The food is vile, the booths appalling
Just what exactly is so enthralling?!
Sticky tables you'll scrub alone,
And for some platter you will concede
An amount atrocious enough to feast.
My heart is torn.
But the most excruciating pain hails not from within my digestive organ, but rather the interior of my bag.
Listen carefully, and one shall hear petrified wails, signifying none other than trauma in its most despicable form. To the readers of this space, behold:
Alas, the $29.99 sugar-and-liquid nitrogen bomb shattered my excitement, bringing upon nothing else besides feelings of shame and a sudden realization of stupidity.
Heck, the contents of the platter hadn't even been specified on the menu. "Some side desserts" came the response.
The girl working the floor (with minimal English skills, might I add) simply stood attentive with a jug of liquid nitrogen, ready to shower the table - and our lower limbs - with cold, wet vapour for the sake of visual appeal.
The plate itself was decorated with a multitude of colourful sugar streaks, chocolate pearls, rock candy, mini marshmallows, chocolate-drizzled strawberries, and cookie crumbs. Encased with the sugar sphere was a miniscule portion of Matcha Mousse Cake. Another piece was situated outside of the sphere, and probably a tad too close to the edge of the plate as the waitress's shirt had glided over the rectangular prism at its time of delivery. Two mini Oreos, one large Oreo, and more cookie crumbs surrounded the cakes.
Needless to say, we were more concerned about the texture of the encased cake segment and intrigued by its surrounding sugar sphere.
Contrary to its appearance, the sugar dome was unbelievably sturdy and actually proved a mission to demolish. At certain points, it showed fragility, while ductility was exhibited at others. Its profile was highly similar to that of cotton candy - equally sticky and thin in consistency, but crispier to taste and more substantial to touch. It was a sophisticated and amusing finishing touch, though by no means worth the ridiculous price tag.
It was as if my worst baking experiment had gone very, very wrong. So wrong, in fact, that I had somehow lost all sense of reason and culinary awareness.
"How much do you think this is worth?" asked feedthebear.
I thought for a brief moment.
Had I been the one behind the artistic concept and the one who had exerted such time and effort to debut such a sight, I would have probably charged the same amount for an individual unit.
After all, time is money. And my time isn't so easy to earn. (Why did I even come to this place?!)
"For presentation, I'd say ten dollars. Or maybe even fifteen." I responded. The plate was more art than dessert anyway.
"For taste, two dollars."
A stifled sneer and understanding smile came in reply.
In actuality, our second choice of Mango Lover had arrived first.
The tiny trio of teardrop dishes had arrived with a few minutes of order placement and table shifting. In each dish was a different mango-themed dessert, all failing to meet even the size of my palm.
Adjacent to this was a dish bearing more defrosted mango cubes bathing in a questionably orange substance. It was later discovered that clear jelly noodles had also been placed into the slick mixture.
Quite frankly, it hadn't mattered anyway. The obnoxiously milky mixture was simply sweet without any sort of defining characteristics. In feedthebear's words, "it taste(d) like melted mango ice cream". Though, I couldn't quite taste the mango part.
The consensus was that greatest enjoyment was found in the last sample, while the first and second positioned at second and last place.
Annoyance also arose from the lack of English on the menu - names of dishes were written in both English and (simplified) Chinese, however components of each dish were listed strictly in Chinese.
It was assumed that guests would note down their orders on ragged slips of paper and personally deliver it to the counter. We hadn't been informed of this beforehand, and were merely shoved two red menus. This process minimized the amount of waitstaff-customer interaction (intended or not), therefore decreasing the quality of service. Constructively speaking, it was a process inefficient for those incapable of understanding the menu.
The cups and plates had been removed, but the table remained wet and sticky.
"It smells like dirty water." whispered my dining partner.
Are you to tell me that such a lofty, overpriced establishment cannot afford to surrender more than two napkins per table?!
The washroom, might I add, was not much better. The facilities were new, but already clad with a layer of dust and grime. Did they even bother to clean??
Amongst the two stalls available, I took to using the accessible one. Albeit being more spacious, its automatic door functions had already emerged as faulty. Given Smile Desserts' short operating period, it was hard to believe that this malfunction had already taken place.
Dimly lit was the stall itself, with a large mirror in one corner and strangely situated Q-tips, floss combs, and hair ties around it. The lids to these elements were, once again, coated in dust.
In conjunction with highly unsanitary conditions, poor portion sizes, repulsive food quality, and sky-high prices, I deem it a destructive, immoral presence.
Heed my words.