Sherman's Food Adventures: Billy Button

Billy Button

Although we have plenty of dessert options in the GVRD, most of them are Asian.  Hey, nothing against Asian desserts because I personally love them, especially Bingsoo.  However, when I want to grab something like a slice of cake or a French patisserie, it gets really limited.  This is especially challenging late at night.  Ironically, you can find plenty of Asian-style cakes late at night!  LOL...  Now Billy Button, one of the newer spots in town, is offering creative desserts that...  have an Asian influence.  Yah, just can't get away from that!

Perfectly exemplifying their creativeness, the first 2 desserts appear to be an Orange and a large Strawberry (looked more like a tomato, but we got the idea).  When accidentally smashed (instead of cut open, my bad...), the orange revealed a centre consisting of marmalade and white chocolate whipped ganache.  As sweet as this sounded, it was really mild and almost bland.  The same could be said about the insides of the strawberry sporting house-made sorbet jam with fresh strawberry white chocolate ganache.  The hits of strawberry were so muted, the missing tang and sweetness were further exacerbated by the expected flavours from its appearance.  Now to be fair, these desserts are "Asian-style", so the sweetness is supposed to be mild.  Even with that in mind, we thought it was lacking.

Looking more like a fruity noodle soup, the Osmanthus Udon was actually noodles made from panna cotta sitting in a berry sauce with crumble and fresh berries.  Yes, this was another "light" tasting dessert, yet at the same time this was probably the intention.  Therefore, it was refreshing, fruity and only as sweet as the natural flavours of the berries.  I found the noodles to slippery and delicate with very little sweetness.  One of the prettiest plates we had was The Garden with cucumber, yogurt mousse, yuzu creameux, raspberry powder and house made crostini.  Sorry, this looked way better than it ate.  For me, it ate like a strange tzatziki rather than dessert.  Yes, when I dug into a bit further, I did get sweetness from yuzu creameaux, but the yogurt and cucumber was all tzatziki for me.

Now onto desserts I actually enjoyed, my favourite was the Salted Caramel Brioche with salted caramel sauce, brown sugar crumble, vanilla Chantilly cream and dark chocolate.  I found this ate like a coffee cake in some sense but lighter due to it being brioche.  Also, the noticeable sweetness made this the most dessert-like dish of the bunch.  Even with that, the caramel was only sweet enough.  Texturally, the brioche was on point being soft while retaining some chewiness.  My second favourite of the bunch was the Matcha Green Tea Tart featuring matcha souffle on top and a side of matcha sponge cake.  I found the tart shell to be firm enough while the souffle portion to be light and airy.  There was enough green tea flavour for impact, but once again, it was not very sweet.

The last 2 that I tried were more conventional looking desserts in the Blueberry Tart with blueberry jam, pastry cream and almond sponge cake.  With so many blueberries on top, this ate refreshing and light.  With blueberries being rather naturally mild-tasting, this was reliant on the jam for an extra kick of flavour.  Well, continuing the theme of low sugar, this was not really a flavour bomb.  Featuring a red wine poached pear, The Autumn also consisted of chocolate cake and red wine sauce.  Similarly to the blueberry tart, a poached pear isn't anything out-of-the-ordinary.  So it all came down to execution and I would say they succeeded.  It was tender while holding the pear texture while not inundated with red wine.  The cake was moist and chocolaty.  I think this worked because the expectation was mild-flavours and that it delivered.  That probably sums up the issue with Billy Button.  Desserts are creative and fun but the expectation of sweetness is never fulfilled.  Yes, it appeals to mostly an Asian-palate, but even for me (and yes I'm Asian), it wasn't sweet enough.  I guess everything is subjective and those who like really mild-tasting desserts will be fine with it.

The Good:
- Creative and visually-appealing desserts
- Great service
- Not overly sweet for those who want that

The Bad:
- Not sweet enough nor flavourful enough


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