Smack in the heart of One KM mall at Level 1 is 320 Below, where curious onlookers gather as a dramatic nitrogen fog cast a dream-like blanket over the counter. Ice-cream is being crafted from a mixture of puree and milk, frozen by liquid nitrogen which has a boiling point of -320 Fahrenheit, which is how Singapore’s first nitro cream cafe got its name. It is a sight that fans relish, and an integral part of the 320 Below experience.
Long time followers of the establishment will know that the original shop was founded at MacKenzie Road, Little India. Due to its novel approach to ice-cream creation and high human traffic from tourists who frequent the area, it gained a stream of supporters who were vocal about its delicious ice-cream and were hungry to share their find on websites such as TripAdvisor where it currently ranks #46 out of 7, 583 restaurants in Singapore.
Fast forward two years and gone is the tacky blue logo that once represented 320 Below. Aillyn Ang, Director of 320 Below, shared that the makeover has given the brand a fresh and clean new look, in line with its ambition to serve premium ice-cream on our sunny island and in the near future, around the region. Currently, its offerings have proven to be a hit in Paya Lebar, where One KM is situated, appealing to a diverse range of clientele. Not only does it see strong patronage from students and young adults, uncles and aunties love it for its local flavours such as Chendol ice-cream, as well as the option to not add sugar to their crafted ice-cream. With Geylang Serai near by, 320 Below has also been welcomed warmly by the Muslim community, which Aillyn says is due to the conscious choice they have made to be inclusive by leaving out alcoholic flavours from its menu.
So what is the most “Shiok!” ice-cream one can get to beat the heat in sunny Singapore? The Thai Coconut Ice Cream is by far the fan-favourite and a must-try. With its smooth texture and refreshing coconut flesh mixed evenly in the ice-cream, customers have mentioned to Aillyn that it is comparable to the ones found in Bangkok’s famed Chatuchak Market, if not better. This encouraging feedback drives Aillyn to ensure that the rest of her ice-cream is the best that they can be. She has tried every one of the almost 50 flavours that 320 Below has to offer!
Another thing that keeps customers coming back for more is the opportunity for them to create their own ice-cream flavours by mixing two of the existing ones. Aillyn encourages people to be adventurous with the flavours available. It also practically guarantees that you will never have the same ice-cream twice! Her personal favourite is the Lychee-Earl Grey ice-cream, which contains sweet lychee bits accompanied by the faint, charming whiff of Earl Grey.
Aillyn is also keen to use her business as a force to do good. 320 Below has organised fund-raisers through the sale of their ice-cream, once in Dec 2013 and again late last year. The proceeds went to River Kids Foundation, which helps Cambodian children and families who are in danger of child trafficking and abuse. Response from the special promotion was encouraging, with one fan making an outright donation of $50!
As the business continues to grow, Aillyn believes in that 320 Below must continue to deliver customer satisfaction in both its service and products that are different and leave an impression. Fans of the ice-cream have requested that the next outlet be in the west or north-east. It’ll be exciting to see where the queues will start forming next for Singapore’s first nitro cream cafe.