alright-ish desserts at the crowded orchard somerset 313. this open-air cafe is part of the ministry of food chain, and I think their riff of a more upmarket european take on cafe dining. I’m not sure it succeeds in the more exclusive air it attempts to portray here: the food was acceptable at the more casual m.o.f. but seems a little lacking in this shinier environment – and the place suffers from new-establishment problems.
the menu here borrows heavily from its older relative – and the place suffers from an irresistible (on my part) comparison to m.o.f.: I mentioned previously that the chain rather veers between meh-to-good, and it holds here too – the food is just about good enough to satisfy a sweet craving, but not really anything you would be excited about.
we had a crème brûlée served with black sesame ice cream, a couple of ice-blendeds and the usual japanese mix of mochi-and-stuff, and you’re best sticking off with the latter. they use decent (if slightly icy) matcha and sesame ice creams, and the mochi is pleasantly chewy – and those more-traditional components stood out above the slightly too-sweet and rather insipid excuse for a crème brûlée.
service is haphazard – insufficient wait staff, though the waiter (when he had time for us) was efficient and earnest, and the open-air design of the place lends itself to rather loud acoustics, so it’s not the sort of place for intimate conversation. perhaps a good sit-down mid-shop, but anything longer than that warrants one of the better cafes in town*.
#03-23 313 Somerset
313 Orchard Road
tel +65 6836 5612
$$: each dessert = more than a fiver, less than a tenner