Shrove Tuesday | Blk 94, Toa Payoh

Tired of Creamier’s unintended al fresco seating?

You’ve got an alternative now, literally. A simple stroll to the east – no really, just take a 10 minute walk or so eastwards from Creamier – and you’ll find yourself at Toa Payoh’s latest gelateria, Shrove Tuesday.

I believe explanations are in order: Shrove Tuesday is basically Hari Raya Puasa in reverse for Christians – they feast before they embark on their version of the Ramadan called “Lent”, ending their period of self-contemplation on the anniversary of Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. In Europe and other Christian/Catholic majority nations, the contents of the banquet usually revolve around perishables, i.e. eggs, butter, lard and sugar which are coincidentally, the ingredients for bakes such as doughnuts, waffles and most popularly, pancakes. Thus, giving Shrove Tuesday the association of being “Pancake Day”. It’s this concept that this ice-cream parlor is based on, inviting diners and visitors to lose their inhibitions and indulge in the sumptuous table of plenty. Fortunately enough (for you and I), that’s where the overarching Christian value ends, and where the actual product begins.

According to Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow, this ice-cream parlor fully intends to stretch its wings beyond ice-cream, waffles and coffee, and venture into hot meals once the store is “officially opened”.

Shrove Tuesday’s interior takes a leaf out of Windowsill Pies’ own space in Lavender. We see the same modern faux countryside farm interiors of grained woods complete with imitative grass lining the countertops topped with picture perfect sweets of beautiful looking cakes, and rustic wooden menu boards documenting the day’s produce. Everything looks synthetic, almost intentionally surrealistic – almost inviting visitors to lose themselves in this home away from home.

For now though, the ice-cream is the parlor’s biggest attraction. A concise, mismatched and eclectic collection of flavors, tricks and trinkets await. From macarons and profiteroles that look like they’ve been painted on, to peanut chocolate fudge bars and ice-creams, it’s a kaleidoscope of colors, wander and letting creativity run free. Unfortunately, not everything that looks good tastes good. Some of the ice-cream flavors are incidentally diluted while others are unnecessarily overpowering in their richness and sweetness, and this is an affliction which transcends all flavors. So, I’d recommend asking a sample for every flavor you intend to order.

I think the waffle batter’s good, if it was cooked right. If you compare with Sixpegs, Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow and my pictures, you’ll find varying degrees of doneness. Mine was unintentionally crispy, and overall, had an overhang of bitterness that one usually finds when you burn food.

It gets worse: the peanut butter banana cake was one of the worst things I’ve ever eaten. No, it’s not worse than Brew and Bake (cos’ while Shrove Tuesday fails on technique, Brew and Bake lacks both technique and taste). Typically, oil is a major ingredient in banana cakes – there’s no going around it. True, but if you’re doing a peanut butter and banana cake, you need to remember that there’s oil present in peanut butter as well. On the first bite, I got the peanut butter, I got the banana, but it was completely overwhelmed by this greater rush of oil. I mean, it really tasted like I was drinking petrol straight from a gas station.

While I liked the exploration and creativity of the owners, I feel Shrove Tuesday lacks focus. The character of the ice-cream is a little inconsistent, and the cakes at least, while basking in style, lack substance. Given the quality of the ice-cream and consistency of the waffles, the asking prices here are just too expensive. I’d rather just pop down to Creamier where the ice cream is better made and cheaper.

On second thoughts, I think I’ll just brave Creamier’s al fresco seating.

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