[SG] Dean & Deluca

Monday, July 02, 2012

Friends from the States would probably not be unfamiliar with Dean & Deluca, an up-market grocery, artisan bakery and cafe, a household name in New York. With much hype surrounding the opening and raving food reviews from overseas, Dean & Deluca has finally arrived in Singapore. 

Stepping into its stores for the very first time, I was impressed by the selection of gourmet food and ingredients. It made grocery-shopping a much more complicated affair than just going in and finding what you need. With its wide selection, you can probably spend at least 45 minutes deciding on what ingredients to buy for your bolognaise pasta dinner. Those who love cooking would definitely fall in love with this new-found gem! That said, be prepared to have deep pockets as the freshest and best ingredients definitely come at a premium. 

Not knowing the hype and how popular it was, I stepped in as a perfectly objective customer and I must say I wasn't very impressed by their service crew. Expecting a cosy cafe that allows me to sip my coffee slowly, it was the exact opposite. Right when I stand up to change seat as I was missing a chair at my table of two, someone swerves in from my side and started cleaning the table (when it has just been cleaned before I sat down) and plonking the 'Reserved' sign onto it. It didn't just happen to me, but a few other tables as well and I thought that was quite a 'chop chop' experience. 

A very clean and sleek interior, a bit too white for my liking though. I'd prefer cafes with orange lighting to give a cosier feel, but perhaps this is the New Yorker style.  

Selection of food, somehow it doesn't really appeal to me that much. The sandwiches on the top row are exorbitantly priced! $22 for a meatball sandwich, I guess I'll make do with subway. 

Bread selection. If you notice the signs, they're actually from several known bakeries like Baker and Cook and Maison Kayser (my favourite!) 

Expecting all day breakfast to be served, I was extremely disappointed to find that they'd ran out of it (yes, everything!) by 6.45pm. Not too sure if it's due to the recent opening hence unstable supply or the influx of customers on that day itself. Spotting my extremely disappointed look and almost wanting to leave already, the chef recommended us the Chicken and Apricot Pie which I thought was worth giving it a shot after hearing how there were cranberries and apricot inside! 

Chicken and Apricot Pie ($10)

Perhaps after trying some of the best bakeries in Sydney, I thought this was such a letdown! The pie crust was too thick and did not gel well with the filling. There wasn't much chicken chunks nor berries either. I'd definitely expected alot more, not just because of the price tag, but the name of Dean & Deluca which I thought was supposed to cater to the busy pace of New Yorkers who usually take and go, hence providing good on-the-go food. It would have been much better if the crust wasn't that hard and thick, and had abit more butter-y taste to it. I'd also prefer a flakier version of pie and of course a more generous serving of fillings at least. That said, I thought the combination of berries and chicken was good, with savory and sweetness well complemented. Perhaps a stronger taste of apricot would be good too, since it's called Chicken and Apricot Pie? 
Nom Factor: 5.5/10

Red Velvet Cake ($8.50)

With high expectations especially after we've snagged the last piece, this has managed to keep us satisfied for the meal at least. Not exactly impressive, it was a humble piece of red velvet cake with awesome cream cheese frosting. With a rather generous serving of cream cheese, the smooth texture complemented well with the finely made cake. A finishing touch of chocolate flakes at the side sticking to the cream cheese would have made it perfect though!

Nom Factor: 7.5/10

Rows of nuts, with different combinations and selection. 

Chocolates (:

I haven't got the chance to try their all-day breakfasts though friends' reviews have mentioned that they weren't fantastic either. Shall go back to give it a shot when they're more settled in their new place!

Perhaps it's just me, I don't really get all the hype behind Dean & Deluca. If you're looking for a gastronomic food experience, this is probably not the right place.  They don't serve up fantastic food fare, and I thought they were all very much overpriced. A good place to fulfill your grocery needs if you're planning on a special cook-out session though!

Overall Nom Factor: 7.0/10
Orchard Central 
Level 4

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