Dazzling Café left us in a daze. I wish I could say it was in a good way, but I couldn't.
Recently-opened in Singapore's newly-renovated Capitol Piazza amid much anticipation, Dazzling is the renowned café chain which originated in Taiwan, with currently 9 local outlets as well as branches in China and Hong Kong. The reason for its popularity is easily fathomable: Aesthetically drool-worthy signature Honey Toast, chic interior settings and well-reputed excellent service.
Will Singapore's Dazzling mirror this winning formula successfully? Well for a start, the initial response seemed to be positive judging by the queues that formed at times. People are keen to check this café out, so were we.
(We returned to Rösti Farm for some rosti while on the 40 minutes wait for our queue number to be called).
I must say the café is gorgeous! The predominant shades of aqua blue and white highlighted with touches of gold, whimsical rabbit-ears chairs, even waitress decked in French-maid style uniforms, all these screams cutesy girlishness. But taking photos under that blue-lighted ceiling proved to be a challenge, and the one or two houseflies that visited threatened to be photobombs (and more).
As the café is still in its soft-launch phase, only a partial menu is served. Already limited, it doesn't helped that we visited at evening time on a Sunday, and quite a few items including the Truffle Mushroom Risotto ($24.90) which we wanted were not available anymore.
So the four of us ended up ordering a plate of pasta each. Yawn..... It came one plate at a time, 10 to 15 minutes apart. Yawn again..... "Maybe there's only one chef doing the cooking?", or so we wondered.
The waiting time would be of secondary concern, if superiority in taste can distract us from it. "IF".
Our pastas came in varied texture. Scallop & Crabmeat Spaghetti Aglio Olio ($18.90) was too soft, Black Truffle & Wild Mushroom Spaghetti ($24.90) was perfectly al dente, Mentaiko Spaghetti in Cream Sauce ($18.90) and Spicy Seafood Tomyam Tomato Spaghetti ($22.90) could both do with a firmer bite.
The last of it was my order, a creation exclusive to the Singapore branch, but our question was: Why tomyam and not something more distinctively local like maybe, laksa? Any tomyam flavour was barely discernible, but the dish brought back memories of my younger days when I would cook spaghetti meals out of bottled tomato pasta sauces instead -_-;
Our kind server asked if he should pack the leftovers for us to takeaway, I don't have the heart to tell it to his face that my pasta was terrible and I couldn't really bear another bite. So I told him I'm saving space for desserts (which was the truth too).
There were good reviews on the Mango and Coconut Gelato Honey Toast ($18.90) and Matcha with Azuki Beans Honey Toast ($19.90), but both were not available so we got a Strawberry Lover Honey Toast ($18.90) to share. The huge cube was cut opened to reveal pieces of crispy bread hidden within. Boring on its own, but the custard and fresh fruits breathed some life into it.
The Vanilla Ice Cream Waffle ($13.90) blossomed like a beautiful flower, but its dry texture failed to
It was not difficult to conclude that this visit to Dazzling was less than stellar. A friend once said that all things are more forgivable when new establishments are in their soft-launch phase.
But I beg to differ. Rather than leaving leeway to find your footing, why not begin operations only when you are ready, impress us from the very start and stand out from the rest?
It will be a real dazzling experience then.
Dazzling Café Singapore 蜜糖吐司專賣店
Address: 15 Stamford Road, #01-85 Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178906
Contact: +65 63843310
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 12pm-8pm