Some might do a double take at the mention of nasi lemak parfait, and that would be a normal response considering it was inspired by the Southeast Asian fragrant rice dish made with coconut milk and pandan (usually garnished with sambal, fried anchovies, and roasted peanuts). But Sunday Folks, a notable ice cream and dessert shop from Singapore, somehow made it a pleasant surprise.
The nasi lemak parfait—a mini tower of blue coconut ice cream filled with crisps of sambal-fried anchovies, pandan sticky rice, cucumber jelly and rice pops, crowned with meringue and dill—is one of the signature desserts exclusive to Sunday Folks’ recently opened flagship in Jakarta. Set in a prime spot at The Buya in Cipete, founders Khoh Wan Chin, Audrey Wang and Victor Lim, in partnership with Jakarta-based F&B company Upserve, have brought over their signature freshly churned ice cream and artisanal desserts while taking on an unconventional, locally-focused approach for the new store.
One can see the local influence straight out of the cosy, earthy-toned restaurant; from joining hands with fashion label SukkhaCitta for a fabric installation hung above the ice cream and coffee counter, to a selection of local ingredients infused into their menu. It’s important for Audrey, the head chef, to explore the many ingredients that Indonesia has to offer in order to create more exciting flavours, and while some ideas may not pan out in an ice cream form, this commitment to innovation and craftsmanship leads back to why Sunday Folks do what they do in the first place since its start in 2014.
Those who have been to Sunday Folks—be it at their first store in Holland Village or the now-closed shop at Pantai Indah Kapuk—know that they take great pride in their freshly churned ice cream. Made in small batches using premium ingredients and natural fruit purees, each mixture is churned through a non-pressurised gravity feed chamber to produce a rich, creamy texture, allowing for flavours to taste more present.
Take the Earl Grey Lavender, a smooth combination of black tea and lavender ice cream topped with toasted almond thins and fresh strawberries. Or to try out their take on the perennial Indonesian fruit cocktail, go for the Es Teler ice cream petit gâteaux, a pandan sponge cake with avocado mousse, coconut ice cream, jackfruit and white chocolate on top.
But beyond the sweets, Sunday Folks also expands its menu to include a lineup of waffle brunch, dessert cocktails and bar tapas inspired by Singaporean culinary flavours (like the crowd-pleaser sweet and spicy Chili Crab with a side of golden mantou). So even though desserts take the spotlight here, come hungry anyway. As Sunday Folks would always remind their customers, “Enjoy a little Sunday every day”.