Taking over the spot formerly occupied by now-defunct Saint Pierre Market (some might find the mention of Marmalade Toast more familiar) is Grand Jete Cafe & Bar, which is situated at the opposite end from the taxi stand at Ngee Ann City.
Grand Jete Cafe & Bar is a Japanese cafe, serving up Japanese-Western fusion comfort food such as sandwiches, soups, salads, pasta and rice dishes alongside a small variety of sweet treats; one of which is the Grand Jete Apple Pie which is their signature pastry that is advertised prominently through standees and poster within the cafe. It is particularly noted that Grand Jete Cafe & Bar serves food using fresh produce imported from Japan for their food. Unlike many cafes, these days that adopted a minimalist design, Grand Jete Cafe & Bar’s design is warm and welcoming; the design somehow reminds us of hotel lounges with its soothing orange walls, quaint table lamps, wood furnishings and even an area with couch seating for patrons to slowly enjoy their meals here in comfort.
While skimming through the menu, the Mentaiko Pasta caught our attention for they used Butter Soy Sauce Mentaiko here; something which we found rather interesting. Having a go at the pasta, the pasta was al-dente without being overbearing; each strand of noodle comes laced with beads of Mentaiko that provides a buttery, umami flavour that just leaves one yearning for more; the intensity of flavours being rather consistent throughout the entire plate rather than being built up over time, hence pretty easy to finish. Though we are not big fans of having diced avocados and boiled eggs in our food, it was a decent addition that worked great in between mouthfuls of pasta.
Oyako is generally a pretty safe dish to have at most places, and while the wheel is not reinvented here either, the Oyako Don is a comforting option to go for at Grand Jete Cafe & Bar, being rather refined in its execution. Diced chicken chunks, egg, onion, spring onion and seaweed all cooked in a special sauce, the Oyako carried a well-rounded savoury flavour with the chicken chunks being tender and moist laced with scraps of soft egg that absorbed the flavours of the special sauce. The rice is fluffy; each grain distinguishable from one another, some parts absorbing the savoury flavours of the special sauce. A dish that is bound to satisfy for those looking for something familiar and comforting.
(Grand Jete Apple Pie)
We also went for the signature Grand Jete Apple Pie, which was claimed to be “crispy with crunchy apples and mildly sweet”. Sure enough, the pastry was light and crispy, coming with caramelised apples with a crunch within while not overly sweet as promised; a pretty light item that would work for tea-time treat with a pot of tea or cup of coffee on the side.
(House-brewed Local Coffee (White))
We were actually pretty intrigued by the offering of House-brewed Local Coffee (Black) and House-brewed Local Coffee (White) on the menu, especially since most of the items are considered to be Japanese-Western. We opted for the latter, which was our local Nanyang Kopi. The House-brewed Local Coffee (White) was a well-pulled cup that carried a fragrant aroma without being too sweet; in fact, a cup of Kopi which we found to be even better than how some local coffeeshops serve theirs.
Overall, the offerings at Grand Jete Cafe & Bar are pretty much on the safe and predictable side; they seem to be more focused on serving up classic Japanese-Western fusion dishes and doing them well. The flavours are refined, while the food is also generally well-executed; the sort of comfort food done well that comes with no surprises which one would crave for. The environment was also plush and welcoming, with staff who are mostly warm and sincere with their service. Due to its location at Ngee Ann City which has considerably low human traffic, Grand Jete Cafe & Bar is also hidden away from the crowds along Orchard Road, making it one of the few spots in town that would work well for long catch-ups over coffee or tea; that being said, we did notice that it seemed to be mostly filled with Japanese expats during weekday lunch hours on one of our visits. Still, Grand Jete Cafe & Bar is a place that we would find ourselves returning to again; with a good ambience and good food that is situated away from the hustle & bustle of Orchard Road, Grand Jete Cafe & Bar is a place to check out for some satisfying Japanese-Western comfort food in the heart of town.
Grand Jete Cafe & Bar
Takashimaya Shopping Centre
391A Orchard Road