Review: Swirl Gelateria

Dropping by Crown Centre to use the washroom some days back, J. saw Swirl Gelateria and thought it looked promising. Some time later, he passed by again with a friend and this time, they decided to try it out.

Anyone who’s been to Marble Slab Creamery (previously reviewed here) (USA, Canada), Cold Stone Creamery (USA) or Cold Rock Ice Creamery (Australia) will be familiar with the concept. Various ice cream flavours plus various “mixins” such as Skor Bar, pecans, strawberries, granola get dumped on a chilled marble slab and mixed thoroughly.

Swirl Gelateria calls them “mixers” and has some pre-selected combinations called “Blends”.

Other known places in Singapore with a similar concept are:

Back to Swirl Gelateria!

LC ordered a medium cup with 2 gelato flavours (can have more than one flavour in a small/medium/large cup) with no mixers.

Watermelon Sorbet + Ginger Pear ($4.50 for a medium portion)
Watermelon sorbert and ginger pear at Swirl

It’s actually Watermelon Sorbet flavoured gelato (why not just name it Watermelon?) instead of sorbet, obviously having a milk component. Both flavours were refreshing and not too sweet. Very good. The ginger pear overpowered the watermelon sorbet somewhat. LC thinks the best combination is Watermelon with a touch of Ginger Pear, as compared to Ginger Pear with a touch of Watermelon. Right. J. likes the ginger pear gelato very much. (the ginger taste is strong, with a bit of the pear flavour)

Prices for sizes of ice cream (“Purist”) are:

  • Small – $3.00
  • Medium – $4.50
  • Large – $6.00

J. ordered a blend consisting of mascarpone (cheese) gelato combined with granola, strawberries, dried cranberries and raspberry filling titled:

Berry Cheesy ($5.00 for a small portion)
Berry Cheesy at Swirl Gelateria

The cheese taste of the mascarpone gelato is slight even by itself. In the blend, it’s just barely perceptible. The gelato (not ice cream, mind you) was smooth and creamy. The granola provided the crunch, and the strawberry, raspberry and cranberries combined for a berry tasty treat. Not bad, not bad.

A blend costs $2.00 more than its equivalent-sized “Purist” (only gelato, no mixers) and usually contains about 4 mixers. Without using a blend, the cost of mixers are:

  • 1 mixer – $1.00
  • 2 mixers – $1.80
  • 3 mixers – $2.50

J. would probably return here again. The place has a simple layout, Crown Centre is quiet, and the staff seems to be genuinely friendly and helpful. Icing on the cake.

Swirl Gelateria
557 Bukit Timah Road
#01-04/05 Crown Centre
Singapore 269694
Opening Hours: Weekdays 10am-10pm, Weekends 8am-12midnight


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jim McMartin on November 12, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    The management rats are jumping from the ship as hundreds of Cold Stone locations are now collapsing around the US. Why? Because the “concept” of mixing stuff into ice cream has always been a fad, and the fad is now over. The product isn’t that good, is grossly overpriced, and consumers are flocking back to properly formulated ice cream from other chains like Baskin Robbins and Ben & Jerry’s.

    The Cold Stones have been largely sold to Yuppies with too much equity in their homes, who jumped into the stores to be “business owners”. But since the labor costs are double the competition, and stores are too big and too expensive to run, the number of unprofitable stores is skyrocketing with the results we have here. Sad for the owners who have likely lost a couple hundred thousand dollars EACH.


  2. Thanks for the comment, Jim. It’ll be interesting to see how everything continues to play out in the USA… quite sad for ones that got on the boat late.

    It’s still a fairly fresh fad here, so it should be going strong for a bit. As it is though, the current fad here is donuts. Let’s see if that goes the way of bubble tea, Portugese egg tarts and coffee buns (all have faded with time).

    Given the number of similar shops popping up around Singapore now, (including Cold Rock Ice Creamery which has already been lambasted for charging exorbitant prices of mediocre ice cream, I suppose it’s only a matter of time before the same happens to these “Cold Stone”-like stores.

    That said, I did like the Marble Slab Creamery ice cream in London, Ontario enough to buy a tub home.


  3. Well said. I would be happy to read anything else you might contribute on this subject.


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