Just for the record, Spruce, I really wanted to like you.
Appearance-wise, you were on the right track. Your long stemmed- ceiling fans, Eames Dining Side chairs and outdoor seating replete with sufficient grass views put the second smile on my face for the evening (the first being reserved for my friends).
In fact, I'm willing to cut you some slack. I will not nitpick on your appetizers and main courses because that's right, you need time to sort out teething issues. However, I could not sit back and let you stain the potential good name of your restaurant with dessert.
Your Valrhona tart was HMMM, not MMM. Instead of the oozy-smoothness that other chocolate tarts had offered, yours was studded with rice crisps. Although I'm a big fan of crisp-crunchiness, the rice crisps in your tart didn't sit well with me as it felt like an intruder.Kinda like watching a not-bad (note: I didn't say "great") TV show with one too many commercial breaks.
The tart wasn't "great" too as the Valrhona quotient was lacking. You can't fool people who have nothing better to do than to fuss over the chocolate level in chocolate tarts.
As for your ginger date pudding with caramel toffee sauce, I know you are up against the big dogs like Marmalade Pantry, PS Cafe and Prive; and I know you must have thought hard of a way to differentiate yourself. However setting yourself apart by NOT serving ice cream with your pudding is NOT the way to do it. Please being back the ice cream. It's just wrong to serve warm pudding without something chilly and creamy.
P.S. It would be great if the pud was spongier.
UPDATE 31 MARCH 09: Both Sunday Times and 8 Days had ice cream with their puddings. WHERE THE HECK WAS OURS?!
That aside, I hope you work out the kinks soon.
By the way, did PS Cafe tweak their cake recipes? I had their carrot cake and sticky date cake recently and found them pleasantly lighter and fluffier. MMM... Perculiar.
320 Tanglin Road
Tel: 6836 5528