In recent times, there have been many an Asian dessert cafe popping up around town. One such cafe is Dessert Story in Glen Waverley. Big Fil and Snooze reviewed the one in the city back in July this year. Despite having dined at DS back in June, I've only just come to writing it up. I was curious to see what Big Fil and Snooze thought of the place, as DS only made a just-scraping-in-at-average impression on me.
Inside, well, it looks exactly the same as all DS', it seems. It's like you're inside a Chinese library - red lanterns and bookshelf wallpaper. The other thing of note was the popularity of the place. On the night that Ms W and I went, the place was 99% full. But very soon after, there was a queue forming. Ms W said that this was relatively quiet... there are times that the queue extends out onto the street. I mean, the only place that commands a street queue in this area is Bob's Kitchen (aka RaRamen).
The next thing I noticed was the temperature. The place is FREEZING. It was about 10 degrees that night, but inside DS, it felt like it was barely nudging zero degrees. Why, you ask? The answer is that they have the air conditioner on full blast. Not only is that crazy during winter and bad for the environment, they intentionally make the place cold so that you don't linger (and free up the table for the next poor souls) and savour your dessert - forcing you to quickly scoff down your dessert, while getting an ice-cream headache from the air con. Such disrespect for one's customer is, well... I'm speechless.
Still on the topic of climatic extremities, when we left, it was actually warmer outside. Yes, that's right - it was warmer out on the street, dead of winter, pitch black night, blustery, cold winds, and yet it was still WARMER than inside. It made me wonder, come summer time, whether they'll rock up the heating up to 30+ degrees, just so that can show how little they care about their customers.
Anyhoo, onto the actual desserts. There's quite a range to choose from - cold, hot, herbal, jelly puddings, sweet soups.
Despite it being Arctic inside, I opted for the coconut sago soup w mango. Ever since I was a kid, I loved sago. Them little slippery, bubbly bits in a creamy coconut soup. The mango was rather sour, and I should have listened to my instinct and should have opted for the palm seeds. The sago soup itself was reasonable. Not too sweet and good amount of sago.
Ms W went for a trio of puddings. In this case, chocolate, mango and (I think) almond. I didn't try any of them, but they looked quite gelatinous.
After this first visit, I thought it was just okay. Not great but I'd be interested in returning just so I could try more of the many desserts on offer.
So a few weeks later, I took Mr Strong and Mother Hen there. Unfortunately for DS, this visit made me realise that I'd never go back there again. Once again, we were blasted with arctic blizzard and sat shivering at our table, and our hot desserts made not a difference in one's body temperature.
Mr Strong went for warm red bean and black sesame sweet soups. Presentation wise, this looked kinda.... well, so as not to gross you out, I'll keep my observations of this soup to myself. But for those who are curious, I likened the soup to a range of bodily fluids.
Mother Hen went for the warm walnut sweet soup. Although I didn't have any concerns about the presentation of the soup, it was more about the colour and texture that made me chuckle. Ditto above, my thoughts had something to do with bodily fluids.
Taste-wise, both Mr Strong and Mother Hen liked their soups. There weren't too sweet. They both thought that my soup was quite sweet. Oddly though, I thought my soup was bland, and that their sweet soups were really sweet.
I went for a hot clear sweet soup w white fungus, lychees and gogi berries. I felt the whole thing was quite bland. Like it was a mug of hot water that just happened to have some Chinese soup ingredients just floating around.
I loathe this place. Mostly because of the attitude it has towards its customers. I doubt my one review will make a difference, as DS is undeniably popular. All I'd say is that there are other Asian dessert cafes in Glen Waverley and that you should go to those instead. The only positive thing I can say is that there is a very big menu and that they do take away (so you don't have to wait like a beggar in the cold for a table...and then scoff down your dessert in the cold).
Service was rather average. The place is crowded and there isn't table service. The staff are quite busy just giving tables a quick wipedown before more diners arrive.
Food – 6.5
Service – 5
Ambience – 4
Price – 7
Glen Waverley 3150
Telephone: 9561 8884