I’ve been to all 3 Violet Oon Restaurants in Singapore (Bukit Timah, National Gallery and Clarke Quay) before and this 4th restaurant in Ion Orchard is their newest addition. I’m glad to see that one of my favourite local restaurants are doing well enough to expand into a significant mall in the heart of Singapore’s famed shopping belt.
My visit was for Afternoon Tea, which I had reserved weeks prior to the date, as I feared it may be full. From my experiences trying to reserve tables at their other locations, I know that reservations tends to get full at this popular brand of restaurants! (Not without reason, of course. The food at Violet Oon never fails!)
I’ve had Afternoon Tea at the National Gallery location before, and even had the honour of catching Violet Oon in person. I had expectations that their Singapore High Tea at ION Orchard would be as good. Each set serves 2 pax and is $58++ in total, but you can opt for individual items if you wish to have a lighter meal.
2 pots of tea are included but the type of tea we could have was very limited (around 4 options only). If you wish to switch to another type of tea it would require a top up. I must say that the default teas provided weren’t good at all. They had this Singapore Dream coconut tea blend which tasted weird, and I opted for a normal sounding Darjeeling tea but that too wasn’t nice. Teas are a huge part of what makes or break an afternoon tea experience I would say. It really could’ve been better if they just provided a more typical tea selection (like Earl Grey) instead of some fancy sounding blend.
House-made scones served with clotted cream and jam
Two plain and two gula melaka scones served with clotted cream and jams
The Afternoon Tea I had at National Gallery did not include scones, but this one at ION do! The scones with Gula Melaka drizzled on top was a surprising hit. I liked how the flavours came together. However, the local flavoured jams like pineapple weren’t so fantastic. I would say don’t mess with traditional scones.
The items from the 3 tier set were pretty ok too, everything tasted good but nothing stood out from the rest of them. I think I prefer the savoury to the sweet items here. Particularly memorable were House Made Cheese Tartlet shells used for their Egg Mayo Salad Tart and Chili Crab Tart. The texture reminded me of the tart pastry from pineapple tarts.
The only item which stood out in a bad way was the Financier, which they made in a fusion manner. It was nothing like French Financiers, but rather, they described it as “A traditional Eurasian rich moist cake of semolina and ground almonds. Rich, moist, and laced with brandy”. This was the only item that I could not finish eating because the taste was weird for me.
It was a Saturday when I visited and it was very busy. As with all busy restaurants, the service wasn’t really up to standard. They were not very attentive and could not reach our needs quick enough. For instance, it took pretty long for our teas to arrive, and even so they mixed up the teas (which we exchanged among ourselves). It also took them really long to add hot water for a refill. Not all tables were filled but they already could not keep up with their service. Perhaps the restaurant needs a few more months to sort their management out.
Overall I still like Violet Oon, but I think I had a better experience at their other locations. Also to note is that this ION restaurant is located in the middle of the level, so the space is semi-public. I prefer restaurants to have more privacy.
Overall: Food is generally good but ambiance and service is not as good as their other locations
Violet Oon Singapore
ION Orchard #03-28/29
2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Tel: 9834 9935
10AM – 10PM
(Last order 9.30PM)
10AM – 12PM
(Last order 11.30AM)
3pm – 5pm
(Last order 4:15pm)