It was my cousin Ryan’s birthday at the end of July and we wanted to take him out somewhere at night. We decided to go with an outing at Sugar Marmalade in Mississauga. We had spotted this place after grabbing bubble tea at Chatime one night and thought we should try it the next time we were in the area.
The place was packed when we arrived around 11:30PM to midnight. We were told it would be at least 15 minute wait for a table of six to be available. So we waited.
When we were finally seated, we were happy to find that their menu was extensive, offering the Asian desserts we had hoped to try. It took us at least ten minutes to finalize our order but we decided on 2 desserts, 3 appetizers, and individual drinks.
We started off with Spicy Curry Fish Balls. We thought it would taste like the fish balls you’d find in the street market in Hong Kong. Well, we were wrong and disappointed. It pretty much tasted like the fish balls you’d buy in Asian supermarkets with a mediocre curry sauce. It wasn’t even that spicy!
Next was the Hong Kong Style Deep Fried Calamari. This dish was alright. It wasn’t as crispy as I wanted it to be. If you’ve ever had this for dim sum, you’ll understand the level of crispiness that I’m talking about. Other than that, there wasn’t anything spectacular about it.
I chose the Japanese Teriyaki French Fries for our group to try. I would have ordered the Kimchi ones but not everyone in our group can handle spicy foods. The dish came with the Bonito fish flakes – the ones that look like they’re moving! I was hoping this dish would be great but it was very disappointing. I could tell that the fries were store bought (they looked like McCain fries) which isn’t too big of a deal, but at least try to hide the fact that it is. The dish lacked a teriyaki flavour. The mayo sauce really overpowered the teriyaki and the seaweed. It’s unfortunate that it did because the mayo sauce was the worst part! I’m not a mayo fan at all but Hellman’s mayo I can tolerate. However, this one tasted really bad. It was too tangy and oily tasting. Not a good combo in my opinion. Everyone at the table tried to avoid the fries covered in the mayo.
Two of my cousins wanted the Taiwanese Style Popcorn Chicken. It was actually pretty good. Although, my cousin Richard says Koo Koo Chicken has better tasting Taiwanese style chicken. Since I’ve never ate at Koo Koo Chicken, this was pretty good to me. By far the better dish of all the appetizers.
Now on to the desserts!
Sweet Milk Pudding was the first dessert dish that arrived (It was actually the first dish that arrived!). I’ve had this before at many Chinese restaurants, so I knew what to expect. The milk pudding came pre-cut into small cubes, brushed with cookie crumbs. The pudding itself tasted great. It was sweet, but not too sweet and you can taste the sweet milk. But for me, the cookie crumbs overpowered the sweet milk taste. It gave a dusty texture that I did not like.
Mango Taiwanese Shaved Ice was decent. I wasn’t too impressed with it, though I’ve been wanting to try shaved ice for so long. It was a sweet mango taste. It wasn’t mushy, but the ice was super cold. I do wish the shaved ice was presented nicely though. Our plate looked like they just dumped mango mush onto it.
Next up: Drinks!
We each ordered our own drinks. I chose the Special Pomelo Aloe drink. The drink had “Pomelo and Aloe blended with Pomelo Juice base.” I’ve had aloe juice and eaten pomelo before, but this drink was NOWHERE close to either. It had a strong herbal tea taste. I thought the drink would be sweet but it wasn’t. It was very bitter, which I assume is from the herbal tea taste. After drinking the entire glass, I learned that I should have mixed it a bit, as it got more bitter towards the bottom of the glass. But, this experience has truly deterred me from ever ordering it again.
I did try my sister’s Special Lychee Aloe drink. Lychee and aloe should be sweet tasting. This drink had no hint of sweetness. It was only bitter and herbal-y.
I also tried my cousin Raymond’s Pink Lady drink. It has “Fresh watermelon juice mixed with fresh mango juice.” Sounds great, right? Well, it was! I guess I should have went with more classic fruits than exotic ones for my drink.
With this being my first time dining at Sugar Marmalade, I was not impressed. The food was mediocre and the drinks, depending on what you ordered, were horrible. I guess I should have known my drink wasn’t going to be great when the server couldn’t even pronounce the drink. Red flag, right there! I know Sugar Marmalade has a location in Toronto, so that place might be better. But, the Mississauga location is disappointing. I had high hopes for this place, but it lacked everything that I wanted it to be.
Would I go back to give the place another chance? No. The place was busy when we arrived, so I assumed it would be great, but it wasn’t. If you’re in the Mississauga area, there are better dessert cafe places. I’m not a fan of Bubble Republic, but that one fairs better than Sugar Marmalade.