This post about the Joie Restaurant is turning out to be one of the easiest to write but the hardest to complete. It is easy to write because there is so much to record about our lunch. The hard part is the selection of photos. As you will see in a moment, the food presentation here is really creative. Joie refers to its food as “Japanese-French Creative Modern Meatless Cuisine”, which may explain the attention to details in presentation.
All the pictures we took looked too good to omit but alas, some will have to stay home in the hard drive. The rest are here for your enjoyment.
Joie is perched on the penthouse level of the Orchard Central mall. As a result you get a lovely view of the rooftop garden in the foreground and the Singapore skyline in the distance. This was our first visit to the restaurant and we were pleasantly surprised at how attractive the place looked. We were ushered into a private room although we had not requested for one. Nice! The room was tastefully appointed and offered an unobstructed view of the surroundings.
Soon after we settled down, we were served a refreshing and attractive welcome drink. The menu was explained to us. Essentially, they serve a fixed six-course lunch ($38.80) and a seven-course dinner ($68.80). The meals are exactly the same except that one more dish is served at dinner time. This makes the lunch so much more enticing in terms of value for money. Two of the six courses are fixed by the chef. You get to choose from four to six options for each of the remaining four courses.
First course – Chef’s Selection of Assorted Platter
The first course was an assorted platter. The first item on the right was some sort of sponge cake. Its black colour comes from the addition of charcoal dust (we were told). The middle item was a mock salmon sashimi made from carrot. Strangely enough, it did taste and feel like salmon. The final item was a jelly-like blob on a bed of crushed nuts. We were warned that it would pop when the surface was broken. It did not.
“Transparency of Manchego Cheese” – cherry tomato, red, green and yellow pepper, croutons, walnut and black olive
Gratinated Champignon with Mozzarella ~ button mushroom gratin served with potato puree and belgian endive, focaccia
Matsutake Cake ~steamed japanese mushroom with rosemary gel, golden enoki and crème patissiere, pistachio crumbs
Tarte a la Portobello ~portobello with puff pastry and vine-ripened tomato, brie cheese, caramelized shallot with rucola
The best dish was the Gratinated Champignon with Mozzarella which was a mock escargot dish. In this case the ‘snails’ were actually button mushrooms. The taste and textures were realistic. The runner-up was the Transparency of Manchego Cheese. It was light and refreshing and also the most photogenic dish of the day. The Matsutake cake was a disappointment.
Infusion of Cepes and Truffle – cepes mushroom perfumed with white winter truffle oil and black truffles
Espuma of Green Pea Cappuccino – green pea foam and baby sprouts with edible flower
Snow Pear and Napa Cabbage Consomme ~double boiled rich vegetables stock with baby pear and almond
Clear Tomato Broth with Garbanzo ~tomato and chickpea with orzo pasta with spinach dumpling
There was no clear winner in the third course whether in terms of looks or taste. They were all quite good but no stunner. If we had to pick one, then it would be the snow pear consomme for its clean and elegant taste.
Polenta Castle ~ pan seared polenta cake with silken tofu, tomato, broccolini, eggplant ratatouille, miso and red capsicum sauce
Wild Rice ~sautéed wild rice with baby radish, baby carrot and haricot vert
Truffle Risotto and Morel – risotto with morel mushroom, black truffle and edamamme with mascarpone cream, parmesan crisp
Hedgehog Summer Mushroom – braised pan-fried monkey mushroom with oriental spice, celeriac purée, pomegranate molasses and truffle foam
For the fourth course, the winners were the mushroom dishes – truffle risotto and the hedgehog mushroom. Both had the distinct earthy taste of mushroom, enhanced by the aromas of truffle. The wild rice was very bland.
The fifth course was dessert!. A trolley was carted into the room. You can select items from the trolley. Among the four of us, we tried almost all of the items on display. They all looked so enticing but we rather eat less than go to the gym and so we retrained ourselves to a few items each. The highly rated ones were the dark chocolate pralines and the cakes.
The sixth and final course was a selection of exotic teas and coffee. We had the Ice Rose Lemon Tea (lemon tea infused with pink rose buds), Ice Mallow Apple Melody (a blend of mallow flowers, apple and guava juice), Mocktail of Love (a mix of cranberry, orange and pineapple flavours) and Joie’s Rose Coffee. The coffee was the disappointment as it tasted ordinary. All the teas tasted were interesting in their own way and brought our meatless lunch to a fruity ending.
Overall, this was a most interesting lunch. Taste-wise, there was an element of predictability as mushrooms and truffle seem to feature in many items. As a total experience, we rate the lunch very highly. It is obvious that a lot of work has been put in to conceive the menu and to present the dishes so creatively. We also appreciated the wonderful service by the staff who had to explain each dish with great enthusiasm. Our wine with the meal was a bottle of 2009 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne Romanee that we had brought along.
Joie Restaurant by Dozo
181 Orchard Road #12-01 Orchard Central
Tel : +65 6838 6966
Nearby MRT Stations : Somerset