Dean & DeLuca @ Orchard Central, Singapore
It opened on 22nd June 8 pm. Couldn’t wait any longer with all that pent up anticipation. Less than 24 hours later, we are here to check out the place. So here’s a little tour of what food heaven could possibly be like.
Dean & DeLuca, a name which is almost synonymously associated with gourmet foods and premium epicurean purveying, finally opened its flagship store in Singapore at Orchard Central two days back. Yes finally! Before it opened, it created quite a bit of hype, first with its very own miniature scale reality cooking contest “Be a Chef in 7 Days” where contestants pitted against each other to vie for the top spot to be crowned “Chef” after 7 days… if that’s ever possible :) It also joins a rapidly growing list of gourmet food stores and purveyors like Jone the Grocer, Culina, Le Bon Marche, Cut the Mustard, Le Petite Provence etc, just to name a few… to provide Singaporeans with a wider choice of culinary and gourmandising options. Its entry into the local market, made possible by Kitchen Language, the F&B arm of Far East Organisation (yes, the company that builds perpetually every other condominium project!), is surely a tell-tale sign that the tastebuds of the local crowd have become more refined, and their palates more sophisticated and discerning over the last couple of years. It would perhaps mark the beginning of a golden age of epicurean hedonism here in Singapore, but all awaits to be seen if this is for real or only but a bubble…
A walk into the store and one’s first greeted by their cheese and charcuterie counters
The selection is pretty decent with cheeses both fresh and cured of different origins being represented.
French “Brie de Meaux” and “Camembert” are the usual favorites while the exotic “St Marchellin aux Genes“, “Langres” and “Epoisses” for those with an acquired taste. Australian “Red Square” and “Triple Cream“, English “Double Gloucester” as well as Italian Gorgonzola varieties… you name it, they have it.
The charcuterie also offers a small but comprehensive selection of hams, sausages, and pâtés. Spanish Chorizo Bilbao, French Saucisson pur Porc, Italian Smoked Pancetta and Jamon Serrano Reserva are just some of those available. And these are amongst my favorites too!
But the crowd drawer to the charcuterie must surely be the Spanish Iberico Pata Negra Bellota which had been cured for 2 years. Retailing at SGD45 for 100g.
Goose liver anyone?
Pickled olives done many ways…
Then its off to the dry sundry section… and not without a disclaimer of course!
Fleur de sel! Excellent for salads, and making seasalt caramel!
A selection of delights in a can… candy, chocolates, sugared almonds… you get the idea… I especially love “Candy Blox” that looked like Lego bricks!
A peek of their Department of Aromatics… herbs and spices
More candy for the sweet-tooth…
A good selection of savory sauces pops up… Hot Chili Pepper and Worcestershire Sauce, just some of the psychedelic range of condiments available! Spoilt for choice!
And here’s Jalapeno Peach Barbeque Sauce and Three Mustard Barbeque Sauce… most curious indeed!
More pickled foods… olives and capers.
Pesto readymade for a pasta toss-in!
A wide array of spices available, from the familiar to the exotic.
And a selection of salts from every region, and quite literally up in a mountain (Himalayan Mineral Salt) to down into a sea. They even have salt from the Australian Murray River…wonder if the difference is at all noticeable…
And of course the much coveted black truffle salt
Coloured sugar for decorative baking is also available… but you already know how to DIY this at home already don’t you? *wink*. but for those who don’t, you know where to start lookin’ !
Coarse-grain granulated sugar is used for the colored sugar crystals
Available in 7 colours, though not quite of a rainbow…
The last one is a mish-mash of every other color available and thus aptly named “Rainbow Sugar”
Gold and Silver flakes to give foods that extra classy touch…at a classy price of course :)
A good selection of raw honey is also available…
Honey, honey on the wall, which of you will make me fairest of them all…
No find foods purveyor would be complete without a good selection of fruit preserves, conserves, jams, chutneys and confitures!
And this is most certainly one to be looking out for… Sarabeth’s “Legendary Spreadable Fruit” series… currently only in four “safe and popular” flavours. Hopefully more would be added in time to come!
Another highlight of the shop, their housebrand spice rack… classy but pricey…
Vodka pasta sauce…giving your pasta that extra oomph!
Duncha just love the rack?!
Some helluva cheese crackers! Now we are talkin’!
More fruit preserves and conserves…
Cherries, Figs and Pears in syrup. The labels even come with suggested food pairings!
Parties would never be boring from tapas made from D&D’s salsas!
A good selection of olive oils as well… some EVOOs while others infused…
Housebrand EVOOs in funky bottles!
The winery is kept rather small and modest at the moment, and only those from Californian vineyards are available… think Napa Valley and Santa Barbara. But hey, on a more positive note, this is probably the most comprehensive display of California wines here in Singapore!
And what I’m personally hope to get soon… aged Aceto Balsamico. Helluva knacker of good stuff! At a whoopin’ 220 SGD a pop but I’m pretty sure its well-worth every cent! But I SOOOOOO want this!!!!!
They have some pretty cool kitchen tools as well… a solid wooden container with a sliding cover. Great as a salt vessel duncha think? They’d got some really lovely bread & cheese, as well as chopping boards made from solid maple wood. Absolutely love the woodsy touch!
D&D’s very own recipe books… ideal for inspiration if you wanna find great culinary ideas and options to what you could whip up with the epicurean delights you’d just gotten from the store!
Dedicated measuring spoons for a personal cuppa!
A selection of Kusmi teas…
And a sample set ideal as gifts!
Another sampler set of 12 teas from all around the world
Look closer at the labels and you’d realised that the ideal brewing temperature and suggested steeping time are all well documented for each individual tea variety.
A selection of fine, artisan chocolates…
D&D endorsed ramekins…
And finally at the end of the flagship store is a 50-seating sandwich-and-salad deli-cum-cafe…ideal as a pitstop to get fueled and watered after all that shopping along Orchard Road, or simply wasting a lazy afternoon catching up with old friends.
Deli selections… assorted salad mixes, quiches, sandwiches…surely there’s something for everyone, be it the health-conscious or the hardcore meatlover!
And finally a selection of breads and pastries. Tarts are also available, which I’d brought some more to sample. So do look out for an upcoming post on them!
So that’s a pretty hasty peekaboo of the flagship store! That’s the end of all that recceing for me. I’ll most definitely be heading down again soon to grab some stuff. Gotta be selective though cos things ain’t exactly cheap! Perhaps I’ll bump into some of you guys there!