Aptly described as a "sanctuary above the bustle of the busy Orchard shopping district", Joie (pronounced 'joy') by Dozo offers a fine dining experience that promises to satisfy not only the stomach, but also the eyes. Look at the picture below.
What do you think abou the presentation of the vegetarian sashimi? Yes, that's right, the restaurant specialises in contemporary meatless Japanese-European dishes. I'm not a vegetarian for sure, much less a vegan, but I do enjoy meatless dishes, especially those that use fresh and crisp ingredients. The price for the 7-Course Dinner is S$68.80 per person.
Pasta Sticks FOC
A handful of fried pasta sticks was initially served as I was taking my time to look through the interesting menu. They were enjoyably crispy and well-seasoned as a pre-dinner snack.
Chilled Passion Fruit Juice FOC
A shooter glass filled with non-alcoholic apéritif was served to each customer. The ice-cold passion fruit juice was refreshing and hit all the right spots.
Chef's Selection of Assorted Platter (Set Menu)
Presented on the table was a trio of appetisers: rice crackers with wasabi mayonnaise, pickled carrot slice and raspberry sphere. The first item on the list was truly crispy and aromatic, while the carrot slice in the middle was fresh and tasted almost like salmon sashimi. A work of molecular gastronomy, the crimson sphere burst in my mouth to release its delectably sweet and sour berry goodness.
Matsutake Cake (Set Menu)
I'd expected the Japanese mushroom cake to be savoury, but it turned out to be a sweet variant. Infused with rosemary gel and decorated with enoki mushrooms and pistachio crumbs, the cake was mildly sweet. I actually ate it without the accompanying vanilla sauce that'd otherwise mask its fragrance.
Vegetable Sashimi on Ice with Quail Egg Shooter Glass (Set Menu)
For the cold dish, I chose the huge plate of vegetable sashimi that was certainly a feast for the eyes. As mentioned previously, I truly enjoyed the springy carrot slices, the doppleganger of salmon sashimi, mixed with konjac for the texture. The other two kinds were equally fresh. To replace the usual slurp-worthy fresh oyster on ice, quail egg was served. It worked for sure.
Pumpkin Velouté (Set Menu)
Velouté is a type of soup that's traditionally thickened with egg yolk, butter and cream, although the term is now used loosely to refer to that thickened with butter and/or cream. I believe the pumpkin soup served at the restaurant was mixed with the two ingredients, sans egg yolk, resulting in a sweet and creamy concoction. I'd definitely to have more of the tomato bread.
Grilled Bai-Ling Steak on 'Pu-Ye' Hot Stone (Set Menu)
I finally reached the last savoury course of my choice for the evening: grilled dry-rubbed bai-ling mushroom that's commonly labelled as the 'prince of edible mushrooms'. Served atop a slab of hot granite layered with a leaf, the white mushroom was so juicy and tender that made me keep drooling for more. The accompanying black pepper sauce was just a tad too watery for my liking though.
Warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream (Set Menu)
One may say, "What a petite-sized chocolate lava cake!" Nevertheless, it packed a punch with its runny chocolate filling that was delightfully rich, going well with the equally small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oops, I didn't manage to take a picture of the filling after cutting the cake open.
Iced Fruity Refresher (Set Menu)
The dinner ended on a refreshing note with the outlandishly coloured drink. The chilled infusion of various fruits and pink rose hips was certainly pleasant to the tongue without being overly sweet, effectively washing all the previous sweet and savoury offerings down the throat.
Thank you, Mr. Huang Yen Kun - the owner of the restaurant - for such an eclectic range of innovative vegetarian dishes. Pika's advice: You may want to consider the 6-Course Lunch, which is a steal at S$38.80 per person.
Joie by Dozo
181 Orchard Road
#12-01 Orchard Central
(Daily: 12 noon - 3.00pm, 6.00pm - 10.00pm)
*Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.
Have a nice meal,