For those of us who have a sweet tooth, the best part of eating out is skipping the starter, racing through the main and greedily perusing the dessert menu full of sticky, syrupy, chocolately goodness. What’s better than something served with a side of gelato or a bottomless jug of custard after all?
Dessert bars seem to be all the rage and are perfect if you want to eat out but skip straight to the sweet. There’s been an influx of dessert lounges opening in Stoke on Trent recently with the latest, aptly named Sweet on Stafford Street serving up dishes of delicious desserts including gelato, crepes, waffles, cheesecake, milkshakes and coffee in a sleek and modern setting.
Opening at the beginning of December, Terri and I stopped by Sweet Hanley on a lazy Sunday to check out the hype and to indulge our selves in something sweet before shopping. I couldn’t fault my dessert.
Wow’d by the prospect of having my dessert served in its very own skillet, I ordered one of the dishes from the cookie dough menu complete with white chocolate and raspberries with a side of vanilla gelato and cream which was delicious. Wanting to give the menu a test drive, Terri opted for the waffles menu and went peanut butter mental by order the Marathon; a peanut butter and ice cream creation with a full Snickers bar adorning the top. Presentation cannot be faulted here, lets be honest, that looks good enough to make Homer Simpson drool but the dish arrived cold after sitting on the counter for five minutes and then spent a further few minutes being photographed by numerous members of staff before it made it to our table, albeit lukewarm and disappointing.
With three branches open already throughout London and Walsall and another two set to open in Stafford and Shrewsbury, Sweet definitely has potential to be an impressive contender in the town centre but needs to overcome obvious teething problems with regards to staff training and etiquette to ensure a positive customer experience.
Unfortunately during our visit staff didn’t seem to be on the ball; our server forgot what we had ordered twice, we were served the wrong drink (which wasn’t even on the menu), the food was cold, we weren’t advised they didn’t accept card payments which meant we had to visit a cash point before we could pay the bill and staff congregated in close quarters to the seating booths which made the experience a little bit uncomfortable. All small issues that can be eradicated with the correct attention but don’t give the best first impressions of a newly opened eatery.
Sweet. Hanley is ideally situated and has a definite market within the city due to the location and it certainly being the right side of “trendy” for those wanting to try something new but at £6/£7 for the hot desserts and upwards of £7 for their answer to the freak shake, service is definitely an area for improvement to satisfy this sweet tooth.