Tucked in the basement of Jurong Point Mall is a brand new spanking Japanese Dining hall. Known as the &JOY Dining Hall. It is located at the end of the existing Shokutsu Ten Japanese food street. You may know if for it rows of nicely decorated Japanese themed food stores.
You might remember this place previously themed as a Japanese night street with several decorative Japanese neon signboards before the area makeover to what it is today.
After a major upgrade, come the &JOY dining hall. The offerings here are the first of such a Japanese dining hall here in Singapore. The establishment prides itself as a destination for Japanese specialty cuisines.
Moreover, the establishment offers a variety and mix of causal Japanese cuisines through six uniquely different micro-outlets. They are laid out in a mix of restaurant and food court dining setting.
On a walk around, options includes food court meal staples by ROMAN.TEI, RAMEN KIOU, My Gohan and Wadori, to full-fledged dine-in restaurants such as Sushi-GO, Pittarino pizza place. Also, just like the Shokutsu Ten Japanese food street, &JOY is similarly operated by the RE&S group
Also, notably, you may know RE&S as the parent company running several Japanese dining outlets close to heart. Examples include Ichiban Boshi, Kuishin Bo, Kuriya Japanese Market, Men-ichi, Wadori, just to name afew. Let’s check out what &JOY dining hall has to offer.
ROMAN.TEI Beef bowls
Starting off are sliced beef bowls brought to you by the meat specialist from Osaka. This outlet in &JOY is their first outlet in Singapore. Their signature menu item are their savory tender beef steak over rice. Moreover, you have a choice for your thinly-sliced beef bowls with a selection of one or two varieties of beef.
Additionally, I would recommend their Double Beef Zen bowl. For $17.90, you get a rather sizable platter with bottled miso and sides. The dish maintains a golden ratio of rice and the beef steak slices. Moroever, the slices have a good colour with a balance of fat-to-meat and is really tender, juicy and rich.
Osaka RAMEN KIOU
Also hailing from Osaka is RAMEN KIOU. As the name suggests, they serve an assortment of delicious ramen characterized by its tasty pork Chashu. Similarly, like ROMAN.TEI, this is their first outlet in Singapore. It is backed by Japanese-Chinese cuisine chain operator Daishin Jitsugyo.
Their specializations include their house-made fragrant bone broth which goes very well with their soft but firm ramen. A recommendation would be their KIOU Ramen ($13.90). Your dish comes served with an egg and two pieces of tenderly roasted pork belly Chashu slices on top of garnish.
Moreover, the RAMEN KIOU outlet here is also the largest store in the food court. It serves unique ramen creations such as their unique Tomato Cheese Ramen ($14.90). I recommend trying out the Tomato Cheese Ramen if you are in for something more unconventional. This is one of the more interesting finds and the uniquely special dish to go for here.
Here, your Ramen sits in a red tomato broth and topped with a grilled piece of sliced cheese, quite an eccentric mix. My only gripe I found the portions tad small for my liking, and its best paired with addition of sides, like Yakitori for instance.
If you are in a rush, Yakitori is the go-to food for busy people. Just like how the Japanese do it. The Wadori Yakitori store located on the exterior of the food court serves an assortment of Japanese skewers food on-a-stick. Of course, Yakitori is a popular street food in Japan.
Moreover, what makes this special is that all the Wadori are Charcoal-grilled grilled in front of you, literally satay-style. You can watch your food begin grilled and replenished into the counters.
Also, you can enjoy your yakitori as a snack or pick from a wide range of other grilled selections to make into a meal. A recommendation is to have your Yakitori as a side with your main course. It goes well with the several other food offerings here in the establishment.
Sushi-GO sushi restaurant
Furthermore, in addition to &JOY’s food court offerings are dine-in restaurants. One of such is Sushi-GO. It is a buzzling, fun quick service restaurant serving a delicious array of mainly made-to-order sushi dishes. The establishment spots a rather wide selection of more than 80 sushi varieties.
The highlights are quick sushi platters, especially those on their “GO-Series”. Moreover, it’s Sushi-GO’s star “GO” items which brings about great value for the quality on offer.
Choices includes their Salmon selections, such as Salmon-GO ($3.20), Mentai-GO ($3.80) and Spicy Salmon-GO at $3.80 per plate of 2 sushi each. Also, their ikura rolls are a delight- they are fresh and springy.
Also, don’t forget other seafood selections such as Unagi-GO ($3.80), Lobster Salad-GO ($3.80), and Ebi-GO ($3.20). Moreover, when your dish is ready, it is dispatched to your via a toy Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet Train) tray.
Fusion Pizzas with Pittarino
In addition to Sushi-GO is the establishment’s second dine-in restaurant. Fancy a pizza? Pittarino has you covered. The restaurant serves freshly-baked hand-stretched Neapolitan pizzas.
Moreover, you can watch them being prepared by over the counter upon ordering them. Prices range from $14.90 to $17.90 per pizza. I would recommend the Prosciutto and Rocket pizza. It comprises of dry cured ham rocket and grana padano.
Also, the pizzas are smooth and flavor-some. They are light and not too filling which makes it ideal for sharing as a side dish, especially in a group.
In addition to pizzas are chewy nama pasta with a dash of Japanese flavours. Interestingly, “Pittarino” stands for “just right” in Japanese. It encapsulates what embodies a fun, stylish casual dining experience. Notably, the restaurant is decked with wooden flooring, laced with tiled walls and bright yellow high seating.
Small dish delicacies with My Gohan
Tucked in the rear corner of the food court is the My Gohanstore. The main selling point at Gohan are their variety of Souzai small dish servings of Japanese home-style food. Additionally, a recommendation will be their grilled fish, it is a rather favorite dish here.
Moreover, you can opt for your sides to build up a meal. Options includes pairing your sides with larger mains, soup and rice for a well-balanced and healthy meal. It can be rather satisfying.
&JOY Eats and &JOY Drinks
Furthermore, topping up the establishments here &JOY Eats and &JOY Drinks. The latter is a drinks store selling a myriad of Japanese chilled drinks and teas. Their warm teas are an excellent way to finish up your meal. If you require something more refreshing, you can’t go wrong with their Japanese lemonade soda.
Lastly, we have &JOY Eats. This small chill food section sells Ready-to-Eat meal items such as sushi, dango balls and Japanese snacks you can simply grab pay and go.
Additionally, all orders here at &JOY are made via a touch screen panel located by each store. The terminal accepts all modes of payment. Also, this is in addition to ordering through your phone, which you can use to browse your menu items after scanning a QR code at the establishment to begin your order.
All in all, whether is it dining in a popular Ramen chain from Osaka, sinking into a delicious beef bowl or grabbing a quick Yakitori to go, dining at &JOY was indeed an enjoyable experience. I found it is one which completes your Japanese gastronomic experience without breaking the bank, in addition to it being a nice refreshing addition to the Japanese food scene, serving authentic, affordable and quality food for the masses.