First dibs: Nom Gelato, Chinatown — Whisky & bacon, blue cheese & other whacky flavours

·3-min read

We all know that simplicity is key, though I’ll die on the hill that dessert falls on the opposite end of the spectrum. Don’t get me wrong, if you offer me a simple vanilla soft serve, I’ll light up like the Times Square on Christmas Eve. I take great pride in being the walking dessert encyclopaedia amongst my friends, thus began my career of sussing out and trying the most unorthodox gelato flavours and answering my own burning question—exactly how creative can Singaporeans get with their dessert? The reply provided by Nom Gelato was simply “yes”, and so began my trek under the burning sun from Chinatown MRT to see if they’d receive the stamp of approval from the ice cream addict herself.

Nom Gelato interior
Nom Gelato interior

It’s always a struggle not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s hard not to get your hopes up by a gelato shop bathed in natural sunlight and painted in vibrant shades of sunflower yellow, bright peach, and deep cobalt. They’re the shiny, new kid on the block, boasting a variety of sweet and savoury Classic (S$5 for single scoop, S$8 for double scoop) and Premium (S$6 for single scoop, S$10 for double scoop) flavours.

hand in frame shot nom gelato
hand in frame shot nom gelato

If I say ‘blue cheese’, what does your mind jump to? Charcuterie boards? Salad dressings? Same here, though Nom Gelato’s going to change our minds very soon. Their Blue Cheese with Walnut Praline (S$6) was undeniably worthy of a sceptical eyebrow raise, though I didn’t think it was quite spectacular enough when riding through the waves of my lactose intolerance afterward.

I’d never thought I’d describe a gelato’s taste as reminiscent of focaccia, but I’m learning not to knock anything by Nom Gelato before I try it. In this case it’s their Olive Oil & Rosemary (S$5) gelato, a robust scoop that’s fragrant, woodsy, and one of a kind. It’s the type of flavour that’ll grow on you with every bite if you’re curious enough to give it a shot, and if you’re looking for a sign to venture away from your go-tos, this is it.

a hand scooping gelato
a hand scooping gelato

Nothing quite beats this last one, which is why I’m swallowing a tinge of regret that I didn’t bring home ten pints with me. Their Whisky with Bacon Brittle (S$6) was the gelato I was most hyped up for, and just like Fearless (Taylor’s Version), it was a solid 10 out of 10 stars. There’s an unmistakeable smoky characteristic of a glass of whisky that greets the slightly sweet caramelised bacon like an old friend they’ve known for decades. Nom Gelato has gone a step further with actual crunchy bacon mixed with the gelatoa risky juxtaposition of textures and flavours that paid off tenfold.

Nom Gelato interior
Nom Gelato interior

It’s pretty ironic that I love gelato yet am one of the most lactose intolerant people I know. It’s a labour of love, for sure, one that I’d undertake every day.

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