It has been ages since the last time we stepped foot into a Jack’s Place restaurant. In the good old days, Jack’s Place was the place to go for decent steaks without breaking the bank. We also fondly remember their reasonably priced set lunches with even more concessions to students. So it was a trip down memory lane when we recently had lunch at their outlet in the Jem Shopping Mall, Jurong East.
Our first impression was that they have modernised. Gone are the dark, dimly lit interiors. The restaurant looked modern and bright. But two things remained the same that made the place unmistakably a Jack’s Place restaurant. The first is the furniture. The green checked table cloths with traditional country-style chairs is their signature style and gave the place a feel of familiarity despite the modernised look. The second is the bad ventilation. The characteristic smell of the restaurant could be detected once you are at the entrance. Perhaps it is caused by the sizzling hot plates that are used for many of their steak dishes, emitting oily fumes throughout the restaurant. So be prepared to smell like meat after your meal.
We were glad to see they still have their daily set lunch deals. The menu is different for each day of the week. There is a $13.80 chicken or fish lunch and a $14.90 steak lunch. In addition, there are higher priced executive lunches ranging from $15.60 to $25. We ordered an executive ribeye lunch ($19.80), a grilled chicken lunch ($13.80) and a beef kway teow ($12.80).
The set lunches come with a soup, dessert and coffee. The soup and garlic bread were quite bland, but more or less in line with our expectations. The ribeye arrived on a sizzling plate and we could hear and smell it before we see it. It was good. Juicy, a good size and cooked to medium as we had ordered. The baked potato on the side was stuffed with cream, scallion and bacon bits. A million calories but yummy!
The grilled boneless chicken arrived in less dramatic fashion but was an enjoyable dish, enhanced by the garlic teriyaki sauce. The beef kway teow tasted like beef hor fun from a tze char stall. The only differences were that the portion is relatively small and the beef used is a normal type of beef and not the overly tenderized type (which is a good thing). The dessert was a soft mango flavored sponge cake that was quite good.
While the dishes were generally fine, the star of the day was the ribeye steak. Clearly, the steaks are the real reason to come to Jack’s Place. For a few dollars more, we think it is better to go for their executive lunch which serves a higher grade of beef. We will certainly do that on our next visit.
50 Jurong Gateway Road #04-15
Daily 11am -10:30pm