alright desserts at this american celebrit(ies) restaurant at the shiny spectacle that is the marina bay sands mall. third on my hit-the-desserts quest, and I think the ol’ wolfgang puck still wins, though this comes in slightly ahead of daniel boulud’s establishment.
the desserts here smacked of a kitchen that rather knows what it’s doing – but which could use improvement. both desserts we ordered had components that had quite a bit of potential, but fell a tad short of expectations – it’s a little like you’ve just decided you’ve finally arrived in the country of your dreams, only to find out everything is shut.
hey, a little hyperbole never hurt.
I had high expectations for this place, actually – it’s meant to be proper fine-dining, and I associate a certain keenness and aptitude in cooking to that. I’m also adamant that regardless of specialty, a restaurant really needs to have great desserts – it’s always the last memory of the meal that keeps the longest. I sound – and probably am – a little disappointed – this had all the hallmarks of being awesome!
what it was, was averagely tasty without being impressive – and hence more than a tad emotionally unsatisfying.
take the piccolo budino caldo di cioccolato, which came as a warm fondant atopped with a scoop of bourbon ice cream and drizzled with a salted caramel. those components ought to have made for a meltingly dark euphoric celebration of gluttony, but the flavours were rather a little too ephemeral. the bourbon was very subtle (even for a teetotaler), the salted caramel not dark or salted enough, and the chocolate cake may have been liquid in the centre – but it was also bereft of any richness.
it felt like a chocolate fondant, looked like a chocolate fondant, but was flavored like a cocoa-type chiffon cake.
the fig crostata was just plain weird. I still can’t wrap my head around it, but let’s start with the good. that pannacotta is one of the best I’ve had in singapore – soft and melting, yielding to a spoon and rich as you’d expect cooked cream to be, and speckled with the most beautiful black vanilla seeds. but that’s.. really it.
the dessert was room-temperatured – which almost inconceivably increased its mehness – and utterly dry. don’t be fulled by that little drizzle of nothingness on the side: it was a blob of dry (the way jelly is) pannacotta, sitting on what was effectively a halved fig newton. I loved fig newtons as a kid, but it is a dry camping-style biscuit with a dry-crumbly whole-meal type biscuit around a reduced-till-nearly-a-fruit-roll type filling.
pretty good separately – goshdarn strange together.
despite the near-hits – the desserts do smack of at least a little expertise in the kitchen, so perhaps we just picked the wrong things (though they were enthusiastically recommended). expect high prices – db wins here – but the quietly intimate atmosphere (even at the bar) is pretty welcoming.
#B1-42/46 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue
tel +65 6688 8522
$$: two desserts = forty-plus