With so many shopping malls located at Jurong East, the people working or living here are really spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping and eating. The two nicest malls are Jem and Westgate which are just next to eat other. Viewed together as one destination, you can find many, many stores and restaurants here. On weekends, the place is packed. On weekdays, things are less busy and so you can find some good lunch deals here. We recently tried the $9.90 set lunch at Mado Cafe in the Jem Shopping Mall.
As you can see, the Mado Cafe seems to have many personalities. It is located on ground level and one side of it opens up onto the space that leads to Westgate. Viewed from this side, the prominent beer ads and happy hour promotions make it look like a pub. But if you approach Mado from the inside of the mall, it looks like a small ice-cream parlour. Once you enter, it looks like a regular cafe. The indoor space is small and a bit cramped. The alfresco area is more spacious and is definitely our choice when it comes to happy hour in the evenings.
The set lunch menu is written on a chalk board so I believe that it may change from time to time. The meal comes with a soup and two options for the main course. Either mushroom spaghetti or pan-seared chicken. There being two of us, we tried both options.
The soup was presented very basically and will certainly not win any beauty contest. It was a chicken soup with quite a nice taste, Essentially it tasted better than it looks. The main courses arrived shortly after that. To be honest, after seeing the soup, our expectations were very low. So we were pleasantly surprised that the spaghetti and the chicken items actually looked quite appealing.
The spaghetti was cooked aglio olio with just the right level of al dente. There was a generous quantity of mushrooms to impart the familiar earthy taste of mushroom to the dish. The overall taste was good, comparable to some Italian restaurants. The pan-seared chicken came neatly presented. The skin was fried till golden-brown and crisp. The meat was cooked well without being dry. It came with some cranberry sauce which we thought was too sweet. Eating the chicken plain with a bit of pepper was good enough. The simple salad and fries provided some added interest to the dish.
In summary, this was a basic lunch at a reasonable price. The food was admittedly not of gourmet quality but was fine. With the high prices charged by even food stalls in food courts these days, having lunch here does not cost much more. It is a decent restaurant to go to where you get service, water and a pleasant environment to re-charge during lunch. In case you wish to try out their ala carte menu, here are some random sections of it.
50 Jurong Gateway Road
Tel: 6734 3196