Jin Jin Dessert at ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre has been one of my go-to spots for chendol for many years. Yes! Their Power Chendol (S$2.50) is one of their best-sellers. The thick and gooey gula melaka that’s drizzled on top never fails to win me over. Every. Single. Time.
Don’t worry friends, I’m not going to try their popular items like the Power Chendol or the Gangster Ice (S$3.50) that’s already featured in almost every other review. The other 42 varieties of desserts need their few seconds of fame too.
I arrived at the stall at 11.55am (5 minutes before its opening) and a mini line had already formed at the front.
Jin Jin Dessert has been in operation for the past 19 years. Who would’ve thought that both the owners, Calvin, an ex-insurance agent and Ewan, an ex-DJ, had no prior experience in the F&B world when they first started?
Fast forward to today, the journey wasn’t an easy one. But they are definitely reaping what they have sowed.
What I tried at Jin Jin Dessert
The first dessert that my dining partners and I tried was the Volcano (S$2). It probably got its name from the maroon-hued red beans that sort of resemble lava flowing down.
It was a simple trio of ingredients: red beans, carnation milk and crushed ice.
The red beans fondly reminded me of fork-mashed potatoes. Some sections were mushy while others had some bite to it— just the way I like it.
The whole combination had a slight kiss of creaminess from the milk which wasn’t overly sweet, letting the natural flavour and sweetness of the beans take precedence over everything.
This dessert will certainly be a hit amongst older folks who dislike (or need to stay off) overly sweet stuff.
We then moved on to the Ice Jelly Soursop (S$2.50), which looked like something Frankenstein would eat with its pale-green soursop pulp. Underneath it was a mound of crushed ice, jelly and a cute little calamansi by the side.
Bursts of citrusy aroma filled the air as I released the golden drops from the calamansi. The hints of brightness penetrated every crevice and scrap of the shaved ice and soursop; it instantly invigorated me.
The soursop’s tangy strawberry-like flavours were taken up a notch with the touch of citrus. The jelly pieces which were light and jiggly didn’t taste much of anything, but were the perfect accompaniments to the other ingredients, which had tons of bright personality.
Our next dessert, Durian De Corn (S$3) looked like a ray of sunshine. It consisted of golden corn kernels, a scoop of durian puree, crushed ice and a drizzle of carnation milk.
Every icy-cold spoonful had crunchy pops of briny sweetness coming from the corn kernels.
Mind you, the scoop of durian wasn’t some cheap-tasting artificial nonsense. It was actual durian flesh in all its pungent glory.
I was contemplating whether it was Mao Shan Wang as there was a slight bitterness to it. Overall, it was a well-balanced blend of flavours.
To soothe some of my brain freeze which resulted from eating 3 cold desserts back-to-back, I ordered a hot Cheng Tng Gingko (S$2). The bowl consisted of large sago, pieces of longan and bits of white fungus doused in sweet broth.
The gingko nuts were invisible to the naked eye (I’m just kidding). They had either run out of it or the stall helper forgot to scoop them up.
The sago pieces were addictively chewy and the not-so-sweet broth had strong hints of longan flavour. My only gripe would probably be the white fungus bits which were a little rough and hard. It probably needed to be simmered longer.
In all honesty, I’ve had better renditions of cheng tng elsewhere.
While we were savouring all the desserts, I detected envious eyes gazing at us. They were suffering the heat whilst slurping their piping-hot bowls of noodles and fish soup. And here we were, all cool and comfortable.
Be sure to visit Jin Jin Dessert whenever you’re heading to ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre.
Expected damage: S$2.50 – S$3.50 per pax
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