Joe & Dough, Orchard Central

The very first time I visited Joe & Dough would have to be the tiny outlet that was at Hitachi Towers, as I am assuming that it is no longer there, based on what I have seen of the location information on their Facebook/website. I recalled the sandwiches being rather nice but pricey, especially considering that it is lunch and throw in a glass of latte and it’s easily too much to afford back in those days. Well, to me, more than S$10 for lunch is still quite pricey now, if you are talking about day-to-day lunches, rather than a once-in-a-while treat.

After that, Joe & Dough opened outlets in other places, such as Suntec City, outside where the supermarket used to be. It was a very open space and I didn’t really visit it much because it was not so conducive to just spend hours hogging their table in such an open area. Then this outlet moved to Millenia Walk, which is not such a convenient location. I know, I am picky when it comes to locations but that’s me being lazy. But I have no qualms about praising them for their coffee and sandwiches, even if I had not have them on a regular basis.

They now have a small outpost at Orchard Central, where I have met my friend a couple of times for coffee break during the weekends. It can get crowded, meaning the few tables and chairs they have get occupied and you know how it is with cafes and patrons these days. Once a butt sits down it will often take a while before it vacates the seat. But we were able to find a table after a short wait, and we probably stayed for about an hour each time.IMG_0577.JPG

At the Millenia Walk outlet, I had ordered their cakes and didn’t really fancy them. Or not that I was too impressed with what they had. But I tried their muffin this time round, and I was actually quite happy with it. Right now, my memory is quite hazy as to what I ordered, maybe blueberry or some sort of that, but what I do like about it was that it wasn’t oily like how most muffins in other coffee chains tend to be. It was warmed up really nicely so that when I got my muffin, there was this really fragrant aroma wafting through the air. As with my favourite part of the muffin goes, the top was crispy yet not dry and it wasn’t crumbly. Yay and I will definitely be back to try a different flavour next time round!

We also ordered a Baked Pear tart. As compared to the cakes I had before, this was a better option imo. Wasn’t too sweet beyond my tolerance level and goes well with either coffee or tea.IMG_0578.JPG

On our next meet-up, I had the Blueberry Yogurt tart, which from the picture looks like a polka-dotted cheesecake.IMG_0580.JPG

I loved the cookie crust that is just like how cheesecakes are like, yet it didn’t feel as dense and heavy as a cheesecake. It had a little of the sour taste of yogurt but it wasn’t strong and I wished somewhat that it could have had a stronger yogurt flavour in it. But overall I did enjoy it pretty much.IMG_0579.JPG

And this was my friend’s order of a Tuna Sandwich; just check out how generous they are with the filling and the sandwich looks pretty substantial too! I am always in a dilemma what to order when it comes to food because to have both sandwich and sweets would be too much, yet a lot of things look so good each time I’m standing at the counter!IMG_0581.JPG

Medz, Orchard Central

After such a long time since it opened, I finally had the chance to try this eatery with a concept similar to that of Marche. When this was first introduced in Singapore many years ago when I was still a student, i.e. the concept of a dining hall with several food stations and you just pick what you want to eat from any of the stalls, pay by having the price charged to a card that you are issued with upon entry, and then settle the bill when you leave. It was a great idea for gatherings with friends where food variety is present and nobody needs to eat the same thing that one restaurant serves. I can’t remember if Marche at the basement of the then-Heeren, whatever it is called now, was the pioneering F&B outlet to come up with this concept in Singapore, but these days it isn’t that uncommon anymore.

Medz serves mediterranean food and as much as my diet these days comprise mainly stuff that some people call baby food, hamster food, or such, I do enjoy Mediterranean food to a certain extent. I haven’t been much to these countries though, only Spain, many years ago, and I think the paella (plus sangria of course) is amazing. Tapas are also a great way to eat, similar to the side dishes of a Korean meal that I love!

