Gula apong ice cream that makes you go: ‘Belum try belum tau, sekali try hari hari mau’

IG Gula Apong Aiskrim store at Kuching Waterfront.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, July 2: If you don’t already know about this ‘gula apong’ ice cream shop here at Kuching Waterfront, you’re pretty outdated, I would say.

IG Aiskrim, located at the heart of the waterfront bus stand, which always seems to be thronged with people, sells original palm sugar ice cream and bubble milk tea at amazingly low prices.

A small Gula Apong Ice Cream with one free topping of either Oreo, Nestum, peanut, or cornflakes costs only RM2.50; the medium-sized ones, with a generous portion and two free toppings, is only RM5.50.

Other than ice creams, IG Aiskrim also serves Gula Apong Bubble Milk Tea and Chocolate Bubble Milk Tea, both with or without the signature Gula Apong Ice Cream, adding five topping choices of either Oreo, Nestum, peanut, cornflakes, or more bubbles.

IG Aiskrim menu at the Kuching Waterfront branch.

Be it dine-in or takeaway, the place is always crowded — the gula apong desserts are so popular that an electronic queuing system was set up to manage the overwhelming number of orders daily from 11am to 11pm.

Evidently, the store is not only popular because of its gula apong ingredient that is unique to Sarawak, but also the perfect balance of sweetness in its ice-creams.

So, even those who don’t have a ‘sweet tooth’ could enjoy the ‘sinful indulgence’ of gula apong ice cream and the caramel-coloured gula apong drizzle without feeling guilty.

IG Aiskrim staff serving a medium Gula Apong Ice Cream.

One of IG Aiskrim’s trainees, Mohamad Firdaus, said the staff would always recommend new customers and tourists to get a medium-sized portion, but most would want to try the small portion first.

And, most certainly, they always end up coming back for more.

“Our speciality is gula apong. When gula apong is combined with ice cream, the taste is just heavenly. We always suggest our customers get the bigger one, but they don’t want it.

“They want the small one first. But once they’ve tried it, they come back, and they buy some more,” he told DayakDaily when approached at the store one afternoon.

On other occasions, especially on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, Mohamad Firdaus said the queue would be so long that it goes around the back wall of the nearby public toilet.

Ice cream lovers, including a Grab rider in a queue or waiting patiently for their orders to be made.

Meanwhile, among IG Aiskrim’s customers, DayakDaily met a group of tourists from Kuala Lumpur, two of whom were digging into their gula apong ice cream topped with Oreo crumbs and peanuts.

Amy and her sister Linda were on their maiden trip to Sarawak. They were on an ice cream break after walking around the area, visiting temples, cat statues,  and murals.

When asked how they knew about the ice cream store, the sisters said their tour guide, who is also from Peninsular Malaysia, introduced it to them.

“Oh, the gula apong is really nice. It’s not very sweet, and it’s addictive. It does taste similar to gula melaka, but this is different. Really delicious,” said Amy as she continued to scoop spoonfuls of ice cream into her mouth.

Linda, on the other hand, had already finished hers when she chuckled. “Yes, it’s nice. I don’t really eat a lot of ice cream, but my cup’s already empty.”

Amy is enjoying her Gula Apong Ice Cream under the shade next to the IG Aiskrim stall.

IG Aiskrim at Kuching Waterfront is the first branch that opened in Sarawak in 2019. Presently, there are other branches at Emart Batu Kawa, Eco-mall Samariang, Mydin Petra Jaya, Metrocity, Satok and the latest one at Emart King Centre. — DayakDaily