The name screams utter fabulousness.
You know the kind – Sex and the City fabulousness. Sunglasses at night. Expensive shoes. Shiny jewelry. A place where ladies can be ladies.
Unfortunately, this Old City champagne and sushi bar did not live up to its name. There was little swank at Swanky Bubbles.
The restaurant is dark and looks like a café one might find on a side street in Europe. The music was a nice mix of trance and techno, but seemed inappropriate for a place lit only by candles. The restaurant was almost empty, which made it all the more strange. I think Swanky Bubbles is having an identity crisis.
And what about the bubbles at Bubbles? The menu boasted a healthy selection of champagne cocktails, bottles and glasses.
My entourage and I started off with the cocktails, all of which were $7 or $8. The Fizzy Vampire (champagne, Finlandia Cranberry, Chambord) was a perfect blend of fruit and bubbly. The Barcelona (champagne, Red Fuel) was very tasty, but bad things happen when you consume alcohol and energy drinks at the same time. I ordered a Bubble-Lee (champagne, Grand Marnier), which was bitter and overpowered the champagne. Several of the cocktails did, which was disappointing. Champagne should never be overpowered.
After a couple rounds of drinks, we started with the Bubble Box ($18), an appetizer comprising of chicken satay, calamari, chicken spring rolls and dumplings. Tasty, but the flavors seemed too mild for Asian cuisine.
For dinner, half of my gang took the sushi route and ordered cucumber ($4), spicy tuna ($7), yellowtail ($5) and salmon, avocado and cucumber ($6). The yellowtail was mild, but flavorful. The salmon had a strong fishy taste, which led us to believe it was not as fresh as it should have been.
My better half and I ordered the Chilean sea bass ($23) and chicken fried rice ($12). Like all entrees at Swanky Bubbles, they were served family-style. The sea bass was cooked to perfection and melted in our mouths, but we expected the fried rice to have more kick. Bottom line: If you are looking for flavorful, zesty Asian food, this restaurant is not for you. But I thought this was Swanky Bubbles?
Meanwhile, I had had enough of the cocktail business. I ordered a Neibaum Coppola Sofia Blanc de Blanc ($8), and it was the sweetest, most amazing glass of champagne I had ever tasted.
We thought we were too stuffed to eat some sweets, but were immediately ashamed of our foolish ways when the waitress presented the specials. We ordered strawberry cheesecake ($8) and Oreo chocolate cake ($8). Like any meal, dessert is often the best part. This was no exception.
Swanky Bubbles needs to change its name to Ordinary Bubbles. Or maybe the restaurant should start living up to its fabulous name.
Nina M. Sachdev can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.