Joie by Dozo in Orchard Central
I have to hand it to my parents for teaching me and Pan to appreciate eating vegetables at a young age. I remember that back then, there's never a day that would pass that there won't be any kind of vegetable dish in our meal. Of course, as kids, we were still picky then. Choosing the leafy ones such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli over the gooey and slimy ones (eg: eggplant, okra and bittergourd). As we grew up, that's when our taste buds began to appreciate more flavors and today, I can proudly say that I'm just down to not liking peas, carrots and okra which I don't think will ever be well-suited to my taste...ever.
So, when I received an invite to visit Joie by Dozo and to try its 7-course meatless dinner, I was pretty much excited for it. After all, I've been trying to eat more greens since I moved to the Lion City and this invite was simply perfect timing. The restaurant is located at the rooftop garden of Orchard Central giving it an all-zen vibe. Joie was conceptualized by Mr. Huang Yen Kun after taking inspiration from the modern meatless trends going around in Europe and in Taiwan. Using a wide-array of vegetables and herbs, majority of his ingredients were actually flown in from all over the world.
Here's the set menu for both lunch and dinner. The only difference is that the Awakening course is not included in the lunch menu. You can choose from any of the 2 or 3 choices under each course.
All set menu starts with the special palate cleanser which is a refreshing Passion Fruit Sorbet. It's so pretty isn't it? I love how each dish, drink and even the dessert were presented. I love sorbet and I enjoyed the lightly sweet/tangy notes of the passion fruit too.
For the Amuse-Bouche, the chef has specially created an interesting masterpiece. It's a trio consisting of Sesame Yogurt, Carrot Konnyaku and Pistachio Charcoal Bread with Vanilla Cream. Being the girl with OCD, I just had to eat this in proper order from left to right. I tried the sesame yogurt first and wasn't quite sure what flavor to look out for. It was just a tiny drop and all I tasted was cream. Hmm nothing to go wild about. Next was the Carrot Konnyaku, for a moment there I thought that was smoked salmon. It sure looked like it too. Well, what do you know, the jelly-texture of the konnyaku made it feel like I was having smoked salmon and it was gooood. This was the first time that I had carrot and I liked it. Lastly, the Pistachio Charcoal Bread was amazing! I enjoyed spreading the vanilla cream on top which tasted like butter. It was warm, soft and delicious. I enjoyed 2 out of 3, not bad at all!
For the Prelude, I chose the Mushroom Gratin. The presentation blew me away! Each button mushroom was placed inside a hole similar to an escargot and it was covered with cheese! This was heavenly good and I highly recommend this.
Up next was the Awakening. I went for the Cubes of Duo Watermelon which was an interesting way of presenting a watermelon and feta salad. Don't this dish reminds you of a Rubik's Cube? I followed J's tip which is to combine a slice of watermelon, feta and mint gelee in every bite. It was refreshing.
For the Elixir, I chose the Clear Tomato Broth with Garbanzo, normally I would shy away from tomato-based soup but reading the full description made this soup more enticing than the Snow Pear and Napa Cabbage Consomme. "Tomato and Chickpea with orzo pasta and spinach dumpling". The soup wasn't very acidic and the spinach dumpling was yummy!
Moving on to the main dish -- the Crescendo, I went for the Trio of Spheres which has fresh wild mushroom with truffle oil and onion in puff pastry, butternut pumpkin risotto ball with curry mayonnaise and crispy duo of mozzarella arrancini. It took me a while to eat this as I really wanted to get a good shot. So when I took a bite of the Mozzarella Arranci, the cheese has hardened inside. Boo! :( However, the Fresh Wild Mushroom with Onions in Puff Pastry was delicious! This was what I enjoyed the most among the three. Wish they'd offer this alone as starters, I'm pretty sure it will be a hit!
Peeked at my tablemates order and here's the Wild Rice -- Sauteed wild rice, baby radish, baby carrot and haricot verts. It smelled so good and I guess it was quite filling as my dinner companion barely finished her plate of Wild Rice.
Some tried the Baby Garden Root Vegetables which is perfect for those who really wants pure veggies as mains. Golden Baby Beetroot with baby carrots, root vegetables with truffle mash and horseradish butter garlic sauce. This is definitely not for me as I still want a good variety every time.
Well, what's a good meal without ending it with dessert? We were told that dessert was coming but I wasn't expecting an entire dessert cart to arrive. What a happy sight! Here's fellow blogger Nicole pushing the yummy-looking trolley.
Each diner can choose 4-5 desserts but really, with all these mouthwatering items, it took us a while to make our choice. Finally, I went for the macarons, caramel cake and double chocolate ganache. Yum!
To go with our dessert, the last course was the Potion, a fruity drink served iced or hot depending on your preference. I tried the Mocktail of Love which was served in two test tubes, I guess it's perfect for couple diners on a date but sadly my date was not with me that evening so I had to drink his share too. Mwahaha! It had a good fruit mix of cranberry, orange and pineapple. How I wish though that they'd go easy on the syrup as it was a bit too sweet to be fully enjoyed.
There you go, my 7-course meatless dinner at Joie! I can't believe that I went home feeling so stuffed yet happy because I had an all-veggie meal. This is definitely an interesting date venue place or those who would like to have an intimate dinner party. The restaurant can sit a total of 90 diners with 6 private rooms which you can reserve for at no extra cost!
When dining at Joie you can order from the a la carte menu or get the set menu instead. I have to admit that the dishes are rather pricey so getting the 7-course dinner set (S$68.80++) made much more sense. The common misconception when having a meatless or vegetarian meal is that you won't really feel full. Well, I have to save that I felt like I was about to burst after the 5th course and I couldn't believe that we still had two more courses to go.
Noticed the gold painting on the plate? Did you know that the chef made use of edible paint and he personally would paint these designs himself. We were told that no two plates are alike so you truly will enjoy this very personalized service at Joie.
Visit Joie by Dozo at 181 Orchard Road, 12-01 Orchard Central. Call them at 6838-6966.