disappointing desserts at this offshoot of the famed awfully chocolate brand at the esplanade theatres. looks good, tastes not-so-good is happening alarmingly frequent nowadays – and it’s even sadder when desserts are the object of discussion. when you have chocolate and sugar and butter floating about in a little baked good, it’s depressing when they don’t end up being good. how can that even happen!
these were lackluster – very, very unimpressive. they weren’t too terrible to eat, but most certainly not worth the price nor the wait. it’s a pity, because the cafe itself is lovely – conducive for intimate conversation, spacious enough for comfortable seating.
I wonder if we went in expecting too much – they have a large menu full of adjectives and interesting pairings, and it’s awfully chocolate right? I mean – the owner gave up a lucrative career to sell chocolate cake – so she must know her sweets. reality did quickly deflate our hopes too – much like this soufflé did.
supposedly a green tea pistachio riser of roast ground pistachios, green tea soufflé and a vanilla bean emulsion – copied in full here so you see the sort of false advertising – this was really just a sweet omelette and lots of air. no matcha flavour, and no discernible pistachio presence – there were perhaps a sprinkle of ten diced nuts at the very bottom of that ramekin-of-air that had lost both their crunch and flavour. no soft pudding-like give in the soufflé, there was instead a firm crust that you recognise from omelettes. the vanilla sauce was the only thing that tasted as it should – and even spectacularly.
midway through the soufflé, we thought we’d give them the benefit of the doubt – perhaps we had gotten the wrong dish and were served a plain (and terrible soufflé) instead of our matcha order? and… no. the waiter came back after ‘consulting the chef’ that the flavours were to be subtle.
I would argue they were so subtle as to be non-existent, but I like to be frank like that.
I was kind of sad after this dish – and the partner suggested we try another one, so we hopped on the waiter’s rather enthusiastic recommendation of their loola’s floating island – crusty meringue, loola’s brownie, brandy flambé and a vanilla bean infused sauce: again, sounds just lovely, right?
the good thing: enough salt in the brownie to bring out the chocolate and entertainment in the form of a sous chef coming out to set the brandy on fire; the bad: dry-almost-crumbly brownie encased in a too sweet meringue surrounded by a pool of sweet sauce. I had thought it would be too sweet – and it was.
but at the end of it – the food was just sad. we left the meringue on the plate – we forced the rest of the desserts down. the lychee drink my partner got was rather pedestrian (though by far the best thing, therefore, on the table) – like the syrup from canned lychees made as a sort of cordial.
I’m not wiping this place out entirely – I thought it was aesthetically-gorgeous (must like its desserts). it was a calm, serene sit-down place good for post-dinner, and the space is modern industrial; very pleasing to the eye and really good for a bit of time with the partner. but I’m not returning for the desserts on their menu, and probably not for their mains – and I hear mixed reviews about the cake; which means that the return trip, if happening, is in a rather distant future.
Loola’s by awfully chocolate
#02-14 Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
8 Raffles Avenue
tel +65 6336 9563
$$: two desserts + one pot’a’tea + one drink = fifty-two