Japanese food lovers who love a wide variety of food at affordable pricing got to make their way to the West of Singapore.
A brand-new Daily Dining Destination &JOY Dining Hall has just opened at Jurong Point Basement 1, occupying half of the Japanese food street.
This is literally where you can enjoy Japanese restaurant quality food without hurting your wallet, as prices are kept inexpensive.
There are 8 destinations to look forward to: 6 Japanese stalls located at the common dining hall food; and 2 new-to-market concepts in individual quick-concept restaurants.
If Osaka seems too far away, two renowned brands from the prefecture – ROMAN.TEI and RAMEN KIOU have set up their first Singapore outpost at &JOY Dining Hall.
With that many offerings, you may get lost during your first visit there. Read on to check out what exciting things they have to offer:
If you have been to Osaka, you may have come across ROMAN.TEI, known for its savoury cuts of quality beef with special sauces at reasonable pricing.
It is a concept by direct meat specialist and wholesaler – Okayama Food Service Co. Ltd. Similar to its stores in Japan, prices of the beef boxes are kept below $20 nett.
The Double Beef Zen ($17.90) comes highly recommended. This is for those who love your luxurious combo dish of beef steak and beef slices over fluffy rice, in which you can savour tender medium rare steak slices alongside beef broiled in a savoury broth.
The rice is served with a “golden ratio” in a Jyu box, accompanied with a side salad, condiments and extra soup.
This is RAMEN KIOU’s first outlet in Singapore, backed by Osaka’s all-time favourite Japanese-Chinese cuisine chain operator Daishin Jitsugyo. It has over 22 outlets in Japan, along with presence in Thailand.
Okay, I may show my bias for this stall since I love my ramen, and the interesting Tomato Cheese Ramen ($14.90) and just become my new favourite.
Tomato Cheese Ramen was in the rage over Instagram, and there is some surprise why many stores in Singapore don’t serve it yet.
The bowl comes with a luxuriously-thick tomato base with ramen noodles, topped with cheese and torched. Give it a good mix and you would enjoy the tangy-sweetness of the base.
It may remind you of tomato-based pasta, except that this is saucier and not-too-heavy since long, thin strands of ramen noodles are used.
Tip: Do not finish the sauce yet, as you can choose to top-up to get a bowl of rice with garlic to be mixed in. Other than ‘pasta’, you can have your fill of ‘risotto’.
If you prefer something more conventional, the signature ramen is the KIOU Ramen ($13.90), a salted-based tonkotsu broth with 2 pieces of house-made chashu.
This bowl contains milky pork bone broth, springy noodles, and tender roasted chashu which is melt-in-the-mouth.
Also available on its menu are the Chashu Ramen ($17.90) included with 5 pieces of chashu; Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen ($12.90) with a soy sauce base; and Abura Soba ($11.90) comprising of thick dry noodles in-house special sauce.
Apart from the 2 Japanese partner brands, there will be 3 original concepts making their debut at &JOY Dining Hall – Sushi-GO (restaurant), Pittarino (restaurant) and My Gohan (common dining area).
Sushi-GO (located as individual restaurant)
Sushi-GO is a fuss-free quick service restaurant, with food delivered to diners’ table on mini conveyor trains which adds the fun element.
The restaurant serves up a more than 130 items priced from $1.80, from sushi pieces such as nigiri, gunkan, maki, to sashimi, appetisers, rice, noodles, desserts and drink.
For something slightly unconventional, head for the “GO-Series”. Its star “GO” items include Salmon Mentai-GO ($3.80), Spicy Salmon-GO ($3.80), Unagi-GO ($3.80), Lobster Salad-GO ($3.80), Salmon-GO ($3.20), and Ebi-GO ($3.20).
My favourite was the Salmon Mentai-GO ($3.80), with toppings of topped salmon pieces in a creamy and spicy rod roe sauce that could be very addictive.
For salmon lovers, the Salmon-GO ($3.20) should fulfil your cravings with three types of salmon sushi – salmon, mentai mayo salmon and cheese salmon – the later two slightly aburi-ed for some smokiness.
Pittarino (located as individual restaurant)
Pizza in under 2 minutes?
Pittarino uses a special oven whereby the pizza would be cooked in 90 seconds. The fast timing also helps to lock in the juice of the ingredients.
The Neapolitan pizzas are freshly made, hand-stretched from a dough, topped with variety of ingredients, then baked on the spot. The pizza crust in on the thin and chewy side, while its edges are airy with ‘leopard spots’.
Get the Bismark ($14.90) – a cream base pizza topped with ham, spinach, egg, Parmigiano and Mozzarella; or Prosciutto & Rocket ($17.90) of a tomato pizza base added with prosciutto, rocket and Grana Padano.
As for pasta dishes, fresh Nama pasta from Japan is used to produce a smooth yet chewy al dente texture with rich wheat flavour.
The Yuzu Vongole ($14.90) with vongole sauce, Asari, cherry tomato, rocket, chilli and yuzu; and Ebi Genovese Cream ($14.90) of cream sauce, pesto, prawn, broccoli and cherry tomato comes recommended for Italian-style pasta with a Japanese twist.
My Gohan which means “My Meal” offers Japanese home-style meal which can be customised to include a main, soup, rice and souzai (side dishes).
The idea is as though you are having a Japanese home-cooked meal which is both healthy and filling.
What you get is variety of Japanese ala-carte mains with choices such as salt-grilled saba fish, miso-marinated grilled red perch, grilled salmon belly with teriyaki sauce, grilled silver cod with salt, grilled unagi with sweet soy sauce and more.
You get the flexibility of including 2 souzai (hot or cold) or tempura, along with rice or udon.
If customisation is not your thing, then go straight for the signature sets such as the Akauo Saikyo Yaki ($14.90) – grilled red perch with miso paste with 2 sides of the day, rice and miso soup; or Hokke Hiraki ($16.90) – grilled dried atka mackerel with 2 sides of the day, rice and miso soup.
For a quick sit-down meal or takeaways, then Yakitori can be your answer. Wadori offers charcoal-grilled meat sticks, with a rice base as a lunchbox option or meal on-the-go.
With you come with your family or group of friends, then I say go straight for the Fiesta Platter ($6.50) included with sticks of Pork Belly, Yakitori Chicken, Deep-Fried Chicken, Chicken Meatball, and Chicken Cheeseball.
&JOY Eats and &JOY Drinks
&JOY Eats features Ready-to-Eat items such as sushi, dango balls and Japanese snacks you can buy back to the coffee.
On the other side, there is &JOY Drinks offering an interesting range of canned flavoured drinks from Japan, bottled drinks and coffee.
“Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) system
&JOY Dining Hall also provides a fully-digitalised ordering experience at both restaurants and the common dining area.
Diners will be able to browse and order their meals through their mobile phones while sitting comfortably by either scanning a QR code on the tables or connecting to the free Wi-Fi provided.
Otherwise, you can head to the ordering booths next to each stall and make your orders conveniently. Food ready for collection will be flashed on the television screens around.
&JOY Dining Hall
B1 Jurong Point, Japanese Food Street, 65 Jurong West Central 3, Singapore 648332 (Boon Lay MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with &JOY Dining Hall.