disappointing expensive dessert at this town outpost of the australian delicatessen newly opened on the top floor of the ion orchard mall. here’s another looks-pretty-but-doesn’t-deserve-to dessert that rather had a lot of potential but turned out rather dismal, though nowhere near the fiasco that was dean and deluca. I wish this place actually served good food – orchard really is lacking in nice places you can sit down for a break between shopping – but I think I’ll be sticking with the marmalade pantry for now.
I haven’t tried their savory items, so while I can’t give you a full low-down on the cafe, the desserts sure don’t provide any impetus to return.
the place sure is done up all sophisticated-like. newly opened where a steak restaurant used to stand – the dark, intimate eating space is a grown up version of the open-air expatriate-brunch vibe at its original – and larger – dempsey location. it’s almost more of a restaurant than the other one is – the deli part here is reduced to a couple of shelves on one long wall, and seems more decorative than anything. I think I might prefer the dempsey one – far more relaxed and that deli+fromagerie is a wunderhaus of expensive, imported ingredients – but this place works for a late night/mid-afternoon jaunt. except for the deserts, though, those don’t work.
we had a sticky toffee pudding (yes, my favourite) and a lemongrass panna cotta, both rather doleful renditions. the toffee pud looked great (right?) – a scoop of ice cream atop hot cake in a pool of salted caramel – but the ice cream was icy and not very smooth, and definitely nowhere near the creaminess of that at marmalade, and the cake was microwaved. again, why do they do that! microwaved cake is tough, with too hot outsides and innards that cool down too quickly, and rubbery edges that resist the cut of a spoon. i’ll give them credit for a good salty caramel though, dark and addictive – I was using this to help finish our order of the pannacotta.
the pannacotta was an insult to its name – the eponymous cooked cream invokes ideas of a luscious, wobbly pudding with a luxurious give and the perception of near-melting – this was a firm pudding, closer in texture to and gelatinous like an asian mango pudding, almost bouncy. topped with strawberry slices and bits of granola, this was strangely reminiscent of a breakfast parfait. and that lemongrass proved a soapy aftertaste – coupled with the jelliness of the pannacotta, it felt almost like eating some sort of soap gel.
I do wish this place had worked out – I could do with another addition to my dessert list – but it really didn’t. it’s just as expensive as you’d expect it to be – not ridiculous for the area but you’re much better off going shopping with that money (or head downstairs to the marmalade pantry). if the food’s any better, let me know?
jones the grocer
#04-14 ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
tel +65 6884 5597