As you may know, our usual time for weekly challenges is Friday afternoon, when The Engineer has time off work. This week was a bit different though. The Engineer had the whole of Friday off (it was the Armed Forces Anniversary), and we were heading to Labuan (a small Malaysian island that’s a one hour ferry ride away) for the weekend.
Unfortunately, our planning was a little bit lax, and we did not really consider the long weekend. So on Friday morning, we showed up at the ferry terminal, planning to just buy some tickets and get on a boat. The internet had told us this would probably work out and that booking ahead was not necessary. In this case, the internet was wrong (shock! horror!). Our “show up and buy” strategy turned into “show up and get in line for a ticket counter that may never open”, which turned into “stay in line for three hours”, then “forget until 11:59 that everything closes for 2 hours at 12:00 on Friday and have Cheezels and 7Up for lunch”. Long story short, when we finally arrived in Labuan, a challenge was the last thing on our minds.
Saturday was not much better. We didn’t get much “done” as such, but we were busy (beaching, restauranting, working out transport).
So it wasn’t until Sunday morning that we decided we needed to get this challenge over and done with. The restaurant we visited for lunch didn’t have any good challenge fodder. But the ice cream freezer had potential. (Side note: the ice creams were so cheap! A Magnum was only 4 ringgit, or $1.60, even at a flash hotel). The Engineer inspected the options, and eventually chose what was basically a cookies and cream Trumpet* for himself, as well as the challenge. Which was:
a Red Bean Ice Cream Bar
This was a little bit similar to a previous challenge (Yam and Sweet Corn Ice Cream). And in fact, this brand of ice cream also came in Yam and Sweet Corn. But it was the weirdest looking thing in the freezer. And I didn’t even care about the weirdness, because it was hot and we’d been wandering around town all morning carrying our backpacks. I was hot, and tired, and an ice cream (even a red bean one) sounded pretty darn good.
We found a seat on the steps outside the ferry terminal, secure in the knowledge that we had booked our tickets in advance this time around (as soon as we arrived on Friday, in fact), and that we were not in the massive lines that had started to form. And while we waited to check into the ferry, I broke open the ice cream.
When I opened it up, I was glad to see that the ice cream wasn’t as chunky as it looked on the wrapper, and that it was really just ice cream (the label Ice Confection didn’t guarantee this).
So I happily gave it a go. And overall, it was pretty good. The flavour was not too exciting, but was nice enough. It tasted sweet, and slightly red-beany. But mostly just like an ice cream. The main problem was the texture. Despite appearances, it was fairly chunky. And the big chunks of bean, while not that unpleasant, were somewhat offputting. Beans are not exactly the hokey pokey I was raised on (and I’ve never even been a big fan of hokey pokey). The ice cream was also frozen extremely hard. I get why – it’s HOT around here – but it’s still not something I’d put in the pros column. And unfortunately the hardness didn’t even stop it melting. I had ice cream running down my hand in minutes.
I gave it a good go, but overall I just thought the ice cream wasn’t worth the dairy and sugar (both things I try not to eat much of), so it went the way of most of our challenges – to the rubbish bin. It wasn’t bad, but it was certainly no Magnum* (the chocolate coating helps the melting issue, and the taste is definitely worth the dairy and sugar! Mmmmm Magnum).
* If you are from a place that doesn’t have Magnums and Trumpets:
- you’re missing out.
- a Magnum is just plain vanilla ice cream coated in chocolate, but it’s the premium version of this classic combo, and is my ice cream of choice.
- a Trumpet is a cone (lined with chocolate), filled with ice cream, and topped with chocolate. Also similar – Cornetto. A classic choice, but not something this (mostly) gluten-free lady indulges in often.