Polishing off an ice cream cone takes skill. If you don’t have your technique down pat, you get a melty mess—or worse yet, a fallen scoop. But you won’t have to worry about the latter if you get your ice cream from Emma, a Japanese soft serve brand that just opened its very first overseas outlet here in Singapore.
Located at the basement of Plaza Singapura, the outlet serves Emma’s signature soft serve ice cream that’s so firm, you can literally flip it upside down and it won’t fall off:
They even had the genius idea of pairing their ice cream with the bubble tea trend of the moment: brown sugar pearls.
But are they all just gimmicks? Before we give you our honest reviews, here’s what’s on offer at Emma.
Highlights from the menu
The Emma Soft Milk is the one that started it all. It features the original soft serve ice cream made of premium Japanese milk served atop a black charcoal cone.
Top up 50 cents and you get the Emma Soft Milk With Dips where the ice cream comes with a chocolate, strawberry, caramel or matcha shell.
And then there’s the Singapore-exclusive Charcoal Cheese in Charcoal Cone, $5.50, an all-black offering that has a similar taste profile as the original soft serve, but with a hint of cheesy flavour.
If you’re all about that bubble tea life, go for the Brown Sugar Bubble Soft, where chewy brown sugar pearls are layered atop Emma’s signature soft serve and then powdered with either matcha or kinako powder.
Last but not least, you have the star of the menu: the Boba Taco Softie. A dance of textures and flavours, it features a swirl of both the original and cheese version of the soft serve (or just the original) perched on a wafer taco, and then drizzled with brown sugar pearls and crushed nuts.
They all look amazing, but do they actually taste any good? Scroll through the gallery for our reviews:
Emma Soft Serve Dips (Caramel and Matcha), $5.30
“The soft serve is pretty good. You can tell it’s of a higher quality as the texture is smoother and the taste is creamier than most others. But I find the caramel shell a bit too sweet. Next time, I’ll go for one without the dip as the ice cream is sweet enough. It gets a 4/5. (Side note: doesn’t it also look like a 💩!?)” – Melissa, Intern
“To me, the soft serve tastes a lot like McDonald’s vanilla ice cream. OK, maybe it’s a bit creamier and sweeter? The matcha shell tastes just like Matcha KitKat, which I like. I give it a 3/5.” – Jane, Designer
Emma Soft Serve Dips (Chocolate and Strawberry), $5.30
“The chocolate one tastes like an atas version of McDonald’s ChocoCone; it’s creamier and has a stronger milk taste. I find the chocolate shell a bit bitter, but it’s not too bad. It also melts too fast. Overall, I give it 3/5.” – Hidayah, Associate Digital Editor
“It’s kind of hard to eat, and it’s a race against time to finish it before it melts. But the ice cream is decent. I like the texture and it’s not too sweet. I give it a 3.5/5.” – Sophie, Associate Editor
Upside-down Test: Success
By the time Sophie was halfway through, the ice cream cone was a melty mess. But surprisingly, it still passed the upside-down test with flying colours.
Brown Sugar Matcha and Kinako Bubble Soft, $5.80
“I can’t really taste the matcha or kinako powder, since it’s just a sprinkling. It’s for aesthetics, more than anything. But I like the brown sugar pearls a lot, though. They have just the right mouthfeel. But I find the small plastic spoon a tad too small. I like the feeling of lots of pearls in my mouth (LOL), but you only get around two pearls with every spoonfull. 3/5.” – Sophie
“The brown sugar pearls are yummy, but I find the combo of ice cream and pearls way too sweet. It also melts really fast. You have a minute tops to take a pic for IG before it turns into a goopy mess. 2/5.” – Jane
Brown Sugar Matcha and Kinako Bubble Soft, $5.80
“You can barely taste the powder. But other than that, I think it’s pretty good. I also just realised that I actually prefer to eat pearls with a spoon rather than through a straw. You learn something new about yourself every day LOL. 3/5.” – Melissa
“I can’t taste the matcha powder at all. And the Kinako powder kinda tastes of wood shavings (not that I’ve eaten them before lah). Not a fan, but it does get a 1/5 as the pearls taste pretty legit. They remind of the brown sugar pearls from Koi before they were changed to golden bubbles.” – Hidayah, Boba Connoisseur
Boba Taco Softie (Original), $6.80
“The wafer and nuts are really tasty! But the ice cream makes the wafer a bit soggy so I wish they served it on the side instead. 4/5.” – Melissa
“This was the best of the lot. The nuts give it added texture, and I prefer this wafer to the charcoal cone. The cone was pretty much tasteless, while this wafer is tasty and crunchy. This gets a 3.5/5 (a 4/5 if they change the wafer taco to a stroopwafel!).” – Hidayah
Charcoal Cheese in Charcoal Cone, $5.50
“Sadly, the Charcoal Cheese ice cream was sold out when we got there today (8 July, 2019)! In fact, the outlet ran out of stock two days ago and the cashier wasn’t sure when the next shipment was coming. But I did get to try it when it first opened last week, and I love it. It tastes a lot like the original, so it’s rich and creamy, but it also has a subtle cheese tang at the end of each lick. I give it a 4.5/5!” – Syafii
Keen to try it out for yourself? You can get 15 percent off the Emma Soft Milk, Emma Charcoal Cheese Cone and Brown Sugar Kinako Bubble Soft if you pre-order on Klook.
And get this: if your name is “Emma”, you get 50 percent off for the entire month of July 2019! All you’ve got to do is show your IC or business card to prove you’re legit (limited to one per customer). How cool is that?