Jewel Cafe & Bar

It’s been awhile since I last went for a food tasting session, and boy, I’d forgotten how generous these restaurant owners can be :) Not that I’m complaining though. I’m perfectly happy to stretch my stomach in occasions like these to stuff myself with any food that is placed in front of me. I often surprise people with the amount of food I can ingest if I’m in the mood to do so, and tastings are usually the time where I just EAT, no holds barred. Anyways, big thanks to Wan Swen from Cafehoppingsg for inviting me along this time! (: 
The owner of Jewel Cafe, Adrian, was too kind, really! He had a menu planned for us, with a total of 3 appetisers, 4 mains and 3 desserts :O For three people. We were literally exploding by the end of it. Let’s get on with the food, shall we? 

First up was the French Onion Soup ($8). It came topped with a crust of three cheeses – Swiss Cheese, Parmesan and Emmental – which I absolutely loved. I was evidently in the mood for cheese that night, and there were several dishes that were in place to satisfy my craving. The soup was a beef broth that was filled with a generous serving of croutons, which was flavourful, but perhaps not onion-y enough. 

Next two dishes were salads that impressed me thoroughly. Being a salad girl, I’m always looking for ways to spruce up my homemade salads. Not that I would typically put parma ham into my salad, but that’s why I would have it in a cafe, I suppose ;) The Butter Poached Asparagus ($14) was one of the tastiest salads I’ve ever eaten. It had a base of asparagus and mesclun that was piled with a good portion of parma ham. The asparagus, having been poached in butter was tasty on its own, unlike its usual raw flavour, though that would be a healthier option. This was drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette, and I do mean drizzled…because I felt that the sauce was too little. Apparently Adrian got feedback previously that there was too much sauce though, which could be why the amount was reduced. Unfortunately for me, I like my salads DRENCHED in vinegar hahaha.

The Red Mullet ($15) was a mesclun salad topped with fresh mullet fillets, which was a really interesting dish! I hesitate preparing salads with fish because I wonder whether it would give my salads a fishy flavour. This dish proved me wrong though, as it was well executed! The mullet fillets were lightly grilled, I believe, and paired with an egg vinaigrette dressing. I liked how the chef incorporated oranges into the dish (really sweet ones too!) with a tanginess that helped to liven up the fish.

And that was just the appetisers. Whoa. I was probably 30% full by then? Still going strong haha, but wait till the mains came. First up were the tacos – Fish Taco with Sour Cream and Beef Taco. I’ve been a fan of spaghetti bolognese since I was a kid, and I’m someone who can never resist a hearty beef bolognese, especially when it comes with some gooey cheese on top. The beef tacos hit the spot with me easily, and I polished it off promptly. What came as a surprise was how tasty the fish tacos were!!! I was quite sceptical about it because the combination sounded a tad strange to me. But this dish was executed fabulously and is something that I would return for, because of how uniquely awesome it is. The golden fried fish was light and fluffy, dressed with sour cream and given a zing with a squeeze of lemon juice and jalepeno shallots. LOVED the jalepeno – it immediately took away any heaviness of the dish, and was the perfect match to the crunchy tacos.

Following that, we had the dish that tipped the scales towards the point of fullness. The Foie Gras Mushrooms Medley Risotto ($23) sounds unimaginably filling, simply by looking at its name. It’s creamy, it’s sinful, it’s for someone who wants a huge, heavy meal. I thoroughly enjoyed it in a tasting portion, but I wouldn’t be able to get past a quarter of that dish by myself. Fresh mushrooms blended to a smooth puree, in which the risotto was cooked to a lovely creaminess. It was thick and gooey, and came with a slab of pan seared foie gras to increase the level of decadence.

The OMG! ($21) is a whopping burger that has graced many instagram feeds due to its appearance. Taste wise, I found it lacking, though guys would probably enjoy guzzling the meat. Bacon, luncheon meat and a beef patty, with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and a beautiful sunny side up on top. I felt the beef patty was a tad dry and didn’t have much flavour to it, but it could have been to balance the other processed meats, otherwise the dish would be too salty. Overall, I found it average though. The fries that came with it, on the other hand, were one of the best fries I’ve eaten!!! According to Adrian, these fries are one of the best available, and they didn’t disappoint! Crisp on the outside thanks to a sprinkling of potato powder, and delectably fluffy inside – and this incredible texture was sustained even after they’d turned cold after half an hour!

It’s ironic that I found I liked the cafe’s crowd favourites the least. The Chilli Crab Pasta ($20) was an interesting twist on our local dish, with linguine tossed in a homemade spicy chilli crab sauce. Adrian placed a strong emphasis on having ginger in the sauce, as this is apparently a key ingredient in chilli crab. I found the ginger too overwhelming though, such that it took away the “chilli” in the chilli crab, flavour-wise, despite the fact that it was really spicy. I liked the crispy mantou that came with it though! But sadly the sauce wasn’t something that I wanted to mop up.

Pardon the really long write-up :P But when the time came for desserts, I was already 99% full!!!! OMG. I couldn’t resist though. I’m so greedy like that. Jewel’s Homemade Apple Crumble ($12) is one of the best I’ve ever tasted! And I’ve got to caution you on the portions of the desserts, because they are almost the size of a main course :O Save a large space in your stomach for it if you’re interested. You have been warned….Haha. And you should! Because it was really great. The cafe does a deconstructed version of apple crumble, with crumbles and piping hot caramelised apples mixed together as a base, and topped with a massive scoop of New Zealand premium vanilla ice cream. The pairing is impeccable, and the flavours came together beautifully.

I can’t comment much on the Orange Chocolate Creme Brûlée ($10) because I’m not a fan of it. But it was a nice idea having the orange within it to balance out the heaviness of the cream. Would have been even better if the flavour of the orange was infused into the dessert, rather than just having orange slices though. Also, the texture of the cream was rather watery, which is a kink they are still trying to work out.

And finally, the most indulgent dessert was the Chocolate Brownie ($12), which was so super duper moist it was almost unbelievable!!!! Not sure whether I’m allowed to share the secret here, but you just wouldn’t want to know the amount of sugar that went into that. I didn’t even dare to think :P It was so rich, and incredibly tasty, and again, loved the combination with the vanilla ice cream.

I was full to bursting at the end of the meal! But it was satisfying, and such great fun (: Check out cafehoppingsg for a second opinion if you’re interested ^^

Jewel Cafe & Bar
129 Rangoon Road
Tel.: +65 6298 9216
Tue-Thu & Sun 9am-10pm
Fri-Sat 9am-11pm

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