Despite S’mores’ dining room going all out on the trend for rugged Americana, there’s little about the food at this shopping mall restaurant that’s quite so of-the-moment.
The menu offers sweet balsamic salads, fried things, a few pasta dishes and grilled meats. It’s business as usual everywhere except for dessert, where you’ll come to the reason why the restaurant’s packed with fresh-from-class uni students huddled over miniature clay cooking pots.
The s’mores set (B320) is an attempt to recreate every Boy Scout’s favorite fireside treat of toasted marshmallow sandwiched between biscuit wafers. It does not succeed. Delivered to your table is a pot of shisha coals on which you’re meant to toast a few bog-standard marshmallows. We assume most of the price goes on the coal, because it’s certainly not on ingredients. We did attempt to wait long enough for one marshmallow to melt over the pitiful heat but it’s too tedious. What’s more, all the dipping sauces— from the mashed banana to the grainy liquid chocolate—are stone cold. Clearly, the kitchen has a hard time heating food.
The lumpy, sickly sweet mashed potato, grilled vegetables and “red wine sauce” that accompany our rib-eye steak (B850) are just as frosty, including the offensively pallid and bitter asparagus. The steak itself is not that bad: a no-frills piece of meat nicely colored on the outside and served rare, as ordered. No, it’s not the most tender, and yes, bits of gristle might get stuck in your teeth, but it’s fairly satisfying. That said, if all you’re looking for is a big, sub-1K steak, then why not go to the neighboring Hyde & Seek or 1881 by Water Library, which both do a much better job?
None of the sides and starters fair any better, whether it’s the smoked duck salad (B240) with its tough and sparsely portioned breast meat, or the greasy, under-seasoned baked spinach (B240). You’ll leave S’mores, sticky fingered and with drips of chocolate sauce on your shirts, thinking only one thing: just like on authentic camping-trips, everything here is worse than if you’d just stayed at home.