With all the shops and sights on Orchard Road, it’s inevitable that one would need a pit stop to fuel up for even more shopping. If you’re looking for a new one to try, what about the Montreux Jazz Café at the Pan Pacific Orchard. Sounds familiar? Well, that’s because it’s the extension of the popular two-week festival in Switzerland, which first appeared on our shores 11 years ago.

The genesis of the festival was the desire of its late founder, Claude Nobs, to merge his two loves—food and music. As such, the trained chef established a jazz-themed café in 2008 to host artists and friends, which then grew beyond its Swiss roots.

For its first branch in Asia, the owners wanted to recreate the interiors and ambience of the original branch. The massive bar in the center of the casual dining room serves as a focal point, but of course, it doesn’t detract from the pull of the main stage. Every night, the café welcomes a wide variety of performers—from solo acts to bands playing jazz, pop, punk, blues, and rock. 

Building on the look of the original café, the Singapore outpost features a dedicated fine dining section with a small stage for intimate performances. There’s also a vast photo collection of famous artists displayed here, including stunning portraits of late legends like Prince and David Bowie. Music is piped in via the LCD screens that play archived concerts exclusive to the café. A fun fact: apart from sharing the same DNA, all of the Montreux cafés play the same videos simultaneously.

Music aside, the new menu features plenty of creative creations. Start with the Balik salmon, a wonderful opening act featuring cubes of fresh fish laid on a bed of purple potatoes, potato chips and vibrant greens. Try to gather a bit of everything into one bite so you taste the spectrum of flavours —from sweet, sour, and slightly salty—all in a good balance.

BB Cheeseburger

The main dishes offer plenty of variety, but one that caught our eye is the BB King cheeseburger. Named after the legendary blues singer, the dish isn’t simply inspired by the artist, but is actually recreated to his liking—expect a thick and juicy patty with melted cheddar cheese, caramelised onions, and a garden salad all sandwiched between buttery buns. It’s slathered with a special secret sauce that adds a touch of sweetness to the overall dish, making it unique. The Quincy Jones roast chicken rivals the cheeseburger in popularity. It’s evident that the American producer is a big fan of robust flavours as the chicken is well marinated, something noticeable down to the last bite. There’s also a right amount of spice and—the best part—the skin is cooked to a crisp.

Pan-seared Hokkaido scallop

 

Spanner crab spaghettini

 

Wagyu beef carpaccio

Not all mains are named after music icons, but that does not make them less special. Others worth trying are the roasted prawn red tail served with new potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and chimichurri sauce; chargrilled Colorado lamb rack, cooked medium rare (or as desired) and served with three sauces—Szechuan peppercorn, cilantro pesto, and cucumber-mint raita; and the spanner crab spaghettini with piquant tomato sauce and finished with pine nuts and coriander.

Ella's cheesecake

It pays to end the meal on a sweet note, and we suggest you save space for Ella’s cheesecake. Don’t let its simple looks deceive you—it may appear ordinary, but the taste is far from your basic cheesecake. This one is denser, intensely milky but not overly sweet rendering it cloying. The berries, which also serve as palate cleansers, is a wonderful finishing touch.

Montreux Jazz Café | 01-02, Pan Pacific Orchard, 10 Claymore Road, S(229540) | Call 6733 0091

Tags: Montreux Jazz Cafe, Montreux Jazz Festival, new cafe in Singapore, Pan Pacific Singapore, Orchard, Swiss cafe