Food Review: Rabbit Owl Depot

Customized wooden furniture, copper metalwork, owl ornaments, plush cushions and dim lighting add to the coziness of this new kid on the block.

Welcome to Rabbit Owl Depot (ROD), the latest ice-cream café owned by couple Joseph Phua, 34 and Alena Ting, 32. Located directly opposite the National Library, this place is good for an afternoon pick-me-up, perhaps with a book on hand.


The name, as affectionately coined by the duo, is a product of their nicknames developed back in their courtship days. “I’m bit bit [rabbit], he’s oot oot [owl]. But [we figured] Rabbit Owl would be something that is easier for people to relate to,” laughed Alena.

These days, cafes carry a wide menu to satisfy the taste buds of many, ranging from sweet to savory. Yet at ROD, they choose to specialize in handmade gelato. “Ice-cream is a happy food for me. I hopped around ice-cream parlors and tried different flavors and waffles. Eventually, I had the idea of selling my own,” shared Joseph.

What’s in a waffle? 

UrbanWire dived straight into its signature snowflake waffles with ice-cream ($9.50). The waffles, which are lightly dusted with powdered sugar, are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Not much larger than a slice of Gardenia bread, our advice is to not share the waffles.


Each set comes with a single scoop of ice-cream (additional scoop at $3).

The tried, tested and the unknown

 For even sweeter treats, ROD has a selection of 18 ice-cream and sorbet flavors. If you’d like to stick to the basics, look out for the sea-salt caramel and tropical pineapple flavors. But if you’d like a little more adventure, opt for the 6 premium flavors, which include black sesame, pistachio and matcha green tea. A scoop of the basic flavors is priced at $3.90, while the premium flavors cost a dollar more.

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Some of the more memorable flavors are earl grey, coffee, black sesame and coconut.

ROD’s ice cream remains firm even when left out for a good 10 minutes, credited to its richness and creaminess, as well as the matte plates used.

No short cuts allowed

Alena and Joseph definitely take their happy food very seriously. Instead of coffee extract or coconut essence, they use freshly grounded Sumatra and Colombia beans, real coconut pulp and coco water. The addition of the grounded coffee beans results in a grainy texture that took a while to get used to. Expect a full-flavored, pleasant (and addictive) change from the usual smooth texture.


Their specialty black sesame also uses roasted sesame and 100% sesame paste. What’s served is fragrant, rich and mildly sweetened, balancing the bitter notes present in some black sesame desserts. The presentation of the black superfood might very well get the approval of this writer’s grandmother.


Unfortunately, fruity options like the tropical pineapple and strawberry don’t quite impress. A pity as even though frozen fruits are used instead of puree, they still lack the refreshing burst of zesty flavor. Perhaps due to an overdose of sugar after a while, it feels like we are snacking on fruit gummies.

Dutch Courage

Take a break from all that sugary ingestion with their hot chocolate ($5.50) brewed using Dutch-processed cocoa powder. The beverage turns out velvety smooth, luscious and not at all cloying.


If you’re more of a caffeine junkie, help yourself to their selection of classics such as espresso or flat white, or affogato. Tea-lovers may opt for Twinings brews served in a pot.

ROD prides itself on its homemade ice-cream delights, and while some are rather impressive, we feel that they could have been light-handed with the sugar. In spite of its location, it’s certainly one that we would visit to beat the merciless Singapore heat.

Rating: 3.5/5


Price: $ (Less than $10)

Address: 420 North Bridge Road #01-06 Singapore 188727 

Opening Hours: 12 00 to 22 00 daily