A 20¢ ice-ball and one cool customer

10 12 2011

The 20 cent ice-ball makes a comeback this weekend (10 and 11 Dec 2011) at two locations in the Bras Basah – Bugis precinct, at the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) Heritage along Footpaths project. Once commonly found snack vendors such as ice-ball and kacang puteh seller, along with barbers, fortune tellers and cobblers, have been brought back for the project, and on the evidence of the crowds that turned up the last weekend, were a huge hit.

The 20 cent palm sugar (Gula Melaka) and syrup laden ice-ball makes a come back this weekend,

Evaporated milk is another favourite topping!

Seen amongst the crowds last weekend was one cool customer – a young lady, who discovered entirely on her own, how best to eat that 20 cent ice-ball. It was certainly not with the sheet of plastic that is used for hygienic reasons these days … but with her bare hands … allowing the sticky syrup laden melting liquid dribble down her chin and through her fingers. And when it did get too cold for her tiny fingers, she found herself a wonderful solution ….

Now, it doesn't quite feel right with the sheet of plastic ...

... now that feels a lot better ....

oops ... it's melting!

And, brrr ... it's cold!

But delicious!


My fingers are frozen ... now what do I do?

I guess that's what the pocket in my bib is for!

Now for a second bite.

About The Heritage Along Footpaths project:

The Heritage Along Footpaths project seeks to re-introduce trades that were once common at two designated sites within the Bras Basah and Bugis precinct – the Singapore Art Museum and Stamford Arts Centre (along the mural wall facing Middle Road). At each of the sites, tradesmen that were once commonly found along alleyways or five-foot ways – namely street barbers, cobblers, fortune tellers, ice-ball sellers and kachang puteh sellers – will ply their wares at prices of the past. Research conducted on these once-common trades will also be on display for the public to learn more about Singapore’s history and heritage.

Heritage Along Footpaths is part of the NHB’s initiative to inject greater vibrancy into the Bras Basah and Bugis precinct, an area rich in the arts and heritage. Said Mr Alvin Tan, Director, Heritage Institutions & Industry Development: “Through this project, NHB hopes to re-introduce once familiar street sights and businesses in the arts and cultural district and in doing so, re-acquaint Singaporeans with trades that were once an integral part of our community heritage. It also presents the perfect opportunity for younger Singaporeans to experience first-hand the early lives of their grandparents, and, in the process, reinforce bonding across the generations who share a common history and identity.”




3 responses

10 12 2011
Goh S Y

Ice ball was selling at 5 ct and 10 ct in the 70s.It is more enjoyable to suck it by holding it on your palms.I love ice ball.I love the person who taught me how to make ice balls when I was a boy.She also helps to bring me up by selling ice balls and taught me how to earn an honest living and gave me the swan brand ice shredding machine when she has to give up her shop due to resettlement.
Too bad ,my Ah Pa said no one keep such thing in HDB .If not I will be kissing it everyday .I may not know how to write ABC if not because of her,because of ice ball and because of those who had patronise her stall in those days.To them I want to say Thank you.Thanks to ice ball..

11 12 2011
Lam Chun See

Nice photos. But the syrup ladle not authentic. Should be brass colour with cylindrical shape cup and a U-shape hook at the end of the handle

11 12 2011

Hi Jerome

I didn’t know about the Heritage Along the Footpaths project till I visited your blog a couple days’ back. As usual, your blog serves as a great source of information and provides me with a list of places to check out and visit. Just visited the site at SAM and tried the ice ball that was so famous back in the days! Although not authentic, it was definitely something different from the usual ice-kachang that I grew up with in hawker centres! :p Wanted to have my future told by the fortune teller but decided against it at the last min as I’m afraid that it might turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Coward, i know! :p

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