burst of creamy sugary goodness; even the vegan versions are a surprise, tasting almost like the real thing except that they have a slightly more discernible coconut flavour.
Enjoy the ice creams in a pastel-hued cafe that presents plenty of Insta-worth opportunities. Fans can order the DIY Sundae ($13) which comes with a choice of any two scoops classic and/or vegan and any three toppings.
To take it up a notch, customers can choose two flavours and blend them into a milkshake to create the ultimate summery drink, or have a Root Beer Float – great for Singapore’s weather! They can also take home 23 different 14-ounce tubs of ice creams ($17, approx. 396g) including some pint-exclusive flavours.
“We are incredibly excited to be bringing Van Leeuwen Ice Cream to Singapore,” shares Ben Van Leeuwen. “This will be our very first international Van Leeuwen store, and we cannot wait to share our good ice cream, made with good ingredients, that makes you feel good.”
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is located at Orchard Central at 181 Orchard Rd, #01-19, Singapore 238896