We first visited Jones the Grocer a few months back but as it was after our dinner, we had a walk about the store just to see the range of products that they had.
We loved what we saw, so bf and I went to Jones the Grocer on 16 Apr 2008 to have dinner. Now, my 1st gripe of the evening started. Not so much their fault I guess since they do not know if I’m a grocery shopper or diner. But the waiters at the front door could at least be friendlier. I had to approach them to ask for a table for 2 and they just told me that it was free-seating. It being a Wednesday evening, there wasn’t much of a crowd, so we managed to get a nice table to ourselves.
Then my 2nd gripe began. The menu was not as extensive as we expected it to be. Given its wide range of pastas, sauces, herbs and all, we expected the menu to be wow! Instead, they had about only 8 main dishes on the menu, out of which 2 were pastas. And mind you, Jones the Grocer does not handle special requests. For example, we wanted aglio olio (something which we thought would have been easily done since they had all the raw ingredients there) but the answer was “sorry, we can’t do that for you. There are only 2 pasta dishes on the menu.” Then I didn’t want peas on my pork sausages and the answer was again “sorry ma’am, we can’t separate the peas.” Geez!
In the end, we finally settled on our order and we had pork sauages with mashed potato, peas and onions in caramelized gravy (S$21.50), tapas stilton blue cheese & tea soaked figs (S$9.50), tapas baked mushrooms with rocket salad (S$7.00), tiramisu (S$8.50), 1 glass of Pegasus Finale (S$12.00) and 1 bottle of Little Creatures Rogers beer (S$10.00).
Don’t ever order the pork sausages unless you like boiled pork sauages which has a strong taste of pig liver and an unnatural sourish taste (something like spoilt food) in it. It would have probably tasted better if it’s sliced and then char-grilled with stronger sauce to mask the liver taste. Definitely a please do not ever try!
The tapas stilton blue cheese & tea soaked figs was a much better choice. It was my first time tasting blue cheese and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. The cheese was saltish and you can actually taste a hint of a flavour that’s something like yeast. Very smooth and creamy and the cheese taste isn’t that overpowering. BUT the cheese didn’t go too well with the biscuits we were served (can’t remember which type of biscuits it was). Could have done better with crispbread instead. It was also my first time tasting tea soaked figs – you can’t taste the tea in the figs but what you get are soft figs. Still, this dish is definitely much better than the pork sauages.
The tapas baked portebello mushrooms with rocket salad was another disappointment. I don’t think the mushrooms were baked but boiled. They even boiled the rocket salad which really spoilt the taste. Am not too sure what type of cheese they put on top of the mushrooms but it was certainly bland and did nothing much to enhance the flavour of this dish. The only thing I loved about this dish was that you could smell the portebello mushrooms as the dish was being served.
The tiramisu was again another disappointment. We were served tiramisu cake not the tiramisu dessert. Too much cream and too little rum in this cake made it a huge disappointment. I was so looking forward to having a good tiramisu dessert.
The glass of Pegasus Bay Finale was a delight for me. I love dessert wines and this one didn’t disappoint me. This wine came from New Zealand and it has a golden hue with hints of dried apricots, peaches, honey, scorched almonds and an aroma of beeswax. Overall, a sweet and rich wine.
The bottle of Little Creatures: Rogers beer is a smooth drinking amber ale with an interesting mix of malts. An Australian beer with a very strong taste of something like saffron. Very different from the local beers that we’re used.
Service is not attentive at all; we were given a single glass of plain water when we first sat down. No refill of the water glass at all even though the crowd was very sparse. True, we did call the waitress a few times to place different orders but not once, did she top up our water glass. Used cutleries were cleared pretty fast but as we had ordered more dishes, no replacement of the earlier cutleries were given and we had to take them from the seats beside us.
Overall, bad experience at Jones the Grocer. I don’t think I’ll attempt another trip back to eat here, and if you must, I would recommend having a go at the tapas (although it’s a hit or miss) or having the cheese platter (S$19.50). Choose from a list of Australian or New Zealand wines with a sprinkle of French wine. I think we’ll be better off buying the premium raw ingredients from here and then troop off home to cook.