Okay, so before you judge, this was our first time painting at Arteastiq and we both decided to do portraits of Sean’s cutiepie pug, Otis. Haha! Here’s our respective interpretations of him (we tried) with some acrylic paints on canvas as provided as part of Arteastiq’s Art Jam. For $48 a person, (but we took advantage of a 1-for-1 deal which meant $48 for both ) you get a free drink, and unlimited use of paintbrushes, a piece of canvas and all the paints you need for your art piece. It was honestly a really refreshing, fun activity even if you don’t have a single creative bone in your body.
In terms of food, Arteastiq was one of the finalists for the Epicurean Awards in 2015. So I headed down one evening to judge and try the menu out for myself. Here’s my verdict:
Price: $$ – $$$
The decor actually lends itself to a really relaxing, sophisticated ambience, something the ladies would enjoy partly because the owner Ivan is an interior designer by training. I spoke to him in a separate interview and he mentioned it really does save a lot on operation and start up costs for the business. But ambience aside, service was rather lacklustre. It took awhile to get anyone’s attention to order or get the bill and none of them seemed really well-trained or equipped to answer questions about the food.
But, let’s get down to the menu. We started off with the teas which they specialised in. We went for The Monet ($12) which is a dessert tea made of French rose tea and Champagne gelato and Cold Pomelo Tea ($11).
The Pomelo Tea was lightly-sweetened, refreshing and the presentation was delicate and had some thought put into it. I can see why these teas are a big hit with the girls. But taste-wise, there was nothing exceptional. The Monet was rather one-dimensional and I could barely taste any champagne in the vanilla ice-cream. They were beautifully presented though.
We started with The Best Mushroom Soup in the World ($12) which frankly tasted like canned mushroom soup with extra chopped button mushrooms thrown in.
And for our next dish, we tried the Aphrodite-Crabcake Benedict ($25) which sounded really enticing.
It wasn’t. The crab cakes were hard, lukewarm and the meat was mashed so fine it was barely detectable. The eggs were sous vide rather than poached as Eggs Benedict is supposed to be, and the sauce was too creamy and overwhelming.
The next dish salvaged the situation a little — The Royal Princess-Salmon Wellington for 2 ($38).
Despite its melodramatic title, this was actually quite a simple, comforting dish. Atlantic Salmon, mushroom and capers pate served with puff pastry and sweet potato. Decent, but not worth nearly forty bucks. It’s just a pot pie!
The Boston Love Boat-Ciponio ($29) was similarly satisfactory although again, my issue with it was the portion size for the prize point.
The highlight of the meal for me though was the Beijing’s Dynasty Duck Pancake ($28).
This one I enjoyed. This was duck confit, crepes, orange caramel and mixed greens. The duck was tender, and with enough melt-in-your-mouth fat that was cut well with the citrus of the orange sauce. If anything is worth trying on the menu, it’s probably this dish.
Generally, I love the idea of having a space for creativity and art in a cafe. It’s wonderfully therapeutic, and saves you the trouble of buying the materials on your own and cleaning up at home. But do look out for their 1-for-1 deals for half price.
Arteastiq’s food and service, however, are slightly disappointing. The food is overpriced for its quality and portion size (our total bill for 2 amounted to roughly $250). Definitely not what we were prepared to spend on a meal. And service leaves much to be desired. If you head down, enjoy the teas and paint while you’re at it. But probably have your meal elsewhere.
Mandarin Gallery, #04-14/15 333A Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
Opens: Weekday, 11am – 10:30pm. Weekend, 10am – 10:30pm
Phone: 6235 8370