Dinner @ Maggie Joan’s

July 8, 2016 in European, Mediterranean by thywhaleliciousfay

And so, the group of friends who normally goes cafe-hopping with me had new weekend commitment. Which meant we could only meet for dinners on weekends now. =( As such, when we were to meet for our next catch-up, I had some difficulty finding us a venue. You see, this particular group of friends don’t like to spend too much, but most of my to-go-to-for-dinner places are fine dining restaurants. Oops.

But thank goodness, I got to learn about Maggie Joan’s. And Maggie Joan’s sounded interesting because they don’t have the normal enter-from-the-front entrance. Oh yes! To enter, one has to go by the back alley. I am a sucker for such lah. Haha. So with that, I updated my friends that we would be having dinner at Maggie Joan’s.

However, reservation was only made on the day my friends and I were to meet. And instead of phoning the restaurant up, lazy me made reservation via Chope. ANd as it was a last minute online booking, there were limited time slots left. Ie, 6pm, 6.30pm, and after 9pm. We went with 6.30pm.

And 3 hours before dinner, I received a mobile text from Maggie Joan’s informing us of their 15 minutes holding time and that the restaurant would need our table by 8.15pm.

Finding our way to the entrance sure wasn’t straight forward. Upon entering Amoy Street from Cross Street, one should walk along the small lane that’s just beside the stretch of shop houses as the entrance to Maggie Joan’s is from the back of the shop house. Alternatively, one could try finding the entrance by walking to the end of Gemmill Lane from Club Street.

One may also have read that Maggie Joan’s and Gemmills (the cafe located just next door) are opened by the same father-and-son team Glen and Daniel Ballis. However, the two eateries don’t enjoy the same treatment. Maggie Joan’s signage is a small signboard while Gemmills has its name painted boldly on the wall. But I guess the small signboard is very much to go in line with Maggie Joan’s ‘hush hush’ underground restaurant vibe.

So keep a lookout for Gemmills and one would easily locate the entrance to Maggie Joan’s which is the unit just beside!

Upon entering through the metal door, the staff checked our reservation before leading us to our table. And we were led to the back half of the restaurant where we could see the kitchen in action.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3), we ordered:-

1) Egg, dukkha & saffron mayo, $6 (above) – If one intends to order this, it’s better to order one each as it’s tricky trying to share an egg among 3. Ha.

2) Cheese arancini & tomato chutney, $9 (above)

3) Inka roasted cauliflower, almond gazpacho, iberico ham & mint, $20 (above) – I liked this. For the pure fact that there’s iberico ham. Haha. A must try.

4) Chicken liver, pickled mushroom, peas & toast, $19 (above) – I am bias towards this dish. I enjoy my chicken liver, and this was pretty good. But of course, I wasn’t expecting it to be plated as though one was fine dining. A must try, nonetheless!

5) Hamachi crudo, pickled tomato & basil, $21 (above)

6) Smoked potato & egg raviolo, spinach & hazelnuts, $26 (above) – For a main, we were surprised to be served with one big ravioli. I mean, one!?! That doesn’t sound a lot to fill up one’s stomach. And because we had the ‘egg, dukkha & saffron mayo’ dish earlier, the raviolo somehow felt it was just a bigger version of it with an sous vide egg hidden within too.

7) Grilled Mediterranean octopus & Persian potato salad, $43 (above)

8) 36-hour pork belly, red cabbage & pickled walnut, $34 (above)

9) Iced coffee chocolate, salted peanut & bergamot, $12 (above) – This was pretty interesting. It’s served like that of a deconstructed chocolate bar.

10) Strawberry, black sesame & yogurt, $12 (above)

And at 8.30pm, the staff came up to us saying they needed the table back. As we still wanted to try the desserts, we were directed to Gemmills where we continued our meal.

Will I recommend Maggie Joan’s? I certainly like the ambiance of the place. And there’s no doubt about the food. Food was tasty, and at times innovative too. But when I think of underground restaurant, I actually associate it with hearty portion. For some reason, I imagine big-sized men coming to such dark, hidden and mysterious eateries for big mugs of beer and big portion of meat. o_O Haha. However, reality was that the portion at Maggie Joan’s could be a little on the small side. It would be ideal to share in groups of no more than 3. So thankfully I came with 2 friends.

So yes! If one decides to come and check out Maggie Joan’s, remember to make reservation early to get favourable time slot!

110 Amoy Street, #01-01, Singapore
6221 5564, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Fri : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun