Growing up, I used to love those trips to Swensen's at Thomson Plaza (or Yaohan as it was known then) for their giant Earthquake sundaes. Swensen's, to me, evokes happy childhood memories of dry-iced, pseudo volcanic eruptions, creamy sweet treats and luscious chocolate fudge.
Now with competition from other big-name commercial ice-cream brands such as Haagen Daaz and Ben & Jerry's, Swensen's has been relegated to those glory days of yore. If not for Jal asking to have our monthly lunch meet-up at United Square's Swensen's, I wouldn't even know it's there at all. But, since Jal was hankering for some ice-cream and because of its halal certification, we met up at the extremely-populated-with-kids United Square.
The ice-cream sundaes are still decadently good, but the food pales in comparison with the main attraction of this old-school American-styled diner. My take is to stick to the ice-cream section of the menu and ditch the savouries.
The Meatballs in Pepper Sauce ($8.90) was the only passable dish of lunch, even if it was a bit generic. Meatballs were chunkily textured and the pepper gravy was smooth and spicy but the potato mash was so obviously of the instant powdered mix variety.
The Prawn & Fruit Salad ($11.90) with lettuce, prawns, raisins and a mango yoghurt dressing was something a halfway decent home chef could do easily. At least the ingredients were sort of fresh, even if the prawns tasted a little too crunchy and alkaline.
The Fish & Chips ($14.80) was so sub-par. According to the menu, Swensen's supposedly sells 1 plate of this every minute in Singapore. I can't see how this could be true. The fish was dry and tasteless, the tartar sauce thin and watery, and the coleslaw tepid.
The only good thing about the Sirloin Steak ($21.20) was the accompanying steamed vegetables. The steak was dry and required a bit of chewing to get through. You can get better, more value-for-money fare at Astons.
101 Thomson Road
United Square #01-08
Tel: 6356 7382
Open weekdays from 10.30am to 10.30pm
weekends from 8am to 10.30pm