Jones the Grocer, Mandarin Gallery

We were at Mandarin Gallery checking out a couple of their lifestyle shops when we passed by Jones the Grocer. It was just about dinnertime, the restaurant was sparse, and since we had a pretty decent pasta and risotto at their ION Orchard outfit, we thought we'd have a quickie dinner here before heading on home.

We later understood why the restaurant was barely occupied. The sputtering kitchen service was cranking out dishes like an old beat-up jeep. About 20 minutes after our orders were taken, we saw an earlier table of 3 receive their soups. Half an hour in, after I saw the said earlier table get served their mains, I enquired the wait staff if the exceedingly sluggish kitchen was due to an unexpected shortage of kitchen staff (like a flu epidemic broke out or something), just so I know to discount this slow service as a one-off, but it wasn't.

So, there was no good explanation for the ridiculously slow service. But what's worse was that I was given the laughably filmsy reason that the kitchen seemed slow because they "make everything from scratch". I didn't appreciate being fed such a transparent excuse. it would have been much better if they'd just straight out admitted that "yes, our kitchen is slow, we're sorry for the long wait, and we will endeavour to try harder". 

The 40-minute-long wait was exacerbated by the awful food; both our pasta and risotto were unforgivably under-salted and sickeningly rich.

The Asparagus and Taleggio Risotto ($21), barely perfumed with black truffle oil despite the menu's affirmation, was grossly under-salted. It would have helped if the taleggio cheese was evenly stirred throughout the risotto, but it was unceremoniously clumped into a far corner on its own.

The cloyingly one-dimensional Forest Mushroom Linguine ($28), with grana padano, pangrattato and earthy herbs, placed an overwhelmingly and overpowering emphasis on cream.This tasted like a heavy cream bombshell. Not even the generous load of assorted mushrooms could elevate this.

Jones the Grocer
333A Orchard Road
Mandarin Gallery #04-21
Tel: 68366372
Open daily from 9am to 11pm


Anonymous said...

Oh no!! I think you went to this branch on a bad evening. I went during the weekend and they "cranked" out their food quite quickly and efficiently. Their huge pancakes were yummy. Do try! -Yiyang

Bern said...

hmm, i may give them a second chance, in the far future, AND IF there's nothing else at Mandarin Gallery to try...heh. Thanks though for the tip! :)

Anonymous said...

Try ma maison in mandarin gallery!! Tonkatsu goodness with free flow cabbage and (multi grain!) rice. Right next to antoinette :) xx onde2

Bern said...

errr...I have to confess that I was JUST at Antoinette and didn't even realise there was another restaurant next to it!

we're eating our way through mandarin gallery, so ma maison is gg on our to-eat list...is ma maison like a fusion jap-French place??

Anonymous said...

Mm the ma maison at millenia is jap-french, this one at mandarin gallery is called tonkatsu by ma maison so its a deep-fried only menu (pork cutlet, shrimp, menchi patties and the like). Noms. And then along that row after ma maison ..theres hashida!! Good for a splurge and on the same wave length as shinji X onde

Anonymous said...

Ma Maison is a Tonkatsu Jap restaurant. Fat satisfying pieces of breaded pork, and some seafood. Yeh that is definitely more worth going than Jones. haha -Yiyang

Bern said...

ahh, okie! will eat my way through those places too! thanks u both!

andmorefood said...

I've had them at dempsey and at ion, and neither experience was great! pretty expensive going too..

Bern said...

haven't been at the dempsey one, but because of this really lousy experience at mandarin, will give the dempsey one a miss!

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