J’s On Purvis Street (Permanently Closed)

***Edited to add: Hey guys, it is with a heavy heart that I say J’s restaurant has permanently closed! Boooo, so sad! But fret not, you guys can still get a dose of halal Mexican goodness at Afterwit SG or Fix!***

J’s Restaurant (Permanently closed)
7 Purvis Street, #01-01, S(188586)
Reservations: +65 6887 4787 or online here
Online Menu: Here

Opening hours

Lunch Sun-Fri: 12pm to 230pm
Mon-Thu: 630pm to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 6pm to 1030pm
Sun: 6pm to 930pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10

Average spend per pax: S$48

Js_Opening_Hours

I first went to J’s maybe about 3 years ago, and I couldn’t remember much about the food, except that the bread and butter pudding was a little off, but that the location on Purvis Street was the best. So I finally got around to going again so I could have a more accurate and current assessment of the place.

As far as I know J’s is the only halal Mexican place around, so that’s already a great unique selling proposition to diners looking for halal food that isn’t nasi padang! More attractive features: full service, mirrors everywhere, low mood-lighting and a warm inviting ambience! Behold:

Js_Ambience

We got seated almost at the last table at the back, so I felt like a runway model stomping down the aisle. It was great. I enjoyed that they didn’t trick the place out in cheesy mexican themed decorations, like sombreros or green/white/red colourblocks. They had nice colourful chairs, but also some random colourful wall tapestries.

Js_Chair

Js_Decor

Inexplicably, a Tree of Life tapestry on the wall. Eh, I’ll allow it!

So what’s for eating? Here’s a look at the menu:

Js_Menu_Cover

Js_Menu_Sides

OMG CHIPOTLE MEATBALLS?! YUMMMM.

Js_Menu_Mains

Js_Menu_Halal

Things I like seeing on a menu: the halal sign, and JALAPENO POPPERS!!!

Js_Menu_Drinks

My friend all but started hyperventilating in excitement when he saw Jalapeño Poppers (S$17), so that was an obvious starter choice for us.

Js_Jalapeno_Poppers

Mmm get in my bellayyy you plump little fatties!

Jalapeño peppers are medium-sized chili peppers originating form Mexico. They are usually picked and consumed when green, although if allowed to fully ripen, they turn a deep crimson red. The ones served at J’s are stuffed with mozzarella cheese and breaded.  The result is a warm, fat, juicy popper you can dip in either the hot sauce or the guacamole dips on the side. I really enjoyed J’s rendition of this popular Mexican dish, especially since the jalapeño pepper has just enough heat to make it interesting, and doesn’t have any strong sour taste some jalapeños can have. In fact, they were good enough to eat on their own without the help of dips! The coating was crispy, the pepper was firm, and the cheese was melty. Seal of approval for sure. 9/10

We also went for the Lamb Tostada (S$18), which is made up of a small crispy corn tortilla bowl sitting on a pile of sour cream, filled with slow-cooked lamb ragu, topped with melted cheese and served with some pico de gallo, which literally means rooster’s beak, but refers to a fresh salsa.

Js_Lamb_Tostada

We were initially at a loss as to how to eat it, as these packed bowls were the size of our fists. Eat the ragu out of the tortilla bowl? Cut it in half? Try to bite at it? In the end I just decided to break the whole thing down, and it was the best decision I’d made in a while:

Js_Lamb_Tostada_Closeup

Mmmm gooey meaty cheeeeeeese

I found this dish very delicious; the lamb was soft, tender, and was absolutely soaked in flavour. It reminded me a little of the Cuban dish, Ropa Vieja, which literally means old clothes, but which refers to a sort of shredded beef stew. The shredded lamb in this tostada had a sweet cheesy taste. The ragu I thought was very rich, the downside of which is that you get a little jelak/sick of it after a while, but the salsa sauce on the side helped refresh the palette. I didn’t care much for the tortilla, which I thought was not as crispy as it could have been, but I think this is a common problem you get with baked tortilla chips. This dish is a solid 8/10.

We decided to share 2 mains, one of which was the Paella (S$28), a saffron rice dish with marinated chicken and not just one but TWO types of fish, salmon and tilapia.

Js_Paella Js_Paella_Closeup

Yommehhhh. My friend and I enjoyed this tremendously. The rice was savoury, fluffy, moist, and soft. I will say here that my friend thought the rice was a little too moist, and he wanted his paella a little drier so that you have the crispy bits at the bottom. It’s a personal preference I guess – I prefer my rice moist and fluffy right to the bottom. No crispy rice bits for me! The bits that I DID love were the bits of coriander strewn around the paella; these were a delightful flavour-enhancer with every bite. The chicken was good, the tilapia I thought tasted a little fishy, and I thought the salmon was phenoms. It was so tender and flavourful! Fish is always a little tricky, but I’m glad at least for this batch that I’d gotten, the salmon was juicy and not overcooked. 9/10 for this paella!

Our last item was the Beef Quesadilla (S$24) which features a soft tortilla wrap with minced beef, cheese, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños and some guac.

Js_Beef_Quesadilla

I’m sad to report this was the weak link of all the items we had for the night. Maybe 10% of this had to do with the fact that we were reaching stomach capacity by the time we got to these bad boys, but objectively these quesadillas did not do it for me. The beef stuffing was just not as tasty as everything else I’d eaten, and something about the ground beef/cheese combo made it taste like I was eating regular cheese fries from KFC. I’ve definitely had better quesadillas in my life (Dos Caminos, New York City! Guzman y Gomez Fish Quesadilla at Asia Square! Sorry tak halal 😦 ) so this I found rather disappointing. I think with a few tweaks they could stand to greatly improve the recipe – perhaps if they use shredded beef instead of minced beef, and maybe add some lime or some coriander to the fillings to add a little kick to it! 6/10

All in all, I had a great time at J’s. Service was really friendly; the servers/restaurant manager seemed to be one big family. I saw the servers actually walk down the ‘runway’ looking intently at diners’ tables to see if there were any dishes to clear or water glasses to refill. Definitely a plus. I think because it’s not a typical halal cuisine, J’s would also be the perfect place for a business lunch or dinner, especially if you have Muslim clients to impress. Will definitely be coming back for more!

J’s Restaurant (Permanently closed)
7 Purvis Street, #01-01, S(188586)
Reservations: +65 6887 4787 or online here
Online Menu: Here

Opening hours

Lunch Sun-Fri: 12pm to 230pm
Mon-Thu: 630pm to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 6pm to 1030pm
Sun: 6pm to 930pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10

Average spend per pax: S$48

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One thought on “J’s On Purvis Street (Permanently Closed)

  1. Pingback: List of Restaurant Reviews (always updated!) | Halal Eats in Singapore

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