Monday, March 3, 2014

Restaurant review: Medzs@Orchard Central, Singapore

During the first week of Feb, it was time to celebrate a close friend's birthday so me and seven other friends (including the birthday girl), began discussing the venue for our next gathering. We girls have this never-ending list of restaurants to visit on our so-called bucket list so each time it is time to go out, we just pick one among them. At this point in time, we have our gluttonous escapades worked out until May! We settled on Medzs, a restaurant that one of the girls recommended. Being the only non-local in my group of friends (and also the only Indian), I get wind of good restaurants in Singapore from them which, left to my own devices, I would probably not be aware of....lucky me!

Medzs is a Mediterranean restaurant that showcases gourmet delights of seven international cuisines namely Spanish, Moroccan, Tunisian, French, Turkish, Greek and Italian. There are two outlets of this restaurant in Singapore, one at Orchard Central and the other one at Millenia Walk. We chose the outlet at Orchard Central and I proceeded to make a reservation for a table of eight on a weekday evening which was handled efficiently by the restaurant staff.

The restaurant has a very Mediterranean aesthetic to it which is apparent right from the entrance. There are crisp white walls interspersed with hues of the sea inspired from Greece such as deep blues and vibrant aquas with pops of red stemming from a Spanish and Moroccan influence. Other elements of the decor that catch your eye are the wrought iron accents, stone walls, patterned tiles, framed mirrors, wood elements and arabian lanterns. The restaurant is seemingly regular-sized from the outside but as you keep walking in, it just stretches to reveal cavernous depths. The layout of the restaurant is clever with designated seating areas distributed around the food stations in a way that it feels spacious and private.

The furniture has an eclectic mix of pieces that complement the wall colors to make the space look fun and interesting. I loved the perky walls, unusual ceiling and the fact that none of the chairs matched!

You see these beautiful arabian lanterns suspended from the walls almost throughout the restaurant. They instantly make the space seem exotic and for a second you forget that you are in Singapore. 

This was a charming wall adored by mirrors of different sizes, shapes and frames which I wanted to use as a backdrop to take a group pic but never got around to doing. Too bad that it was partially obscured by a passageway to the restrooms.

We started our dinner with a drink and the choice of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic was quite mind boggling. There were over a hundred labels of international and craft beers. Those who enjoy their alcohol will probably go quite mad (as I saw happen to a couple of my pals)!

Situated diagonally opposite to the array of alcoholic drinks was the drinks station which featured some interesting kinds of juices in addition to hot beverages

We walked past each station (twice) unhurriedly taking in all the items that were on offer. The advantage of a multi-cuisine restaurant is that there is always something for everybody. But that being said, you wouldn't know which cuisine the restaurant specializes in so it ends up being a bit of a gamble. But by the end of our tour, each one of us had a favourite station that we knew we would go to first. After getting refreshed with a beverage, each girl made a beeline for her station of choice!

The dining concept is similar to that of Marché which also adopts a cashless system. The patrons are given a billing card each which they are to present at each individual station to charge their orders to. Another advantage of this system lies in the fact that they can do away with restaurant staff tending tables as everything is self-service. I am personally a huge fan of this concept as I get all the time in the world to wander around the restaurant, order food at my own pace and most importantly, not have anyone hovering over me when I'm seated at my table engaged in conversation.

After we placed our orders, each station handed us these gizmos which are apparently called restaurant pagers (yes I've seen them before....I'm not totally clueless :P). When the dish was ready the pages started to light up and vibrate. I found the use of these gadgets quite useful as it eliminates the need to hang around the stations and longingly wait for the food. Instead you could saunter around for a bit more or get back to your table and chill, couldn't you?  

Here are some pictures of the individual stations out of the eight...

The Med Garden station offered salads, soups, sandwiches and the potato rosti. I had my eye on the wild mushroom soup and potato rosti almost as soon as I passed by the station after entering the restaurant. Vegetarians and those who love their veggies, have more options at this station when compared to the other meat-centric ones. 

Potato rosti with sour cream ($5.90)

The Turkey station primarily had an array of kebabs but also sandwiches and an assortment of dips.

Chicken shish kebab ($14.90)

The Greece/Italy station had a few crowd pleasers. There was some seafood and there was also a selection of pizzas and pastas. I also saw that there were calzones available which we initially thought of ordering but dropped that idea later on. The pizzas were thin crust and looked very appetizing. There was a good mix up of vegetarian and meat-based pizzas and pastas. 

Chicken sausage pizza ($14.90)

The Morocco/Tunisia station looked the most interesting. The main two dishes that were on display were Paella and Tajine. I had never sampled either of those dishes so I was most curious. A couple of my friends ordered different varieties of Paella but I thought it looked a bit dry so I turned my attention towards the Tajine. Tajine is named after the type of earthenware pot in which it is cooked. There were several options to choose from starting with vegetable, chicken, lamb and seafood. The Tajine is served with couscous topped with caramelized onions. 

Tajine ($15.90)

Chicken paella 15.90

The France station was heavily meat-based with fancy sounding names. Most of my meat-loving friends ordered from this station.

Pork Roulade ($17.90)

Duck Confit ($17.90)

Smoked Duck Breast ($17.90)

Pork Ribs ($17.90)

The dessert station is tantalizingly located at the entrance of the restaurant which is a smart move because patrons make sure that they save room for dessert as they glimpse the glorious treats that are on display! 

Trio of desserts ($16.90)
There was an offer where we could pick any 3 cakes for a price of $16.90. Even though all of us resolutely declared that we were too full for dessert, 20 mins later, we were wolfing down this plate you see here in the picture. Here you see a banana chocolate cake, red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and rainbow cake.

My closing remarks are that Medzs is a great place to hang out with friends, colleagues or family. The restaurant at Orchard Central is huge so it doesn't feel crowded. There is an impressive range of international dishes available and you will be spoilt for choices. Make sure that you save space for dessert simply because of the staggering variety to choose from. The food is passable (nothing to rave about) and improvements could be made in that area. For example, even though the potato rosti tasted good, it was floating in a pool of oil which was off putting. Towards the end of the evening, I gathered that the dishes from the Turkish and Italian stations were the most popular and the French station, the least popular. But that being said, it is the wonderful ambience that is the highlight of the dining experience. I had a fabulous time with my friends and I will definitely go again. The individual stations and We found the price to be surprisingly affordable with each of us having to shell out S$32 for the meal. You could consider an average price range of S$28 to 40 per person but then again, the bill obviously depends on how much you eat and drink so it could go higher. The staff who was in-charge of settling the bill for us was particularly polite and pleasant as were most of the others who interacted with us through the course of the evening.

I rate this restaurant 3.5 out of 5 stars

Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, #B2-01
Singapore 238896
6238 9028

Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-46
Singapore 039596
6337 7507



Please note: This is not a sponsored review


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