At Medz, after ordering your food, you don’t have to wait in line and be shrouded by the fumes and cooking smells at the stations. A buzzer device is issued so that you can go sit down and wait or go order other food. The thing is, waiting times are really long, or maybe it’s because it was a weekend night; we easily waited 30 minutes for each item we ordered! 20130701-094426.jpg

And at long last, the food were ready! Only good thing was that they were done at about the same time, so here’s presenting the chicken paella and rosti with pork sausage. 20130701-094439.jpg

The portion of the paella is actually not that huge but sharing is recommended because you wouldn’t want to just eat all that rice on your own and not have anything else would you? It was not bad, but I can’t remember how the paella I had in Spain tastes like but the rice grains were a little tough in this dish that we ordered. The chicken that was in the paella was three large pieces; I thought they’d be diced or at least be served in smaller pieces.20130701-094451.jpg

And the rosti, which I think portion is also smaller as compared to Marche’s, but is nevertheless still very filling because it’s pure carbohydrates, and oily of course. The rosti wasn’t really that fantastic, despite the long wait-time. It felt a tad too soggy and mushy, so that even the exterior that was supposed to be crisp didn’t feel like it at all. Besides the fact that it was too soggy, the entire dish felt like it had been drenched with oil.20130701-094503.jpg

These were the only two items we ordered, and the total bill came up to be about S$30. It’s not overly expensive, but for the length of time spent waiting for the food and the quality, I think it wasn’t really worth it. Fortunately, the food wasn’t the main purpose of the night because I had a great time, a few solid hours, catching up with a friend I hadn’t met in ages, as we just chatted non-stop from the time we met until we bade each other goodbye.

On a side note, the dessert counter looks really enticing though, with the cakes, pastries, waffles and crepes. Believe it or not, I actually did not have a single crepe when I was in France for two whole weeks! Now, I’m slightly regretting not just grabbing it from the roadside stalls along Champs Elysees. Oh well, maybe next time, if anyone wants to go to France/Paris for a vacation maybe I can tag along!

Perhaps I will give Medz a second chance with just the desserts and see if they are any good. While I was googling for Medz, it seems like “Medz high tea” is a popular search-time, so maybe their desserts are good.

Dean & Deluca, Orchard central

The first time I ever saw Dean & Deluca was in Tokyo many years back when I was on a business trip; there was an outlet at the train station that was near my hotel which I’d walk past every morning on my way to the station to work. But I never got a chance to step inside because there are just too many other places to check out when in Tokyo, especially since being in Japan, I’d definitely prefer checking out local food although the occasional distraction is good too.

I didn’t know then where D&D hailed from or bothered to find out about it, until I came across it last November when I was in New York. Jade wanted to check out the store to get some cookies and we did buy some even though they didn’t have what she wanted. I cannot recall what I bought but they were really good and the store was extremely crowded! Maybe it was because that was a wet and cold evening so everyone wanted to get some shelter for warmth.

I read about the opening of D&D in Singapore at Orchard Central, and suggested it as a meet-up place with two girlfriends one Friday evening. The cafe has an “inside” as well as “outside” seating area. It’s all located indoors, on the 4th level of Orchard Central, but part of the seats are within the cafe area whereas there are also additional tables and chairs that spill over to the outside. We got a seat on the “outside” and then went to place our orders at the counter. I read from someone’s blog that you had to take the number on the table to place your order, but I don’t remember that we had any number then. Maybe there was but I don’t remember. I only knew that after ordering and paying, we’d have a number tag that we’d bring back to our table and wait for the food to be served. There are sandwiches, all-day breakfasts, as well as salads and breads/pastries but we decided to order something to share.

We got a mac & cheese, a salad and an All-American Breakfast (I think) to share, but skipped on the drinks totally because we wanted to take our caffeine-dosing elsewhere.

The mac & cheese was pretty interesting because it came in a block, and it didn’t have the overwhelming cheesy flavour that I expected, although my friends expected cheese to be oozing out from the block at least, or that it shouldn’t be blockish like that.

The breakfast set we ordered had a hash brown, scrambled eggs, a sausage, mushrooms, tomato and bacon. It was pretty normal to me, like what we usually see in pictures of breakfasts that people post online, and taste-wise it was not spectacular that I could remember its awesomeness. I couldn’t even recall now what greens we ordered, but it was a really small portion that they plated together with the mac & cheese in the above picture. Well, the food was not bad but it was not fantastic either. But I liked the place because it retained its general utilitarian kitchen kind of look yet infused with a touch of chic-ness in its use of a monochrome palette and stainless steel. There is also a grocery area that sells pasta sauces, and many other food stuff that you can buy home but the prices were rather steep, according to my friends.

This is a place I would revisit, because I really want to try their pastries and coffee!