Upon entering The Aviary, one instantly notices the whimsical décor which is designed to create the feeling of being inside – you guessed it – an aviary. You had best have the appetite of a small bird, too, given the serving sizes. Maybe I'm greedy when it comes to dessert, but my Panna Cotta wouldn't have satisfied a toddler. But then, toddlers are also greedy when it comes to dessert. In any case, my friend's Eton Mess was of a more generous size so perhaps quantity is dependent on the dish you order. Apparently, quality is also. Whilst the (very) small portions of baked pear that accompanied my Panna Cotta were of just the right texture and sweetness, the pomegranate disappointed in that there was very little to begin with and it was not fresh but rather in the form of tiny cubes of "pomegranate" jelly. The Panna Cotta itself was quite tasty. My friend complained that her Eton Mess was too rich and that the meringue was "not meringue-y enough". I think by that she meant it was stale.
The Eton Mess Source: The Aviary Dessert Kitchen Facebook Page
The ice teas were the redeeming feature. We ordered blueberry and apple/lychee. They were large, delicious and refreshing – much like fruity cocktails minus the alcohol. Some floral garnishes would not have gone astray, however, and would have complimented the décor nicely. Overall, I didn't find the experience to be anything special and I found the dishes to be lacking in the "uniqueness" that is one the Aviary's biggest selling points. Personal disappointment aside, I have heard good things said about the place and perhaps the particular desserts we ordered were simply not representative of the Aviary's alleged high standards. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and am certainly not averse to working my way through their entire menu until proven wrong. Let's hope it won't come to that.