What is in a name such as ‘Joie’? I don’t know French but I gather that ‘joie’ (pronounced “zh wa”) means joy from the fairly common phrase ‘joie de vivre’ which essentially means the joy of living. I’ve heard members of the staff refer to their establishment as ‘joy’ the whole time, so I’m happy to report it’s safe to do so without anyone turning up their noses at you!
Helmed by Chef Sherwin Sim, formerly of Coriander Leaf, Joie serves a 6-course lunch and 7-course dinner, priced at $38.80++ and $68.80++ respectively. There are 4-5 options per course. All dishes are meatless, though not strictly vegan, i.e., eggs and dairy products are used in desserts. All jelly and/or gelling agents used are of plant origin.
A Play on Greek Salad: Cubes of Duo Watermelon
The Mushroom Gratin featured button mushrooms served in an escargot plate. While the intended humour was well-received, it did inadvertently drive up expectations that was unmet by its pleasing but ordinary flavours. However, this was rather well-compensated by the creamy side of sweet Tennessee heirloom potato puree with endive that stole the show for me.
The Matsutake Cake (above) was a pretty sight. Bright flowers tended to have that effect. The sponge cake made from the prized fungus was savoury with a light, kueh-like texture while the rosemary jelly and the vanilla-infused cream provided sweet, contrasting accompaniments.
The Spring Vegetable Terrine (above) was interesting and honestly tasted a little Szechuan to me – a little salty, a little tart with the mushroom and pepper being most pronounced among the vegetable mix.
Tomato broth Broth with Garbanzo
I particularly enjoyed (enjoied?) the Snow Pear and Napa Cabbage Consumme. It was a clear, sweet soup in a tea pot and reminded me of dobinmushi, or the Japanese teapot soup and infused with the fragrance of Chinese almonds that are commonly deployed in TCM to nourish the respiratory system. Very liang!
The Wild Rice (above) turned out to be a pleasant textural surprise consisting of a lot more crunch than the beads of fluff we’ve come to expect in fried rice. And at last, the Trio of Spheres was an easy winner. You can’t go very wrong with fried cheese balls and a jam-packed puff pastry of mushrooms!
Dessert came on a trolley, and was a choice of 5 sweet picks and a beverage from a selection of teas, coffee and mocktails. I got the Iced Fruity Refresher which turned out to be a rather overpoweringly sweet potpourri pot. The raspberry macaron I picked was okay but the chocolates were disappointing – a slight damper to an otherwise pleasant and fun dining experience.
181 Orchard Rd #12-01 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
T: +65 6838 6966
Rating: 3.025/5 stars
Thank you, Hsian Ming, Shauna, and Jeanette, for the invite.