Is word of a good apple pie enough to get you hunting around in town, amidst an abundance of dining options, for a tiny café?
When you're out traipsing around town, deadbeat from walking, hogged down with bags and bags of shopping, and really just in need of a cushy chair and a spot of tea, you're going to jump at the first cafe you see. Doesn't matter if it's all that good or not — we really just want a place to plop our worn out arses.
Imagine having to stare at your phone, check unit numbers, walk around in circles just to find a café; would you still visit? That was what I did when hunting (literally) for Grand Jeté. Honest to God if I hadn't heard praises to His high heavens for their apple pie I would've just given up looking for them.
In a nutshell (and to save you all the pain), Grand Jeté's located near the Tower B lobby of Takashimaya. You've gotta walk past Ladurée, Louboutin, then turn left out the lift lobby once you're approaching Kim Robinson. It takes a little patience and time to find, so I guess the question really is: was the apple pie worth the hassle?
Grand Jeté Apple Pie (S$3.40++) — Japanese apple, flaky pastry
From the pictures floating all around Instagram and Burpple I was expecting a fairly large palm-sized pastry; at least one similar to Délifrance or Polar Puff ones that could very easily be a small meal on its own. In reality though, it's the serviette that's palm-sized. The pastry itself was barely larger than a petite four, easily downed in 2-3 bites — reasonable I guess if you really think about the price and the central location, though not too impressive once you've tasted it.
Sure the golden puff pastry's nicely glazed and wonderfully buttery, thinly sliced apples were syrupy, soft, and not overly sweet; but the pastry had an oddly familiar taste (read: sourced from a central kitchen, I asked), and though the pastry was warm and the apple pie "freshly baked", the apples inside were lukewarm at best. A nice treat if you've got a craving, otherwise I'd much rather get a warmed Apple Turnover from Délifrance at a few cents more.
Grand Jeté Cheesecake (S$8++ a slice) — San Sebastian style Spanish traditional cheesecake
I usually can't resist a cheesecake, and since it took so much effort to get here anyway I decided I deserved another portion of dessert. This cheesecake turned out to be the better of choices I made. I've never been to San Sebastian nor tried the traditional Basque cheesecake made famous by La Viña so I definitely can't say if this is any bit similar; what I can say is it's indeed a lovely tea-time treat. Somewhat of a cross between an American baked cheesecake and a fluffy Japanese soufflé one, Grand Jeté's rendition was light, pillowy, and delicate, while still staying creamy and decadent. Outer crust was burnt, but it lent an interesting bitterness and contrast to the cheesecake. Not bad at all.
Minced Beef Dry Curry (S$14.50++) — Minced beef, long beans, carrot, tomato, potato, onsen egg
When it comes to their mains though, there really isn't a whole lot to choose from. We got this cause the whole concept of a dry Japanese curry's really interesting, and while ingredients like the vegetables were strangely missing, the flavours came together really well and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. That's until I bit into the egg. Fair warning: don't get this if ice-cold onsen eggs aren't your thing (whose is it anyway?). Total turn off.
Double Decker Tonkatsu (S$14.80++ for the whole sandwich, $7.40++ for half) — 2 pork cutlets, cabbage, hot mustard, sesame dressing, tonkatsu sauce, butter
But if there was just one item you could stomach, trust me and get this. Without hesitation; period. I went there for the apple pie, and left my heart with their Double Tonkatsu Sandwich. Simply put: f awesome lean but juicy hugeass tonkatsu, and just $14.80 for such yumminess in the middle of Orchard? If that ain't a steal I don't know what is.
So was it all worth it at the end of the day? Their Double Tonkatsu Sandwich really is among the best value chow I've ever had around town, tasting even better than some of the other more accessible, well-marketed spots. The location can be a slight pain in the ass, but if you're in need of reliable chow that doesn't tear a massive a*hole in your wallet, Grand Jété's well worth the trip.
Grand Jété Café & Bar
391A Orchard Road
#02-11 Takashimaya Shopping Centre
Opens daily from 8AM-10PM