Swensen's is an American casual-dining restaurant concept, offering premium ice cream in a wide variety of flavours, all presented in creatively designed sundae concoctions. The Swensen's dining concept captures elements of the classic American soda fountain parlor, yet trendy, modern, fun and contemporary, exuding a comfortable, unpretentious and casual ambience with the offer of good value-for-money meals.
The place was very crowded on Sunday evening filled with families, but we managed to get a table after a short wait. The place was packed and noisy. We had a bit of problem of getting the attention of the staff to place order. Water was served after placing our order.
Crab Meat Baked Rice ($14.90++)
A decadent creation featuring sweet delicate crab meat, savory rice, smothered with lusciously creamy sauce and gooey melted cheese baked to golden brown perfection.
The dish looked great with lots of crab meat inside but it tasted very salty.
Salmon 'N' Mushroom Pasta ($15.90++)
Smoked salmon and sautéed mushrooms with spaghetti in cream sauce.
The dish tasted not bad, except for the sauce which was a bit too watery.
Chendol Milk Shake Float ($7.50++)
Chendol milk shake topped with Chendol ice cream, Chendol jelly and red beans.
Using the member benefit, this drink just cost $1++. The milk shake is thick and creamy, just like a chendol ice blend.
Macadamia Mania ($10.50++)
Generous scoops of Macadamia Nut ice cream topped with macadamia nuts, hot fudge and caramel.
The ice cream looked a lot smaller serving than before and much plainer too. There is quite a number of macadamia nuts in it.
Overall the standard of food has dropped over the years. The service has much to improve on. We simply gave up to find staff to refill water.
I would say that the quality have dropped in recent years and prices have gone up. The food is becoming more and more mediocre, despite new additions to the menu. They somehow lack an appeal they once had in the previous years.
This really depends on the outlet, but the service at Swensen's is terrible. I went to the Jurong Point branch a few times and it was mostly the same. There were little customers but food was served extremely late. I had to remind the servers to refill my water a few times before it actually did happen. And I haven't mentioned that it takes quite a bit of effort to get the servers to even notice you.
You should probably note that families frequent Swensen's so it will be noisy at most of the branches you go to. But if you want a restaurant to dine and talk at a comfortable volume with your family or friends, it shouldn't affect you too much.
After the economy downfall, dinner trips to Swensens became lesser and lesser till it became non-existent. But I recently dined there out of spontaneity. I found that they had a change in their menu, with loads of new additions. They did still have my buffalo wings which was a relief. However, I do find the increase in prices might turn some loyal customers, on a rather tight budget, away.
Overall, I think Swensens is an amazing restaurant catered to family which still lives up to their American diner trademark. Definitely a place to head to for special occasions particularly for those on a tight budget.
Some while ago, my friends and I went for their one-for-one lunch treats. We ordered fish and chips, which was passable but unmemorable, and the crayfish pasta, which was surprisingly good! I daresay it's also quite a healthy dish, with lots of tomatoes and onions. The sauce is not very creamy, but makes up for that by being very robust in flavour. Definitely worth a try!
The service can vary greatly depending on which branch or what time you are dining at, though.
I had a bad experience at the Orchard MRT outlet though. Service staff took way too long to attend to us and there were flies buzzing around the area that I was seated at. Definitely something to work on and is quite unacceptable given that Swensens is an air-conditioned restaurant.Thank goodness it is the only outlet that I am displeased with, the rest of the outlets I visited have been wonderful :)
Swensens is quite a family-friendly restaurant, so it is not uncommon to hear young children chattering on loudly and kicking up huge fusses. If you are someone who values a nice quiet meal, perhaps Swensens is not the best place for you.
Their offerings of savoury items like pastas are at best decent, but you can definitely find similar items at cheaper prices with better taste. Their ice cream are pretty hard to beat though, especially in terms of choices. Sundaes, single scoops, chocolate fondues...they have it all! I would strongly recommend the Banana Split; I almost always order it whenever I'm at Swensens, as it is the best version of the Banana Split I've ever found.
The place can get pretty rowdy and service inefficient during meal times, but the overall ambience is satisfactory. This is an exceptionally good place to dine for families.
The service is usually excellent and the staff members are quick to take orders and attend to any other requests you may have. It makes dining at Swensen's a very pleasant experience.
Of course, when visiting Swensen's, ice cream is a must-have! All their ice cream flavours are great. The last time I ate at Swensen's, I had my ice cream after my main course (Baked rice) and I felt awfully full - and I don't have a small appetite - so maybe next time I'll start with dessert first.
It seemed to be under-staffed and we were showed to our seats by a hurried waiter – not helping the noisy atmosphere at all. However, service was prompt and the food was served in no time. Tried the Grilled Fish Sambal and I got to say it wasn’t bad. The fish was grilled tender and drizzling it with lemon juice made each bite light and zesty. It was topped with mashed potatoes with a few pieces of broccoli, but the fish stole the show. My only gripe was the sambal – it was slightly sweet but could have been spicier and thus more flavourful.
With the affordable cost and acceptable taste, my experience at Swensen’s was satisfactory. Just got to keep in mind that it could get really noisy – a kid was throwing a tantrum and drawing uncontrollable curious looks – so perhaps ambience is an expected sacrifice.
Personally, the best thing about Swensens is the fact that they offer you a free birthday firehouse on your birthday itself. The staff, depending on which outlet you go to, are also cheery and joyful during the arrival of the firehouse. In fact, many of them do shout out "happy birthday" to you and even accompany the arrival of the firehouse with a birthday song.
Although slightly more pricey than before, this place still remains one of the places that serve good western food, in my opinion. The Chef's recommendation - and my recommendation - is the crayfish pasta. Another family favourite would be the rodeo wings that is topped with sauce that is slightly tangy and spicy at the same time. With other choices like the cheese scallops, the side dishes build up the anticipation to the delicious main courses - no wonder it's always a pleasure to come to Swensens.
However, the only bad experience I've had with this restaurant was in the Holland Village Branch: it is crowded and packed with customers together with the limited servers. This resulted in a long wait, and even the ice cream that my family ordered started melting by the time it reached our table.
Other than that, Swensens, you have definitely earned a good review from me!
They offer two types of fondues, milk chocolate and chocolate. And both tastes wonderful. I especially enjoy the milk chocolate, it wasn’t too milky nor was it too chocolaty. There was a perfect balance of both tastes.
If you have a sweet tooth like me and have been looking for an ice-cream buffet, this is it.