(MADO Cafe had since ceased operations.)
Spanning across 818 square feet with 241 shops spread across six levels, JEM is now the third largest suburban shopping mall on the island with much to offer on its own, be it for the fashionistas, the tech geeks and the foodies alike.
While there is a large variety of food options available at JEM, some of the F&B establishments there are new players in the local F&B scene. Mado Cafe may have other outlets overseas, but the one at JEM is a first. It brings Turkish cuisine that is at a somewhat affordable rate to locals (starting at around $8.90+ for sausages to slightly more than $20+ for the most expensive main). We visited the restaurant when it was just opened for the second day, which was the first Sunday in which the mall was opened.
(Savoury Chicken Kebab)
The Savoury Chicken Kebab was served with either Buttered Rice or Pita Bread (unavailable that day). The chicken looks like it got shaved off the grill and was nicely marinated to a nice flavour, though it was a bit dry and a bit tough for my liking. The sauce was just a simple dollop of chili sauce and another dot of mayo in the middle. The tomatoes were juicy and fresh, but the carrots felt like they were washed and then cut into thin slices and placed like that. The vegetables reminded of me of the ones found in McDonald’s burgers, though the saving grace was that it was way fresher.
(Chunky Beef Kebab)
The Chunky Beef Kebab was not probably chunky because it was also shaved off like the Savoury Chicken. Despite being so, I find the Beef variant so much better as it was quite deep in flavour, well marinated and totally not too beefy in taste. The texture was also pretty good; it was easy to bite, chew and cut, which makes it very enjoyable. The vegetable platter largely remains the same on the beef variant, though there were pickles that were seemingly a bit dry and on the tasteless side.
(Baked Chicken with Buttered Rice)
The Baked Chicken with Buttered Rice stole the show for the night. Marinated nicely with a very Persian tasting sauce which I personally am at a loss of words to describe, this is the dish that outshone the kebabs in terms of flavour . It felt pretty much authentic and the chicken drumstick was easy to pull apart and was pretty tender. Of particular note is that it was also not greasy at all. The vegetables that came with it were also seemingly less shabbier than those that came with the kebabs and a whole lot fresher. Definitely a great item to have.
(My Way – Mango, Raspberry, Hazelnut, Pistachio, Sade)
We topped the meal off by ordering the My Way dessert. My Way is a glass of ice-cream that allows you to order five varieties of flavours in a cup. It is a good item to order and share if no one can decide on which flavour to order. We went for the recommended flavours by the staff; Mango, Raspberry, Hazelnut, Pistachio and Sade. Mango and Raspberry may look like Sorbets but they were in fact more syrupy and may appeal to those who finds Sorbets a bit too bland and in search for something sweeter. Hazelnut and Pistachio were pretty creamier and carried a nice hint of nutty taste as well as texture. These would probably appeal to people whom like nutty ice-creams that taste creamy but not overly sweet. Sade is essentially vanilla and was pretty light and aromatic; one of my favourites. In fact I found these five to be a great combination particularly due to the fruity flavours that gave the creamier one a break when you feel jialat.
The biggest issue with this restaurant was not the food, even though there were a few hits and misses. The menu was a very concerning factor. It was the second day of operations at 8pm, and literally all the Starters, Salads, Pasta, Sandwiches and Sausages items were already off the menu. To make matters worse, there was only two items left on the Mains section, which was down to one after our order. When the next table came in, the last portion of the only item available was also served, leaving only the beverages and desserts in the menu. Two items from the beverage menu was also initially off the menu, and the only available desserts were the twelve different flavours of ice-cream. We were literally stoked while ordering because nearly everything we wanted was already sold out, and we literally jaw dropped when the waiters kept coming in asking if we could replace our orders because something else was also unavailable. I do have to admit the staff were pretty patient and were also very gracious. They still continued to be very courteous when telling us that our orders were unavailable, and were actually a bit embarrassed too. My personal guess could have been that the delayed opening of the entire shopping mall may have caused most items to be taken off, and if this is so then it should not be much of a problem for this place. Given that it was only a two day old restaurant on our visit, I guess I would wait for a while to allow their operations to stabilise before returning for a visit; hopefully things will be improved by then.
For a review from my friend’s perspective, visit the corresponding article on The Urban City Explorer by clicking here.
50 Jurong Gateway Road