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LFT: Ais Kepal

It’s been a while since I did one of this Local Food Trends (LFT) because lets face it, there aren’t that many foods that dominate the local social media scene as of late. That is of course until the sudden emergence of the ais kepal!

A shaved ice dessert in the same category as the more popular Ais Batu Campur and Cendol, this dome shape chocolate goodness is a simpler version & somewhat a local take on the Korean bingsu. Made viral by some creative vendors back in the Peninsular Malaysia, Tawau was a bit slow in catching the hype (as always) but we got there eventually. I have the privileged to taste two such version of the dessert recently. Even though both were equally priced (at RM5 per bowl) and can be found in smaller stalls (both within the Hill Top area), the quantity and quality of the dessert however cannot be more different. The first one that I’ve tried (from a stall near to the locally popular Warung Nina) was disappointingly diluted, with only a minimal amount of chocolate sauce spread on top of the dessert. This is sad because the chocolate sauce is the main ingredient that made the dessert famous in the first place. But that experience did not discourage me from hunting down another stall (located beside the Warung Senario within the Hill Top old commercial area) and this time around I was blown away. The portion was definitely bigger, with a very generous helping of said sauce. Granted, their toppings might not be as many as the latter but what is more important is the chocolate coated ais kepal itself, as it has a strong chocolate flavour, sweet and all around refreshing.  

And a little rating is also a must …

Food – 4/5 (I recommend you guys to try the latter one)
Price – 4/5 (obviously an affordable ‘hot day’ dessert)
Service – 3/5 (no complaints here)
D├ęcor – 3/5 (they’re usually available in smaller Malay stalls)
Location – 4/5 (both stalls were hidden from the main road so you do need to ask around should you get lost for some reason)

*This is the one near to the proximity of Warung Nina (they're the green stall next to the car wash as well)...

... and the one near to Warung Senario (and next to the vegetables stalls)



(Updated on 07/05/2018 - I recently discovered that Restoran Sri Titingan & another eatery called Kopi Shake has also join in the 'ais kepal' bandwagon. Their rendition of said dessert was priced at RM5.90 and was covered in Milo topping (for the former) while the latter was cheaper at RM4.00 and had (quite literally) a milkier based) 

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