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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Jones the Grocer @ ION Orchard, Singapore

Lauching its first outlet in 1996, Jones the Grocer not only set the benchmark for premium Australia gourmet food, the iconic store also hosted Sydney's first and largest walk-in cheese room, serving a wide array of breakfast and brunch items, as well as atas gourmet food and desserts. Unlike other cafe or restaurants, Jones the Grocer serves breakfast daily (8.30am -12pm) with additional brunch hours (12pm - 3pm) on weekends. I am a brunch person, but getting to Orchard before 3pm seems like a tall order for either myself and my partner, as we both love to sleep-in late on weekends. Hence, dinner, it shall be.

The outlet that we patronised for our third year anniversary was nestled at the high floors of ION Orchard. As expected of a gourmet food store, Jones the Grocer has a lovely, elegant ambience with lighted candles and lovely wood furnitures, completed by a cold shelf of assorted drinks, such as fruit juice and wine, and dozens of cheese varieties. 

Just be warned that their food ain't cheap at all, even with the exclusion of service and general taxes. A portion of Fish of the Day came with a hefty price tag at S$35 (not implying that I am a cheapo or equivalent). Nevertheless, it was with high hopes and expectations, when I walked into this restaurant that in my opinion - primarily serves tai tais or affluent businessmen. Shifting the focus back to the barramundi, with crushed potatoes and sauce antiboise (and adaptation of the French sauce), the presentation scored high, however the pan-fried fish was a tad moistless and overcooked, while the potato was very nicely done - soft, flavourful and the portion was just nice.

For myself, I had the Linguini (S$28) with forest mushroom, grana padano (a popular cheese variation in Italy), pangrattato (breadcrumbs) served in a light, creamy carbonara-like sauce. Tantalising and flavourful, their rendition was one of the best I had so far.

What is dinner without desserts? Girlfriend was raving about Marmalade Pantry's Sticky Date Pudding, until she tried Jones' version (S$14). Paired up with authentic vanilla bean ice cream and generous amount of luscious, flowing salted caramel sauce, one would never stop just at one bite. This dessert is sexy, alluring, tempting, and probably evil for anyone who is on a diet, but YOLO (you only live once).

All in all, rather than matching standards, it seems like they exert high importance on the presentation (and quantity, to a certain extent) and not so much on the quality. Please don't be mistaken that the food is not good, IT'S GOOD, but for the whopping price tag, one would naturally expect higher standards in terms of quality. Therefore, I would choose Wild Honey anytime over Jones the Grocer, unless the desserts call out to me again.

Jones the Grocer

Tel: 6884 5597

Opening Hours
Daily: 10:00 - 22:00

2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard