Monday, December 3, 2007

jones the grocer @ Dempsey Hill

The Saturday morning was glorious. But I was tensed. It’s not easy juggling between work, study and social life, especially when you have only 24 hours a day. Exams are here again. It’s the time when you can’t differentiate between breakfast & supper or ramen & la mian. The stubble becomes so dense that you’ll think it’s part of the goatee. Ok, maybe I am being a little too dramatic, but I really need a relief. At least for a few hours.

And I know where I can find it. Dempsey Hill. I have heard and read so much about this place but have never once paid a visit. Perhaps the restaurants didn’t interest me. Perhaps the hype was just overwhelming. But when jones the grocer was featured twice (consecutively in the October and November issues) in the Food And Travel Magazine, I found myself THE reason. What attracted me was the array of quality premium products sold at jones, as described in the magazine. Besides, this Australian chain (which started in Woollahra) is also well-known for its fromagerie or cheese room. And with a sit-in dining hall to boost, I can’t find a reason not to be there. Well, at least once.

When I reached jones at 10.45 am, there was already a streamline of customers, mostly expatriates. Since it’s canteen-style dining, you can just grab an empty seat and you are ready to order. It’ll be problematic if you are going in a huge group, but I was conveniently alone that morning. Most patrons chose to dine al-fresco, hence the long wait outside jones. Empty seats were still available inside. Great.

As you are seated, the ever-alert waiters/waitresses will present you with the menu. The breakfast menu was quite limited and rather simple. I had myself the most expensive breakfast dish there was; the Open Bagel With Woodbridge Smoked Salmon, Avocado, Rockets and Goat Cheese (S$13.50). The rather gluttonous me also had the side of grilled bacon (S$3). As for drinks, the friendly waiter recommended jones’ Mango Tea (S$4.50).

The tea set was huge, complete with a strainer. A sip of the tea revealed a mild scent of mango. Rather refreshing, that was.

The bagel arrived looking rather appetizing (thanks to the great contrasting colours of the salmon and rockets). The portion was generous too. The warm bagel was surprisingly soft. The smoked salmon was soft as well (almost melting texture) and fresh. Savouriness was well-controlled too. Well, Woodbridge is afterall a well-known brand. Nice. A dash of freshly ground black pepper added an aromatic touch to the salmon. The rockets were fresh and went well with the goat cheese. The bland avocado provided a creamy texture to the bagel ensemble. A dish that burst with flavours and freshness. I really enjoyed it. The grilled bacon, on the other hand, didn’t disappoint as well. It was not too savoury nor tough, with a touch of crisp to boost. I should also mention that jones uses in-house ingredients for most of their dishes. So, quality is assured.

A browse through the store revealed a multitude of interesting gourmet products including Persian Fairy Floss, filo pastry cups, assorted jams, sauces, juices, Christmas cookies & sweets and the list goes on. The fromagerie, which I have yet explored, was a temperature-controlled room by itself and was stocked with a wide range of cheese.

jones also offers lunch and dinner menus. Looks like this will not be my last visit. Well, it’s back to the books for now.

jones the grocer
Blk 9, Dempsey Road
#01-12, Dempsey Hill
Singapore 247697
Tel: +65-6476 1512


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

just my kind of breakfast alone with newspaper to chill out..

Precious Pea said...

Lovely breakfast! Really makes a difference to your day hor?

Big Boys Oven said...

I love bagels, my experience with bagels when I was in New York. Bagel with cream cheese and smoke salmon....gosh so lovely!

Nic (KHKL) said...

Joe - sigh...if only i can do that everyday...that would be very nice indeed...

precious pea - yupe, it really does...can still remember the taste of the bagel+salmon...hehe

big boys oven - oh, yes! especially when the bagel's hot and soft :>

Jackson said...

wow.... it's been a long time since i enjoy this kind of breakfast...lucky you!

yammylicious said...

lovely bagels!!.. the econ and salmon look great! yammm~

wenching & esiong said...

Looks like a nice place to dine in. Yeah, I understand your feelings, 24 hours a day is just not enough, that's y we have to manage it well. Cheer up! Hope you'll feel better soon! :)

Jason said...

Ah, after the great breakfast, all the best in your exam!

ling239 said...

the salmon and bacon look so good... ^_^

Nic (KHKL) said...

jackson - yeah, it was lovely...would be perfect if exam was over...haha!

yammylicious - yeah, i love the soft and warm bagels...nice!

wenching & esiong - thanks for the moral support! i will do my best :>

jason - yalor, no pain no gain...thanks for the support! :>

ling239 - i like the salmon! the colour was nice...and it tasted good too!

Camemberu said...

Scrumptious-looking set! I'd eat this breakfast for lunch, dinner, tea or supper too! Such a treat.

Nic (KHKL) said...

Camemberu - yupe, it does taste pay a visit a let me know what you think, ya!