Joan Bowen: the future


A few years ago, I was introduced to this western food restaurant. A restaurant with a twist – special needs youths are given a chance to run this food joint, cooking for and serving real customers. This is Joan Bowen restaurant/ cafe, situated along Jalan Wangi near the old Mazda showroom.

Right up to about a year ago, the food was nice and the people served with a smile. I do not know how to explain it fully, but we had this nice warm feeling when we dined there. We not only had great food and company, we also felt good supporting the special needs youths there. We ate there like 6-8 times within the past few years. And if I’m not wrong, Straits Times recently carried an article providing a good review of the restaurant.

However, as much as I applaud Joan Bowen’s business model, I have noticed that the standard of the food has deteriorated by quite a bit in the recent few months. To me, based on the food we ate, it’s standard now falls below western food stalls commonly found at coffee shops and hawker centers.

Yesterday’s dinner there finally motivated me to write this post. No doubt, the people who served us were still full of smiles. But, the food was honestly bad. The lemon and rosemary chicken was heavily laden with salt. It was as though they over-sprinkled salt as they grilled the chicken. The fish in the Fish and Chips was undercooked. And the French fries sides were salty to the max. The vegetable side was bitter and the usual lemony sauce was almost nonexistent. At the end of the meal, there was a weird aftertaste in our mouths that required some washing down with water and juice – it was as though we spammed ruffles or lays.

Anyway, after paying the bill, I provided feedback about the quality of the food to the cashier on duty. I do not know exactly whether the feedback has been be taken seriously. But if they don’t, I am sure that I won’t patronize them for their food again.

I am totally missing the times when the food was really good.

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2 thoughts on “Joan Bowen: the future

    • Thank you for your comment. I’m not sure if there is a direct correlation. But yea, I noticed the degradation in food quality and taste about 3-4 months ago. They had better buck up, if not…

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