Back in my childhood days, it was always a dream of mine to be able to walk with dinosaurs – no thanks to the deluge of jurassic-themed movies and documentaries like Jurassic Park and Walking with Dinosaurs.
While that dream might not come to fruition anytime soon (and for good reason), we are getting the next best thing: the Jurassic World Cafe at ION Sky, Southeast Asia’s first Jurassic World pop-up cafe and retail experience happening from 6 November 2020 to 3 January 2021!
Occupying the entirety of Level 56 at ION Orchard, the Jurassic World Cafe, which is a collaboration between 1-Group, PARCO Singapore, ION Sky, and Universal City Studios LLC, immerses you in the experience right from the start. Step into the elevator connecting ION Art Gallery and ION Sky, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by larger-than-life murals of long extinct species. It really is a thrilling experience riding with them in an enclosed space!
Fans will be hit by a wave of nostalgia walking up to the cafe, as selected tracks from the movies’ soundtrack permeate throughout the space. Almost feels like you’re a dinosaur on the prowl for your next bite.
Speaking of bites, the menu boasts a selection of mouthwatering mains, desserts, and drinks with varying levels of dedication to the theme in terms of plating and name.
The aptly-named Volcano Curry ($23+) is probably the most “on theme” dish on the menu, with the curry-drizzled rice resembling an erupting volcano. An eruption of flavours indeed! The pork and pea tendrils curry is a rich one that packs some spiciness that adds a punch, though not so much that it overwhelms your tastebuds. The pork chunks are also fork-tender, and the sunny lettuce adds some refreshing respite from the richness.
Overall, I was pretty blown away by how well executed the Volcano Curry was. While most themed cafes tend to prioritise appearances over actual flavour, this one hits the spot and is worth the price.
The Jurassic Burger ($28+) is equally big on flavours. While not as “visually arresting” as its rice-based counterpart (barring the three streaks of sauce meant to resemble the franchise’s iconic claw marks), the burger is a safe choice for those seeking something substantial. Wedged between two black burger buns (which we don’t see too much of these days), the patty is succulent and flavourful.
The dinosaur theme continues with the drinks. The Latte/ Cappuccino ($6+) is topped with a print of the iconic velociraptor that’s really cute and certainly warrants a snap or two!
The Mosasaurus Soda ($8+), named after the infamous sea-dwelling creature from that scene in Jurassic World, brings to mind the Blue Coral drink from our childhood days. The slightly sweet taste is quickly chased by a strong touch of mint that would contrast pretty well with a rich main dish like the Volcano Curry.
Do look out for other local inspired flavours like chendol and milo! (Missed opportunity for a Milo Dinosaur drink IMO.)
The desserts section is where the Jurassic World Cafe’s creativity comes most to the fore. Grab your dessert forks and dig your way through a Fossil Excavation Cake ($16+) which packs layers of sponge cake, cocoa biscuit, and grape red and white ice cream that come together in spoonfuls of sweet deliciousness. (Open letter to the team: please add a dinosaur-shaped biscuit somewhere in the cake; I guarantee it will be ten times more fun to eat!)
As the saying goes, all rides must end in the gift shop. Have your fill of Jurassic World merchandise ranging from bottles to plush toys and neck pillows.
The Jurassic World Cafe is a truly immersive experience, with fitting decor that does not border on overly intrusive. No sign of a Jeff Goldblum or Chris Pratt wax model here, though you can pose with a life-like velociraptor statue.
The pop-up will run from 6 November 2020 to 3 January 2021, and is strictly reservation only via Chope.
Look out for a Christmas special that will debut in December, with a Christmas Meat Platter ($25+) and seasonally themed Cranberry Mint Chocolate ($9+)!