Saturday, May 11, 2013

Restaurant review: Dean & Deluca, Singapore

Dean & Deluca is a gourmet food outlet that was first established in NYC and has now made a grand entrance at Orchard Central in Singapore. Not having heard of the brand before, I was unaware of the hoo-hah that it created when the flagship store opened last year. By the time I went to check it out with a group of colleagues, the initially hype had died down. I guess that worked out well for me and my companions because the outlet wasn't crowded and we had plenty of time, not to mention peace and quiet to enjoy a wonderful evening. 

My first impressions were good. I loved the airy, spacious and modern feel of the space. The outlet is divided into different sections which only adds to the cavernous feel. Dean & Deluca is paradise for food connoisseurs with an impressive selection of quality produce and ingredients. On their website, they advertise their premium meat products, speciality herbs & fruits, salad bowl concept, artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and a large collection of California wines. Plus it also has a deli offering soups, salads, sandwiches, quiches, pies and a small cafe. Before beginning to inspect what the store had to offer, we took a look at the menu options. 

You can mix & match to create your own main course with a wide selection of pastries, salads and sides.

There is also a wide selection of bread, rolls, cakes and pastries which are known to be quite popular.

After placing the order, me and a fellow gastronomic enthusiast went off to explore their products. I actually felt like a kid in a candy store! Some items that interested me very much were the wide selection of honey (they even had packaged honey combs!), fruit conserves, spreads and chutneys, pasta sauces, herbs and spices. We also checked out the coffee, tea, cheese, maple syrup, olive oil, granola and black truffles. There are of course many many more products to check out but that depends on what you are interested in. If you want to examine each and every rack and shelf, it could take you a while! 

I wanted to share this picture in particular. This vegetable was something I had never seen before and initially I thought it was some strange variety of bell pepper! I learned that the Coeur de Boeuf is an excellent stuffing tomato. A delicious, flavorsome Coeur de Boeuf is the ideal partner for mozzarella and other soft cheeses. These unique and beautiful tomatoes are a perfect culinary addition.

Ok so inspection completed, we got back to our table to check the status of our orders. Here is a sneak peek.

Green juice

Orange and Carrot juice

Mango Calypso Iced Tea

Dirty Chai Latte

Marble Chocolate Shake

The drinks in general are slightly over priced and some of them may require additional sweetness. I had the Dirty Chai Latte which was good but I found the sweetness a tad underwhelming. My favorite drink among them all was the Marble Chocolate Shake. 

Tomato Mozzarella Salad
One of the many salads that immediately caught my eye was the Tomato Mozzarella salad. I love the combination of tangy tomatoes, soft and creamy mozzarella cheese and fragrant basil. The salad was drizzled with balsamic vinegar. We ordered a half portion (which was quite large in itself) and shared it. It was good though I wish it had more basil in it.   

We ordered a range of main courses with the intention of sharing rather than one dish per person so each plate of food went round the table as a bunch of 8 hungry girls eagerly armed themselves with forks and knives :) I didn't sample all the dishes because of my dietary preferences so I've commented only on the ones that I did. 

Sautéed Brioche French Toast
Two one inch thick slices of french brioche served with ‘salted’ caramelized bananas, fresh berries and vanilla ice cream. It was sweet, buttery and delicious but extremely filling. None of us were able to finish it completely in the end!

American Country Breakfast
This popular item included eggs, bacon, hash brown, sautéed portobello mushrooms, pork sausage, roasted vine ripened cherry tomatoes and toasted farmhouse multi-grain bread. This dish is served all day, so its a good option for those who like to have breakfast for dinner! Note that they also have other selections from their All-Day Breakfast menu. 

The Belgian Stack
Homemade waffles layered with fresh berries, red currant, vanilla crème anglais, organic maple syrup and raspberry coulis. I swooned when I saw this one. An absolute delight for the sweet-toothed! The only comment we had was that the waffle could have been a bit more crisper. 

Coriander Pesto Linguini
This was the Pasta of the Week selection. Linguini pasta tossed in a creamy coriander pesto. Delicious and very subtle. The portion looked small but in the end, it was still quite satisfying.

Portobello Cheeseburger
A giant serving of burger and fries!

The cafe seats about 50 people and I understand that they do not accept reservations. The main courses are priced between S$13-22, and you can expect to shell out about S$20-35 per person which may not seem all that reasonable for a cafe. All food items have to be paid at the counter first and then the waitress will bring the orders to the table. The selection, quality and portion size of food is good. The service is alright. We had to wait a while for the brioche french toast and some orders from other tables were mistakenly brought to ours but it was no big deal. The lady who took our orders at the counter was very polite and friendly. I would recommend this cafe as a good place for friends or couples. 

My closing statements about this place is that it is a must visit if you are are a foodie, love cooking and/or love fresh produce and exotic ingredients. 

My rating for the cafe is 3 out of 5 stars

Dean & DeLuca Singapore 
181 Orchard Road
#04-23/24 Orchard Central, 
 Singapore 238896 
Phone: +65 6509-7708 

Operating Hours: Daily 11 am to 10 pm

Note: This is not a sponsored review. The comments and opinions in this post are solely my own.

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