Also up for licks: Durian-flavored Esplanade

For years, cynical Singaporeans have commented on the strange combination of parts that is our national icon, the Merlion. Half-lion, half-mermaid, it was strangely phallic in a way no one could quite put their finger on (was it the subversive fact that the Merlion has no genitalia?) And while our esteemed Merlion has been presiding over the island, a silent authoritarian spouting its steady stream of water and judgment, some came along and decided to stick a literal stick up its ass.

Introducing the Icy Merlion ($3.80)—a devilishly patriotic concoction of strawberry and vanilla to honor the national flag. Behind the quirky confection is brand new artisanal ice cream parlor Leeu SG, founded by a husband-and-wife duo who set up the business to handcraft desserts Singaporeans would identify with. Launched this month, the iconic pop has even been specially made to be less sweet, so as to be in line with PM Lee’s call for cutting down on sugar during the 2017 National Day Rally Speech.


Icy Merlion


The Esplanade

Also on the menu is the Esplanade Ice Cream ($8.80), a head-turning treat made from fresh durian and shaped in the likeness of Singapore’s most famous durian. It looks a little more like an actual durian than our beloved arts institution—but to make up for it, the Leeu SG store is located in none other than the Esplanade Mall.

Even the drinks available take a stab at being Singapore-inspired. The soda floats have names like Zouk Out Cure, The Red Dot, and Sentosa Breeze; and there’s even a pandan-infused beancurd float called Old Timer whose reference we don’t really get. Less pertinent to our national identity but no less yummy on a hot day are pink and blue Fish Tail Soft Serves, in the style of the popular Japanese taiyaki snack.

Gimmick is fun and all, but for a taste of how truly Singaporean this is you’ll have to head down for yourself. The store is already open at #02-07, The Esplanade Mall.