One of my BFFs is a Mexican expatriate on a 2-year stint in Singapore. Many a times, she told me she misses a good mean Mexican meal. So far, her verdict for good Mexican restaurants in Singapore are Cha Cha Cha Mexican Restaurant and Pedra Negra Mexican Restaurant. The rest of the so-called Mexican restaurants in Singapore have failed her taste test.
Needless to add, when this new Mexican eaterie opened its doors recently (this March 2013), I excitedly brought it to her attention. It so happened that her hubby was on a business trip that weekend and I too was free that weekend (in a long time!)…and that means - a girls’ night out! Yay! We were bent on scouring the BEST Mexican restaurants in the city!
We decided to give Mex Out Mexican Restaurant at Far East Square a try (after reading all those rave reviews from The Sunday Times to Epicure magazine et al!).
To say we were disappointed is an understatement. Even I (who ain’t Mexican) can tell you I have tried better Mexican food! It is also not cheap to dine at this casual eaterie.
My Mexican friend and I both had the Rice Bowls. She took the Beef Rice Bowl whilst I settled on the Chicken Rice Bowl. We shared the Nachos and a Jug of Margarita and the total bill came to S$67.00!
Above: The Menu written on the chalkboard.
Above: The Beef Rice Bowl (ordered by my Mexican friend). S$13.00
Above: This is my Chicken Rice Bowl with Guacamole on top. S$16.00
Above: Do you believe this Nachos cost S$13.00? The Salsa dip was tasteless and the chips were soggy (like it had been left out in the open for a long time). My Mexican friend returned the dish and insisted that they serve us with warm crispy fresh Nachos! They did. It was better the second time round. The Nachos was warm, crispy and fresh.
Above: The 2 Rice Bowls + Nachos we ordered…..
Above: …together with this jug of Margarita (good for 4 glasses). S$25.00 per jug.
The ordering process… Chipotle style!
For this kind of price, we can dine comfortably in a lovely restaurant. This eaterie is not what I would call a “restaurant” or a “cafe”. It has more of a McDonald’s feel to it.
I guess they wanted to emulate the Chipotle chain of eateries in the United States. Except that the food at Chipotle tastes way, way better.
My Mexican expat friend was sorely disappointed with the food (and the price). I am too.
I really doubt if we would return UNLESS the owners decide to do something radical and re-look at improving the quality of food served at this place.
Personal Rating for Food: 1/5
Personal Rating for Ambience: 2.5/5
Above: The view from the restaurant. We chose to dine al fresco that evening.
#01-01 Far East Square
39 Pekin Street
One of my favorite eateries for breakfast/brunch and to simply just chill-out…is.„, (drum roll, please)…Jones, The Grocer Restaurant.
There are currently 2 outlets here in Singapore: One at Dempsey Hill and the other outlet is located inside the posh Mandarin Gallery. So this is the branch/outlet where we had our late brunch last Sunday, highly recommended to me by my awesome expatriate Mexican colleague.
Be warned - both outlets are perpetually crowded! The expat crowd come here to shop and dine. I bumped into Americans, Australians and some European expats here…..and a handful of hip Japanese who spoke excellent English (they must have studied abroad because most Japanese I have met thus far, struggle in speaking good English). There are also quite a few locals here. The bourgeois type, of course. This should give you a rough idea what kind of crowd frequent this place ;-)
So, here are just some of my humble recommendations…
First up: For soup, I had Potato and Leek Soup. And because it was the Soup of the Day, it cost S$11.50 per bowl. Otherwise, expect to pay approximately S$15.00 for a bowl of soup! And…oh my, it was such a huge bowl that I absolutely could not finish it on my own! Thank goodness I had the foresight to tell my friend NOT to order another bowl but that we could both share the soup.
For our appetisers, we ordered the house’s speciality i.e. Potato Wedges dipped in some awesome creamy sauce. We asked the waitress what type of sauce it was. She told us what it was but somehow, both my friend and I just couldn’t grasp what she was saying (she was from China). The next time when I come back to Jones The Grocers, I’ll be sure to ask the servers to spell it out for me.
Now, for our main course, I had the Full English Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs (S$22.00 per dish) whilst my friend had the Full English Breakfast with 2 Eggs cooked Sunny Side up (also S$22.00 per dish). My friend absolutely loved it whilst I felt mine was just so-so. Let’s just say that I have tasted better ones ;-)
Another time, I chose the above dish - an interesting Egg Benedict dish (S$20.00) for my main dish.
Above: If you like something less complicated, you can try this English Breakfast too (S$22.00) or….
Above: Scrambled Eggs with Toast.
To polish off your meal, Jones the Grocer has an extensive drinks menu (yes, including various types of coffee and tea!). I had a large cup of Long Black Coffee (S$6.50). It was really thick and good, exactly what I like. My friend had a large cup of Latte (also S$6.50).
Thinking of a good way to spend a leisurely breakfast/brunch…and just chill out with the hip crowd? Look no further! Head over to Jones The Grocer! My favorite hang-out for breakfast these days.
Food Rating: 4/5
Jones the Grocer (at Mandarin Gallery)
333A Orchard Road #04-21/23
Mandarin Gallery Singapore
Tel: +65 6836 6372
Jones the Grocer (at Dempsey Hill)
Block 9 #01-12 Dempsey Road
Tel: +65 6476 1512
For info, the branch at Dempsey Hill is near to all the major embassies e.g. the US Embassy, The outlet at Mandarin Gallery is right smack in posh Orchard Road. Take your pick, baby.