JEM opened (or should I say didn’t open) with a bang and is now the most exciting thing to happen to Singaporeans staying in the West other than the hail. We are just so thrilled every time a new shopping mall opens. Never mind if all the shops are the same boring ones found elsewhere in town, this is our hobby, this is our pastime.
This shopping mall WAS crowded day-in-day-out. It is as if the whole of Jurong do not need to work, and are all just window-shopping around or grabbing their buys from Robinsons, Uniqlo or H&M.
A few unfortunate incidents, including a fire in the supermarket, collapsed ceiling due to waterpipe bursting, and glass door shattering ‘helped’ to diminish that crowd. From impressions, the crowd seems like a third less than when it first opened.
JEM feels suspiciously like a very much bigger 313@Somerset upon walking around. I checked, same developer – Lend Lease. It has almost a rectangular regular-shaped (thank goodness no more mazes like some of the other newer malls), and even young part-time stuff dressed in red polos located near electronic directories telling you where to go if you lost your way.
Yes, 240 shops. You may lose your way.
I must say I wished there were more new-to-market food brands, and not the usual few. My favourite floor was the basement with quite a variety of food kiosks and smaller eateries where you can get a quick bite from. Plus, it’s buzzing with energy.
Here are some other restaurants which may catch your eye.
Paris Baguette (#02-20)
When you have Korean plus European style bakes plus cakes plus desserts plus all-day breakfast which are all the hottest things in town, then you are almost quite a shoo-in for success. The Korean brand Paris Baguette is easily one of the most populated cafes at JEM, with most coming to try their Scrambled Egg Brioche Brunch and pretty looking cakes. The price is not that pretty though. (Read: Paris Baguette Wisma Atria)
Lee Taiwanese (#03-05)
First at The Star, now at JEM. Lee’s Taiwanese serves rather authentic Taiwanese fare and street food such as Beef Noodles, Mee Sua, Salt & Pepper Chicken and Pork Belly Rice. The rice came with generous portions of pork belly, drenched in dark sauce, and kind of reminds me of those I had in Taipei, except this would cost about 3 times more than over there. (Read: Lee’s Taiwanese JEM)
One of the few new to Singapore brands available here. They sell freshly made nama chocolates in colourful pastel coloured boxes of yellow, pink, baby blue and violet (which may remind you of the other Japanese chocolate brand which starts with ‘R’.) The Japanese inspired cakes look like a must-try, especially the Azuki Red Bean Brownie Cheesecake and Opera Matcha Chocolate Cake.
Gurney Drive (#04-27)
Fans of Penang cuisine should be familiar with Gurney Drive, known to attract many tourists for their street food. Gurney Drive at JEM is more wallet-friendly than some of the other restaurants, with most dishes below $10. Some of my favourites here are the Penang Fried Koay Teow, Hokkien Prawn Noodles and the Assam Laksa, with the noodles specially imported from Penang. (Read: Gurney Drive Restaurant (Suntec City))
Sometimes I need an occasional indulgence, and that is Laksa. But this is not just about the traditional local style laksa we are familiar with, their laksa pastas, laska wings, and laksa satay (oh so love it) are some of the popular ones. And my recent found love – Laksa hotpot where you can dip meats into like a mini steamboat. Plus point, the gravy stays hot all the time.
A directory of all the F&B outlets at JEM.
8Tarts N Pastries, BBQ Express, Bee Cheng Hiang, Bengawan Solo, Bottles & Bottles, Burger King, Delifrance, EAT, Famous Amos, Four Leaves, Freshman, Gong Cha, Haisosaetti Chocolates, Han’s, Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert, Ichiban Boshi, Imperial Treasure Seafood Restaurant, KFC, Mr Bean, Old Chang Kee, Petit Provence, Pezzo, Polar Puffs & Cakes, Prima Deli, RamenPlay, Rumah Sayang, Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks, Snax! By CP, So Pho, Tori Q, Xian De Lai, Ya Kun, Yoguru, Yoshinoya
BreadTalk, LENAS, MADO, Marche Movenpick, McDonalds, Spageddies, Starbuck Coffee, The Coffee Tea & Tea Leaf, Toast Box
Baskin-Robbins, Din Tai Fung, McDonald’s, Paris Baguette, SaladWorks, The Soup Spoon
Bangkok Jam, Earle Swensen’s Indo Box, Lee’s Taiwanese, Laksania, Lao Huo Tang, Shin Kushiya, Sogurt, Sushi Tei
Levels 4 & 5
Ambush, Gurney Drive, Jack’s Place, PastaMania, Pepper Lunch, Xin Wang Hong Kong Café, Cookhouse by Koufu, Graffiti Café, MOS Burger, Umeya