Monday, June 18, 2007

A Taste of Brown Sugar

We had just gotten back from Bali, and waiting in my email inbox was a suggestion from our friend, MM, that we "do" brunch at Brown Sugar the minute she got back from her travels to the Himalayan region. I had to do a bit of scrambling. Brown Sugar? Where that? It turned out that Brown Sugar was a small eatery housed in Stardus along River Valley Road. Like Wild Rocket, it had been started by a self-taught chef. Its website looked promising enough, so off we went that Sunday.

Unfortunately, for Brown Sugar, Stardus is just not a pretty building. The brutal truth is that it's a glorified community centre. Still, whoever did the interior design for the space tried his or her darndest to add some style to the space, and didn't do too badly.

The menu also didn't do too badly - there were some hits and misses.

huevos racheros

mushroom and gruyere cheese omelette

the ultimate breakfast

prawn salad with roasted tomato sauce

The three of us ordered a main each, from the brunch menu, and the prawn salad from the lunch menu. Of the three brunch mains, the most successful was the huevos rancheros. The spicy tomato sauce did a good job of blending sausage with egg, and the ciabatta was just the thing to mop up the sauce. In comparison, the omelette and the ultimate breakfast were decent enough but not special. In fact, the omelette was overcooked (HM said it was more like fried egg than omelette!)

The prawn salad was another case of a good idea gone wrong. The prawns were super fresh and nicely done. However all we could taste was the olive oil, not the roasted tomatoes. How odd.

sticky date pudding with vanilla bean ice cream

tarte tatin of pear with vanilla bean ice cream

lavender creme caramel

The desserts were unequivocally more impressive, but again there was a boo boo amongst the three. The lavender creme caramel was stodgy, yes, that's right, stodgy. HM speculates that the eggs were overwhipped. The other two desserts were actually good. The sticky date pudding tasted richly of dates, although it was very slightly too sweet. The tarte tatin was the classiest of the lot and the stewed pear was tender without being mushy.

grilled squid

MM's friend, A, arrived some time later and ordered this grilled squid. He had no complaints.

In conclusion, Brown Sugar could have been better. If anything, the little things showed that the place is not quite there yet. The service was a little patchy. The handwritten menu on the blackboard was, shall we say, not so aesthetic. And the name card! Whoever did the classy decor and signboard should have been asked to design the name card as well. The best thing about Brown Sugar was its relative affordability - the bill, inclusive of drinks, came up to $158.51, for four people.



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