IT IS not easy finding stalls offering ais kacang, better known as ABC (ais batu campur) these days, with cendol being the preferred option for local desserts.
However, the colourful treat is still available at buffets and open houses during festivals, where we get to “play” with ingredients when making our version of ais kacang.
My favourite part is adding a scoop of ice cream on top and watching it hold its balance.
While going on a hunt for ais kacang, I found that some resembled cendol but were in fact ais kacang with hidden jewels at the bottom of the bowl.
Here are some of my personal favourites.
KWONG WAH ICE KACANG,
Block C, Happy Mansion Jalan 17/13, Petaling Jaya.
Business hours: 11am to 6.30pm (Tuesday to Sunday).
This Instagram-friendly ais kacang spot is a hit with both the young and old.
Occupying a shoplot at the Happy Mansion flats, the family-run business is often busy during lunch hours and on weekends.
There is limited seating so be prepared to wait for a table. We waited for 30 minutes before securing one.
The ais kacang here is slightly pricier compared to other stalls. A standard bowl costs RM5.50 each, and a ringgit extra for takeaways. It was nice that the creamy dessert was served in metal bowls.
There is a generous serving of the brown sweet sugar covering the ice shavings, accompanied with sweet corn, red bean, cendol, grass jelly, toasted peanuts, coconut milk and evaporated milk. The stall also sells homemade buns, mee siam and kuih.
GERAI MINUMAN Stall 28
Selera Malam SS2, between
Jalan SS2/61 and Jalan SS2/63.
Business hours: 5pm onwards, daily.
Sometimes having a cold dessert after work may seem like a good idea but there are not many stalls selling ais kacang in the evenings.
Those hankering for a taste of the dessert at night can check out the Selera Malam SS2. There are a few stalls selling ais kacang.
Although there is nothing fancy about the ais kacang here, you will find a decent bowl with the basic ingredients of sweet corn, red beans, grass jelly, cendol and peanuts.
The stall opens after 5pm and operates until midnight, perfect for those wanting a quick bite and cold dessert after work.
GERAI MINUM WENG KEE (Stall No. 46)
Medan Selera Jalan Othman, Petaling Jaya.
Business hours: 10am to 9pm, daily; 10am to 5.30pm (Thursday).
Closed on Tuesdays.
Growing up in Petaling Jaya, I often visited the Medan Selera in PJ Old Town with my parents and when it was time for dessert, we found ourselves heading to the familiar Weng Kee stall for its ais kacang and cendol.
Nothing has changed over the years as the bespectacled Peggy Chee (better known as Aunty Peggy) still mans the stall.
Each bowl (you can also opt to have it in a glass) of ais kacang comes with sweet corn, red bean, grass jelly, peanuts, coconut milk, evaporated milk, gula melaka and green pandan jelly that you find in cendol.
At first sip, it is reminiscent of cendol as the stall uses the same base ingredients except for the addition of evaporated milk. Combining the not-so-sweet gula melaka to a mixture of evaporated milk and coconut milk gives the cold dessert creamy balance.
Besides preparing the desserts, Aunty Peggy also visits every table to make sure her customers are happy with their orders. Each ais kacang or cendol costs RM3.50.
PENANG ROAD FAMOUS TEOCHEW CHENDUL,
LG-72 Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Business hours: 10am to 9.30pm, daily.
For other locations, visit www.chendul.my
If sitting in a stall and battling the heat is not your cup of tea, then savouring good ais kacang at a mall is your best bet.
This place is known for its cendol. It also sells ais kacang in three variants – original, nutmeg and ice cream.
To relive my childhood memories, I chose the ice cream option priced at RM8 a bowl, while the original is cheaper at RM6.50.
Unlike other ais kacang stalls, the version here did not have coconut milk or evaporated milk but Sarsi and rose syrup instead, making it sweeter than the rest.
The ingredients were also slightly different with additions such as green coloured sago balls, toasted peanuts and sugar palm fruit (atapchi).
Those who enjoy nutmeg can add this to their ais kacang too. This will cost RM8.50 per bowl.
FATTY LOONG ABC ICE KACANG,
Restaurant Penang Corner, Jalan Kepong Baru, Kuala Lumpur.
Business hours: 11am to 4.30pm.
Closed on Mondays unless it is a public holiday.
It is not difficult to find a stall selling ais kacang in Kepong, especially along the busy Jalan Kepong Baru.
I visited the area after lunch when most stalls were closing for the day but not the dessert stalls.
I opted for Fatty Loong ABC Ice Kacang stall, as there were many diners within having lunch, with a bowl of ais kacang waiting to be consumed.
When my order arrived, it was exactly how I like my ABC. Towering over the bowl was the shaved ice, heavily drizzled with gula melaka.
The RM3.50 serving had sweet corn, coconut milk, red beans, peanuts, nata de coco cubes, cendol, grass jelly and hints of evaporated milk.
The stall also operates in an adjacent food court on the next road from 5pm onwards.