You may have seen boomerang or videos of gravity-defying soft serves appearing on your Instagram feed.
These soft serves are from Emma, which has set up its first-ever overseas branch right in Singapore.
This could have been your name (or your friend’s), but it came from the Japanese words “絵馬” (ema) which are the small wooden plaques used to write well wishes. Emma aspires to be the place to make wishes come true. So eat your soft serve and make a wish?
The popular brand which specialises in soft serve and tea, has already 7 outlets in Japan despite being relatively new.
The Singapore outlets are located at basement 2 of Plaza Singapura (right next to Taiwanese street food kiosk Snackz It! Ke Kou Wei), and Level 2 at 100AM Mall (sharing space with Menya Kokoro).
Two products are exclusive to the Singapore market – the Boba Taco Softie (of course we love our boba pearls), and Charcoal Cheese-flavoured Soft Serve.
Boba Taco Softie ($6.80)
A wafer base with milk soft serve topped with bubbles, sprinkled with crushed nuts.
The wafer taco shell is made in-house, which are airy, crisp, light and almost paper-thin.
You get a choice between milk or mix (milk and charcoal cheese) soft serve, and I would say go for the mix for that interplay of flavours.
Since boba is in trend now, this is further topped with “Okinawa brown sugar pearls” – made with a combination of Okinawa brown sugar and kuromitsu which is Japanese black sugar syrup.
I thought that the pearls were decent, with the distinct caramelised sweetness and were soft and chewy. (In fact, I think they should just R&D to sell Brown Sugar Milk since they are already strong in both milk and pearls.)
Note: The pearls come served moderately warm. They make an interesting warm-cold contrast with the soft serve; on the flip-side, the dessert would melt faster so go easy on taking photos.
Emma Soft Milk with Dips ($5.30)
There has been a couple of Japanese soft serve shops opening in Singapore (typically offering matcha flavoured ones), but Emma should be the first that specialises in just milk and charcoal cheese flavours.
There is something about milk soft serve – that pure, smooth, unadulterated mouth-feel.
Emma’s Original Soft Serve uses premium Japanese milk which gives that an extra-rich and thick yet slide-down-your-throat texture.
The Soft Serve is said to be so firm that you can even hold the ice cream upside down, and it will not fall out.
Some may think twice about trying as it puts their $5.30 at risk.
I have put the cones to the test, and it is indeed true, even after some shaking. (However, don’t wait for too long to try it in Singapore’s heat and humidity as they do melt after a while.)
There are four choices of dips – chocolate, strawberry, caramel and matcha, which are also imported from Japan.
The dip coatings add that additional layer of flavour, colour and crunch. Some said reminded them of Pocky Sticks, ”chocolate and sutoroberī”. Come to think of it, yes.
Charcoal Cheese in Charcoal Cone ($5.50)
This was actually my favourite of the lot, as it was somehow not that sweet as the milk version.
The cheese provided just a light touch of savouriness, with a firmer mouthfeel compared to the more delicate milk.
The dark greyish soft serve looked satisfyingly-attractive on black charcoal cones which are also specially imported from Japan.
For the best of both worlds, get the Emma Soft Mix ($5.20).
Emma Bubble Signatures ($5.80)
If you haven’t got enough of bubbles, these are cups of soft serve with pearls topped with different powders or sauces.
Available are Brown Sugar Bubble Soft, Brown Sugar Matcha Bubble Soft, Brown Sugar Kinako Bubble Soft, Brown Sugar Caramel Bubble Soft.
The Kinako Bubble Soft comes recommended the Japanese kinako (roasted soybean flour) powder lends a fragrant, nutty note.
Emma Soft Serve Floats
Also available is a series of Soft Serve Floats exclusive to the 100AM outlet
, which includes Sunny Soft Float ($6.50), Virgin Mojito Soft Float ($6.50), Pink Lady Soft Float ($6.50), Green Tapioca Soft Float ($6.30), and Black Tapioca Soft Float ($6.30).
The Black Tapioca Soft Float ($6.30) literally combines the trending bubble tea with soft serve, which includes Okinawa brown sugar pearls at the bottom, black tea, and Japanese soft serve to sweeten things up.
The non-alcoholic Virgin Mojito Soft Float ($6.50) with lime, mint leaves, and ginger ale also makes a refreshing drink for takeaways. I would say finish up the soft serve first, and bring the rest of the drink back to office to savour slowly.
All in all, I would say get the Charcoal Cheese in Charcoal Cone, take a quick pic of it upside down, and go on with the eating.
Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, #B2-45, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Emma.