About JBM Coffee & Dining
Located in the heart of the CBD in the newly renovated One Raffles Place Mall, JBM Coffee & Dining is a worker’s food haven. The restaurant with its open concept and warm hues practically invites you in, but the uncle standing at the door was its best ambassador. He greeted every visitor whether they entered the restaurant or not, and when he saw me taking pictures of the bar seats, he personally arranged the chairs for me.
I later found out this uncle was the father of the restaurant’s director, Ms Evangeline Wong, who heads Blue Mahoe Estate Coffee at the Esplanade as well as her own yacht chartering service, Your Private Yacht. Wong is herself a qualified barista and well-versed in all things coffee related. JBM Coffee & Dining is her latest F&B venture, having only opened its doors on July 26, 2014.
Open seven days a week, JBM Coffee & Dining serves up scrumptious light bites such as sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads as well as a myriad of tempting mains for lunch and dinner. Daily baked cakes and flans sit in a display counter ready to sweeten that midday work break or appease a decadent craving after a bout of shopping on the weekend.
I was taken by the hospitality and the unassuming decor and couldn’t wait to try their food.
The Food at JBM Coffee & Dining
We started our lunch with The Green Knight ($8) that looked to be made of broccoli and topped with croutons and seaweed. Evangeline told us it was actually zucchini soup, a rare dish in Singaporean eateries. I hardly eat zucchini and don’t like the taste of it, but the soup was light and palatable. If Evangeline didn't mention it was zucchini I would never have guessed.
The Pork Terrine ($15) was served next along with warm homemade brioche topped with a purple mustard seed spread, also made in-house. I thought the slices resembled luncheon meat but my first bite proved it tasted nothing like it. I could taste the herbs used in the terrine, enhanced by the bread and the mustard seed spread. The dish was delicious though I felt the presentation of the brioche could have done with a little more creativity. This dish makes for a light meal and as a result is very popular with the ladies.
If you’re a fan of shellfish this is a dish you need to try. A Big Bowl O’Mussels ($14) was exactly what its name said it would be: a large bowl full of New Zealand Blue Lip mussels served in a saffron sauce with white wine, garlic and seafood broth. Slices of French baguette were also served on the side.
Lil’ Froggy ($24) was my personal favourite. I had only ever eaten frog legs once in my life and to my memory they were drenched in some red sauce and did not taste very good at all. On my first bite however, I was sold. The frog legs were lightly seasoned and pan seared to perfection served with a side of homemade mushroom ravioli in veal jus.
The mushroom filling was full of rich flavours and complemented the frog legs perfectly. Evangeline tells me they almost named this dish 'Little Kermit' with reference to Kermit the frog from Sesame Street. Thankfully they decided to stick with a more generic 'Froggy' instead.
Beef Outside The Cubes ($24) is a stew of beef tenderloin grilled medium rare with onions and a variety of mushrooms. You can pick either mash or fries to go with the dish but I highly recommend going with the mash. The in-house chef painstakingly makes his own mash by hand and the effort clearly pays off in its buttery taste and light, fluffy texture.
Our last main for the day was the Sassy Cassoulet ($32). Traditionally, a cassoulet was essentially a mix of leftovers or anything found in the larder cooked in a conical clay pot called a ‘cassole’. This cassoulet, however, consisted of an abundance of beans and seafood, slow-cooked to to extract the full flavours of the ingredients. I found the serving size particularly large and would recommend ordering this to share amongst 2-3 people.
The Desserts at JBM
Now for dessert! I love the fact that JBM not only serves up good mains but also mean desserts. The Orange Blossom ($12) is made up of a bottom layer of jelly, orange juice and Grand Marnier soaked mandarin pieces topped with a generous serving of chantilly cream.
JBM Espresso Creme Brulee ($8) is your regular creme brulee with an espresso kick. For patrons who don’t particularly enjoy sweet desserts, this creme brulee is an even blend of bittersweet goodness.
Coffee lovers will enjoy the variety of brews available at JBM Coffee & Dining, all made from beans roasted at JBM’s roasting facility. Evangeline recommends the Piccolo Latte for coffee connoisseurs, and a Salted Caramel JBM Special Latte for those who want something different.
Once again, the salted caramel used in the drink is made in-house to ensure the highest quality and taste. I decided to try their Matcha Latte after lunch. Beautiful latte art aside, the drink was creamy and delicious, though rather filling for a post-meal drink. Drink prices range from $3.50 to $8.
For a restaurant in the CBD, JBM charges very reasonable prices for good quality food. Its booth seating for up to 6-8 people at a time is also unique and useful for group lunches especially in an area where restaurants are typically unable to accommodate large groups of diners during lunch.
JBM’s biggest selling point was the personal touch in almost every dish and food item served at the restaurant. Even the salted caramel in the salted caramel coffees are made internally. This to me deserves a big stamp of approval for the restaurant’s desire to go the extra mile in order to deliver quality food and coffee to all its customers, instead of resorting to fast and easy commercial food products.
Getting to JBM Coffee & Dining
The restaurant is located on Level 3 of the newly renovated One Raffles Place Mall, located just outside Raffles Place MRT station.
Address: One Raffles Place Mall, 1 Raffles Place, #03-23/24/25 Singapore 048616
This post was brought to you by JBM Coffee & Dining