My close friends know my preference of vegetarian food. They will never suggest one to me. But after I have to work out 2 hours in the gym to burn away the steak for lunch, I decided to go light for dinner.
Joie by Dozo is one of those vegan/vegetarian restaurant that has Taiwanese roots. Taiwan has some of the best vegetarian restaurant, not the religious vegetarian but modern vegetarian restaurants like Hoshina Teishoku 穗科食堂 (which makes good Japanese vegetarian food) and King Join 京兆尹 (which specialised in Imperial palace vegetarian).
They have a huge book of wine, but only two pages of food selection. Everything is set menu here, you pick from a selection from seven courses for dinner (six for lunch).
And while we waited for our food, we were given some “bread sticks” to munch. They looked like dried spaghetti and tasted like Pretzel. I would prefer that they gave us proper bread.
Amuse Bouche – Passionfruit Freeze
Strangely the meal started with a sour passionfruit freeze. I wasn’t sure if this was a palate cleanser or an amuse bouche.
Starter – Chef’s Selection of Assorted Platter
From Left to Right :
- Seaweed Cracker with wasabi mayo – very light cracker with drops of sour sour, not so much wasabi.
- Faux Salmon Sashimi (Carrot Terrine) – very “authentic” salmon, I was amazed.
- Raspberry Sphere – Spherification is a modern cuisine technique that involves creating semi-solid spheres with thin membranes out of liquids. As a result of this, a burst-in-the-mouth effect is achieved with the liquid. Imagine a sphere made with raspberry jam.
This faux salmon was made with carrot gelatine and flavoured to taste like salmon sashimi. It was VERY GOOD! We were almost fooled, so did the next table. I have absolutely no idea how did they make it give you that fatty fish oil texture with the gelatine. And that fake white lines just like the real salmon – ingenious.
Baby Root Vegetables Garden
Sous vide baby root vegetables with truffle mash potato
Princess was impressed with the silky smooth mash potato. And when you mixed the baby food soft vegetable with the mash, you get…. baby food.
Charcoal Coated Tempura Platter
Tempura yam, eggplant, apple, banana with Japanese sesame dressing
Tasty, but oily.
Zucchini stuffed with crème cheese, truffle mayo, medallion of puff pastry
OK, the waiter told me it’s their best seller. It did look very pretty on the poster on the way in.
I was instructed to let the tower fall onto the crush ingredients. It was basically softened zucchini filled with mascarpone cream.
Mascarpone and Watermelon Tataki with Chips Three Ways
Mascarpone and mozzarella cheese salad, chips of corn, spinach, purple potato, balsamic and olive oil caviar
Princess loved the compressed watermelons. Very large plate, nothing much on it.
Infusion of Cepes and Truffle
Cepes mushroom with white winter truffle oil and black truffles
Mushroom soup, but need to be smoother and thicker. I guess the lack of cream made this missing the texture for a good mushroom soup.
Japanese Konbu Broth with Hand Carved Tofu
Double-boiled Japanese seaweed consommé with hand-carved tofu
Think a very strong dashi with a piece of tofu, you are not far off in the taste profile.
I have tried similar soup in Yangzhou and that was really cut by hand.
Risotto with black truffle, cepes and edamame, topped with mascarpone cream and Japanese croquette
The risotto was mushy and tasted like porridge.
Duo Ravioli Platter
Duo of pumpkin and spinach ravioli, flower emulsion, sauce of cashew nuts
The pumpkin and spinach were part of the ravioli skin, not much in the filling.
The chocolate was similar to raw chocolate from Royce, but could be smoother. It tasted rather chalky.
Red Wine Poach Pear with Lime Sorbet
The poached pear had a bitter taste of over-boiled red wine. And the sorbet was totally frozen like ice which was a sign that it was prepped and refrozen.
House mocktail of lychee and blueberry
The overall experience is like Sufood, but Joie has much better environment and service. The bright spot for the evening was the enthusiasm of the staff and their knowledge of the food served. However, the food is better at Sufood, which was less pretentious and heartier. I was still hungry after the meal here, and most of the courses were pretty but unforgettable and not delicious.
Joie by Dozo
181 Orchard Road #12-01 Orchard Central
Tel : 6838 6966
Date Visited : Mar 2021