Yes, we all know that Orchard Central is a food haven in town, and this is supplemented by the evidences here! Haha! Even though I’ve been to Orchard Central COUNTLESS of times for food, I have never been to their top most level – Level 12.
Amongst the lush greenery and space lies 2 restaurants – Joie by Dozo and Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya.
Joie by Dozo
Joie (pronounced as Joy) is a refreshing change from all the other food I’ve had at OC because they serve up MEATLESS cuisine! I was already excited with the idea of not having meat, and when the food was being served to our table, we all simply squealed in delight because of its amazing presentation as you’d see in the following paragraphs.
Here’s a quick look at their menu:
I thought the 6 course lunch meal was really affordable at just $38.80++ per pax. If you just went HUH?! Well.. First, in my opinion, meatless cuisine requires a lot of thinking, planning and execution to make sure they are not just… Vegetables or not meat because normal carnivores like us would only go meatless if it’s GOOD. Otherwise there’s no room for negotiation eh? Haha hence, the extra effort in thinking and execution. Also, the ingredients used in these dishes are not cheap. Vegetables and mushrooms not as cheap as you think ok? Haha! Okay I digress.
First up, is the starter – Chef Selection platter.
The centre one looks like SALMON SASHIMI but no it’s not. It’s made of carrot and konnyaku. If I didn’t tell you it isn’t sashimi, you might very well mistaken as the textures were ON POINT. Not even exaggerating. From the left, it’s a raspberry sphere with pistachio cracker – very refreshing to cleanse the palette; and the one on the right is a seaweed cracker with mushroom. Not too bad for a start.
Tempura Platter on Mash
This is the charcoal coated tempura. Unlike the ones we are often used to having like prawn or any other kind of protein, this tempura gave us a nice surprise as we found different items – yam, apple, eggplant and banana beneath the coat of flour. This is also served with an orange sesame dressing which tastes largely like sesame. Nonetheless, a nice surprise and WHAT A TWIST man.
Grainated Champignon with MozzarellaNo not cheese baked escargot, even though they were served exactly like it. These are button mushrooms gratin. That cheese and mushroom combination… ON POINT. I’m in love already because of the constant surprises I was being sprung upon with each dish!
This was an absolute stunner aesthetically. The zucchini was stuffed with creme cheese, truffle mayo and placed on top of a puff pastry, with a side of beetroot sphere. Interesting. REAL INTERESTING. I didn’t think the taste of zucchini was very overwhelming, which was a good thing cause I’m not a fan of them!
Dragon Fruit Lotus with Truffle Vegetable Garden
Wow. Jaw dropping presentation. And the most surprising part? The beetroot was actually SAVORY as they drizzled Japanese dressing upon it. I CANNOT. The medley of vegetables is a good way to get me to eat my greens because.. TRUFFLE PERFUMED.
Vegetable Sashimi on Ice with Quail Egg Shooter GlassPossibly the dish that blew our minds the most. These looked just like sashimi especially that carroty thing. It’s actually the carrot konjac thing, coconut and pear sashimi. While they tasted like what they are on its own, you’ll be VERY VERY surprised when you actually dipped these into the soy sauce provided. The taste and texture would just blow your mind. IS IT REALLY SASHIMI OR JUST A FIGMENT OF MY IMAGINATION.
Infusion of Cepes and Truffle – okay this looks like any other mushroom soup
My favorite out of the 4 got to be the Snow pear and Napa Consumme. It’s not only served in a unique fashion, it was also really naturally sweet and tasty. I LIKE. Otherwise they were all pretty good!
Wild rice and Eggplant Terrine
This looks just like pork belly or some beef cheek thing or something. I didn’t believe it was eggplant when it was served to me… It didn’t even taste or feel like egg plant. My GOODNESS. The only thing I didn’t really fancy about this dish was the wild rice, it was a little too hard for me to bite.
Duo Ravioli Platter
Ah, Ravioli. I love ravioli. I would marry an Italian to have ravioli all day. Within the delicate pasta skin, it’s a duo of pumpkin and spinach ravioli. I wish it was cheese though. Hehe!
Grill Bai Ling Steak on Pu Ye Hot Stone THIS. Was my favorite. I nearly finished the entire dish on my own. This isn’t a steak. This isn’t chicken breast. THIS IS A HUGE CHUNKY JUICY PIECE OF MUSHROOM. That mash by the side together with this mushroom was WOAH. I could have this errrrrday. You even need to use a steak knife to slice it. You know what’s the coolest part? Like a steak, you can leave it grilled on the hot stone beneath longer to make it more charred (well done) or just eat it like this. We’d recommend you to char it a little for an additional crisp on the outside. DAEBAK.
After the end of 5 courses, I’m sure you’d be looking forward to your desserts right? Here’s what you can expect and perhaps help you to make your decision when you place your order.
Yogurt Pudding If you’re like my mum, who often crave for something acidic after the end of a heavy meal, this is probably for you. That smooth yogurt with the added crunch from the fruits and chia seeds. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Truffle Creme Brulee!
I didn’t look at the menu before this was served, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find bits of fragrant truffle below this creme brulee. Probably my favorite amongst the 3 we’ve tried.
To cleanse the palate, you could choose a variety of drinks.
This experience at Joie definitely left me gaping in amazement. Wow. I think I could go meatless all my life if I were to have such amazing foods everyday. It’s amazing how they managed to capture the TEXTURE and the BITE of the meats and translate them using non-meat items. The sashimi platter was one good example. You could see the effort and the work put into curating and designing each of this dishes. I dare say this is one of THE best dining experiences I’ve had in my entire food blogging career.
Try Joie by Dozo, you’ll be surprised.
How to get there?
Orchard Central, #12-01
Nearest Station: Somerset
Lunch: 12pm to 3pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10pm